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History, Ethics, and Identity Seminar Series

Monday, February 13, 2023
1:00pm to 2:00pm
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Guggenheim 133 (Lees-Kubota Lecture Hall)
Pomona Research in Mathematics Experience (PRiME): Reflections on a Research Learning Community
Dr. Edray Goins, Professor, Mathematics and Statistics, Pomona College,


Algebraic Geometry is among the most distinguished fields in the mathematical sciences. Widely respected mathematical prizes such as the Abel Prize, the Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics, and the Fields Medal have been disproportionately awarded to researchers in Algebraic Geometry. Unfortunately, this subdiscipline is notorious for its dismally low numbers of underrepresented minorities. A report from the American Mathematical Society on new 2017-2018 doctorate recipients states that 269 of 1,960 math PhDs in the US were in Algebra and Number Theory. Among the US citizens in this group, just 34 were Hispanic or Latino, 27 were Black or African American, 6 were American Indian or Alaska Native, and 2 were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.

Pomona College offers an eight-week summer residential program to conduct research in Algebraic Geometry and Number Theory, with the express intent to diversify the field. The program, entitled, "Pomona Research in Mathematics Experience (PRiME)", hosts fifteen undergraduates recruited in a national competition, five graduate students, two junior faculty/postdoctoral fellows, and three senior faculty members. PRiME presents new mathematical ideas and techniques, highlights research in Algebraic Geometry and Number Theory, provides enhanced mentoring opportunities, identifies potential role models and strengthens professional networks for all participants in the program. In this presentation, I will review the successes of the program, give a gentle introduction to some of the mathematical research projects, and discuss the future of this exciting Research Learning Community.

About the Series:

The History, Ethics, and Identity (HEI) Seminar Series aims to bring speakers to Caltech to give lectures on their work on the topics of history, ethics, and identity as they pertain to STEM.

For more information, please contact Robert Gray by email at [email protected].