Grants:Project/Rapid/AWM/Symposium 2017

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AWM/Symposium 2017
We will hold a women in mathematics edit-a-thon at the 2017 Association for Women in Mathematics Research Symposium. We will expand Wikipedia's coverage of women in mathematics, and recruit new mathematics subject experts.
start date1 March
start year2017
end date1 May
end year2017
budget (local currency)$1750
budget (USD)$1750
grant typeorganization
non-profit statusyes
contact(s)• uaw(_AT_)• aer04747(_AT_)
organization (if applicable)• Association for Women in Mathematics
website (if applicable)Association for Women in Mathematics

We will hold a women in mathematics edit-a-thon at the 2017 Association for Women in Mathematics Research Symposium. We will expand Wikipedia's coverage of women in mathematics, and recruit new mathematics subject experts.

Project Goal[edit]

Recruit new editors

The attendees at the symposium are mathematicians who can provide expertise on articles about math and women in math. This is an opportunity to bring more women onto Wikipedia as editors.

Increase skills for existing editors

Some of our members and attendees have contributed to Wikipedia before. However, with so much information about policies and procedures, learning how to edit Wikipedia can be daunting. This event will bring experienced Wikipedians together with novices, creating an opportunity to re-engage new editors with in-person support.

Add or improve content on women in mathematics

Less than 17% of Wikipedia's biographies are of women, and women in mathematics are woefully underrepresented on Wikipedia. This event can help us begin to close this content gender gap, as we give AWM members, who are especially interested in representation of women in math, the tools they need to participate in the Wikimedia community.

Project Plan[edit]


Tell us how you'll carry out your project. Be sure to answer the following questions:
1. Are you doing one editathon or training or a series of editathons or trainings?

We will hold an edit-a-thon at the 2017 Association for Women in Mathematics Research Symposium, on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles. We hope this will be the first of regularly scheduled edit-a-thons at the AWM Research Symposia. The most recent AWM Symposium, in 2015, had 330 attendees. We anticipate 350 people will attend this Symposium.

2. How will you let your community know about the event? Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions.

The edit-a-thon is featured on the Symposium website. We will recruit edit-a-thon participants in a forthcoming issue of the AWM Newsletter, through email to AWM members, via our Twitter and Facebook accounts, and through related social groups such as the Women in Maths Facebook group and the MAA's Project NExT professional development network. We will also reach out to student chapters of the AWM in southern California, and invite their members to participate. We would also like to invite students and instructors in Mathematics departments at local Southern California universities and colleges.

3. Do you have experienced Wikimedia editors to lead the event?
The organizer of this event, Ursula Whitcher, is an experienced Wikipedian. She has authored biographies of underrepresented and minority mathematicians and scientists.

We have invited Marie Vitulli, a respected AWM member and Wikipedia enthusiast, to share her experience bridging the two communities. Vitulli has published an article, "Writing Women in Mathematics into Wikipedia" in the May-June 2014 issue of the AWM newsletter and has been invited to contribute an article about women in math on Wikipedia to a forthcoming entry in the Association for Women in Mathematics book series.

Vitulli is a member of the WikiProjects Women in Red and Women Scientists. She has created biographies of women mathematicians on Wikipedia and has edited numerous Wikipedia pages. We have invited Jami Mathewson to facilitate the edit-a-thon. She has facilitated edit-a-thons and edited Wikipedia for five years. Her experience will help us intervene if attendees run into issues moving their content into Wikipedia's main namespace.

4. Do participants have the equipment or skills needed to participate and contribute high quality content? If not, how will you support them?

Participants will bring their own laptops. We expect that the majority of participants will be research mathematicians, who are experienced in writing about technical subjects and using mark-up languages.

We will prepare for the event by expanding the list of potential articles in Women in Red's Mathematics section and WikiProject Women Scientists, as well as identifying gaps in the Timeline of women in mathematics and the Timeline of women in mathematics in the United States. We will also refine the template for women mathematicians, which currently resides on Vitulli's sandbox and ask that it be added to the WP:Women Scientists project page.

5. How will you engage participants after the event(s)?

We will create a mailing list to connect mathematician and Wikipedian participants, and follow up with an informal, in-person coffee meeting at the 2018 Joint Mathematics Meetings.

We will feature articles created or improved through the edit-a-thon in the AWM Newsletter and via our social media accounts. We expect that the articles will also be included on the project page of WP:Women Scientists. We will encourage participants to join the WikiProjects Women in Red and Women Scientists to continue adding and improving content on women in mathematics.

Participants will include experienced instructors interested in communicating mathematics and mathematical culture. We will use this opportunity to encourage instructors to assign their students to edit Wikipedia. In particular, we will identify specific university-level mathematics courses where a Wikipedia-based writing project could increase students' understanding, and share strategies for assessing student work on Wikipedia. In the long term, teaching with Wikipedia will activate students to build on the work we have started at this event.

6. Is there anything else you want to tell us about this project?

This project is consistent with Women in Red's and WikiProject Women scientists' goals of adding to the content and improving the quality of information about women on Wikipedia, in particular, about women in mathematics.


How will you know if the project is successful and you've met your goals? Please include the following targets:

  1. Number of events
    • 1
  2. Number of participants
    • 30
  3. Number of new editors
    • 20
  4. Number of of articles created or improved
    • 15
  5. Number of repeat participants (for projects that include a series of events)
    • Not applicable


What resources do you have? Include information on who is organizing the project, what they will do, and if you will receive support from anywhere else (in-kind donations or additional funding).

The edit-a-thon organizer is an experienced mathematical expositor, past winner of the Mathematical Association of America's Merten Hasse prize for exposition, and former member of the AWM's Essay Contest Committee. She will coordinate edit-a-thon publicity and efforts to identify potential women in mathematics articles.

The AWM and the UCLA math department will arrange meeting space and internet access for participants as part of its Symposium planning. Participants will work with the AWM to identify grant funding for travel and local expenses. In particular, the AWM has limited grant funding from the NSA Mathematical Sciences Program to support travel for graduate students and early career participants, and funding as part of its NSF ADVANCE grant for participants in AWM-funded research collaborations to report results at this meeting.

What resources do you need? For your funding request, list bullet points for each expense and include a total amount.

  • Coffee and snacks: $300
  • Flights: $650 (two round-trip tickets to Los Angeles for the organizer and Marie Vitulli).
  • Lodging: $800 (two hotel reservations for two nights, with tax )

Total: $1,750


Community members are encouraged to endorse your project request here!

The Association of Women in Mathematics endorses this project. It will be of great benefit to increasing the visibility of prominent women mathematicians throughout history, and we hope to make this a regular event at the AWM Symposia. Kristin Lauter (President) and Ami Radunskaya (President-elect).