We report on the success of the AWM Symposium Editathon.
Did you meet your goals? Are you happy with how the project went?
We held the edit-a-thon in the UCLA Mathematics Department lounge. The corridor leading to the lounge is lined with portraits of famous men in mathematics; multiple participants in the edit-a-thon observed that this highlighted the need to publicize information about women mathematicians.
We had fewer participants than we had hoped because conference attendees were scattered throughout the building, but people who did seek out the edit-a-thon were engaged and created high quality content. Most edit-a-thon participants stayed for a full two-hour session block. Some photos of participants are on Wikimedia Commons.
- Recruit new editors
The majority of the edit-a-thon participants had not edited Wikipedia before. Sara del Valle, one of the AWM Wikipedia Visiting Scholars, skyped into the morning edit-a-thon session and shared resources for new Wikipedia editors.
- Increase skills for existing editors
Jami Mathewson provided expertise on measuring edit-a-thon participation and adding images to Wikipedia, and helped edit-a-thon participants communicate the notability of their subjects.
Ed Dunne, the Executive Editor of Mathematical Reviews, attended the morning session and shared information on using the MathSciNet database as a reliable source for different types of information about women in mathematics, such as their most cited paper, research area, or mathematical "genealogy".
- Add or improve content on women in mathematics
In preparation for the Symposium, we significantly expanded the Women in Red list of mathematicians, including names from sources such as winners of AWM awards, recent Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, and notable women featured in Mathematically Gifted and Black. During the edit-a-thon, most participants focused on creating new articles about women mathematicians, by themselves or in pairs.
Please report on your original project targets.
|Target outcome||Achieved outcome||Explanation|
|1 event||1 event||We held the edit-a-thon!|
|30 participants||15 participants||We had fewer casual participants than expected.|
|20 new editors||9 new editors||We had fewer casual participants than expected.|
|15 new articles||10 new articles||Though we would have preferred more participants, we created more articles per participant than we expected.|
Projects do not always go according to plan. Sharing what you learned can help you and others plan similar projects in the future. Help the movement learn from your experience by answering the following questions:
- What worked well?
Mathematicians pick up Wikipedia syntax quickly! Many of our participants went directly from making their first Wikipedia edit to creating a new article. Bringing AWM members together to learn a new skill gave them a comfortable space to make mistakes, ask questions, and learn from each other. They expressed excitement when creating their first stub articles, and several reported an interest in learning more and contributing on their own. Attendees created ten new pages on women mathematicians during the edit-a-thon.
- What did not work so well?
We held the edit-a-thon in the UCLA math department lounge. This was a comfortable place to work, but it was not in a central location for Symposium attendees, so we weren't able to recruit as many casual participants as we had hoped.
While we were planning the edit-a-thon, the AWM arranged to host two Wikipedia Visiting Scholars. Unfortunately, neither of the Wikipedia Scholars were able to attend this event in person.
- What would you do differently next time?
- Choose a location that people can stumble upon.
Grant funds spent
Please describe how much grant money you spent for approved expenses, and tell us what you spent it on.
- Plane flight and 1 night hotel for Ursula: $569.26.
- Plane flight, ground transportation, 2 nights hotel, registration for Marie: $819.40.
- Coffee and snacks for the event: $65.
We spent less on snacks than we had anticipated because we were able to purchase our own snacks rather than going through university catering. Ursula's lodging expenses were lower because she was able to spend Friday night visiting friends outside Los Angeles.
Do you have any remaining grant funds?
Yes, we have $296.34 remaining.
We will use these funds to support a women in math on Wikipedia meetup at the Joint Math Meetings (JMM) in January 2018. Holding a meetup will strengthen the community of mathematicians interested in Wikipedia. The JMM is the world's largest annual gathering of mathematicians, and thus the natural venue for such an event.
Start date: 1 December 2017. End date: 31 January 2018.
- We are reserving a conference room with WiFi for this meetup as part of the AWM's JMM presence.
- Snacks and candy for meeting participants: $25
* 200 Wikipedia globe stickers: $40 (4 packs of 50) +$2.40 shipping = $42.40
We will give these out at the AWM's booth to advertise AWM's collaborations with Wikipedia and encourage attendance at the meetup.
- Student meeting registration: $71*3 = $213
- We will coordinate with AWM Student Chapters to identify undergraduate or graduate students who will attend the JMM, participate in our meetup, and bring information about Wikipedia back to their chapters.
Anything else you want to share about your project?
AWM members and leadership are excited about collaborating with Wikipedia and sharing the articles we have created. Ursula has joined the AWM Media Committee to communicate information about women in math on Wikipedia on an ongoing basis. We look forward to hosting more edit-a-thons in the future.
An article about the edit-a-thon appeared in the July/August 2017 AWM Newsletter (p. 15).