International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Rethinking Alternative Models for Increasing Female Participation in Graduate Mathematics
Dr. Orpha Kemunto Ongiti

Abstract
This paper examined successful models associated with the increased participation of women in doctoral level mathematical sciences. The study applied professional socialization theory to analyze departmental policies and practices and their impact on the professional socialization of women in doctoral level mathematics. Through qualitative intrinsic case studies, existing1 and primary data2 were obtained by interviewing faculty and female graduate students from two university mathematics departments, in the U.S. Data were obtained from 61and 25 participants, respectively. The results revealed that departmental leaders and faculty members: reached out for female students in the mathematics pipeline and took them through anticipatory and organizational socialization processes; applied a holistic approach in recruiting and admitting women; restructured the existing policies; facilitated female students’ participation in the community of practice and encouraged positive interactions with faculty and peers. In sum, provision of a supportive environment to all graduate students enhanced participation of women in mathematics.

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