2013 Field of Dreams

Date: November 1- November 3, 2013
Location: Phoenix East/Mesa Hilton Hotel in Mesa, Arizona

We are pleased to report another successful Field of Dreams Conference for the books!  The 2013 Field of Dreams Conference was once again held at the Hilton Phoenix/Mesa Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona. Over 300 participants, including 182 students, 117 faculty, and many other representatives from additional organizations, were in attendance from nearly 100 universities, colleges, and organizations nationwide.

Friday was devoted to the Math Sciences Institutes with representatives from seven of eight the Institutes giving informational presentations followed by a Postdoctoral Fellow presentation from each represented Institute. The panels were followed by an evening reception with information tables staffed by each institute and a poster presentation by Alliance Doctoral Scholars.

Saturday events opened with Professor Kathryn Chaloner, University of Iowa, Biostatistics, giving a presentation entitled “Bayesian Statistics:Thomas Bayes to David Blackwell.” There was something for everyone on Saturday with panels ranging from “How to Succeed in a Doctoral Program” and “Careers in the Mathematical Sciences” for Alliance Scholars and panels discussing mentoring experiences, tips, and lessons for Alliance Mentors. One of our newest panels, “Fields of Innovation”, invited Alliance community members to share new programs they have developed for math sciences students at all levels. We were pleased to have 43 exhibitors from institutions, programs, and organizations at Saturday afternoon’s Graduate Department, Career, and Summer Programs Fair. We were honored to have Dr. Carlos Castillo-Chavez close the evening with his keynote speech at dinner titled “Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Mathematics and The Road to Access in Higher Education.”

This year we joined forces with Project 1000 to develop a Uniform Admissions Process for many of our graduating seniors. The 108 Alliance Scholars who went through this process were paired up with a Faculty Facilitator to meet, discuss, and review their application materials. It was wonderful to see such enthusiasm from both the students and faculty, many meeting late into the evening making sure their personal statements were just right. These students then selected up to seven of our twenty six Graduate Program Groups to apply to while onsite at the conference through the Project 1000 application. With the success of the Uniform Admissions Process we will have made great progress in increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in the mathematics graduate field!

We would like to thank everyone who helped prior and during the conference, and all our sponsors and partners, especially Project 1000 and the Hilton Phoenix/Mesa Hotel, for making this conference our best one yet!

Check out our Flickr site for plenty of photos from the 2013 Field of Dreams Conference. If you’d like to share your stories or photos from the conference send them to mathalliance@uiowa.edu.