Organizing Committee

The NSF Mathematical Sciences Institutes Diversity Committee hosts the 2018 Blackwell-Tapia Conference and Awards Ceremony. This is the ninth conference since 2000, held every other year, with the location rotating among NSF Mathematics Institutes. The conference and prize honors David Blackwell, the first African-American member of the National Academy of Science, and Richard Tapia, winner of the National Medal of Science in 2010, two seminal figures who inspired a generation of African-American, Native American and Latino/Latina students to pursue careers in mathematics.

The Blackwell-Tapia Prize recognizes a mathematician who has contributed significantly to research in his or her area of expertise, and who has served as a role model for mathematical scientists and students from underrepresented minority groups, or has contributed in other significant ways to addressing the problem of underrepresentation of minorities in math.

The 2018 recipient of the Blackwell-Tapia Prize is Dr. Ronald E. Mickens, the Distinguished Fuller E. Callaway Professor in the Department of Physics at Clark Atlanta University.

The conference will include scientific talks, poster presentations, panel discussions, ample opportunities for networking, and the awarding of the Blackwell-Tapia Prize. Participants are invited from all career stages and will represent institutions of all sizes across the country, including Puerto Rico.

Goals of the conference are to:

  • Recognize and showcase mathematical excellence by minority researchers
  • Recognize and disseminate successful efforts to address under-representation
  • Inform students and mathematicians about career opportunities in mathematics, especially outside academia
  • Provide networking opportunities for mathematical researchers at all points in the higher education/career trajectory

David H. Blackwell & Richard Tapia

Brought to you by the Mathematical Sciences Institutes Diversity Initiative with funding from the National Science Foundation (DMS-1440140). Additional funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (G02018011014), Brown University's Department of Mathematics, and Cornell University's Department of Statistical Science.

Registration Information

Registration for this program is done through ICERM's application system Cube. To register, please sign in to your Cube profile (or create one if you do not yet have one) and fill out the Application form.

There is funding available for travel and lodging, which can be requested via the Cube application. First priority funding will be given to applications received by August 31, 2018.

If you are not requesting any funding, filling out the application form completes your registration for this program.

Bonus Events

For those arriving in Providence on Thursday, November 8, 2018, please join us for a very special ICERM Public Lecture, "Mathematics: Rhyme and Reason" at 5:30pm, featuring Mel Currie, National Security Agency (retired). Reserve your seat today!

And for the truly early birds: on the same day at ICERM (November 8), the institute is hosting a talk by the first Blackwell-Tapia Prize recipient, Dr. Arlie Petters (Duke University), who will present "Cosmic Shadows, Other Worlds, and a Fifth Dimension" at 4:00pm as part of Brown University's "Thinking Out Loud" lecture series. Register today.

Light refreshments will be served at both events.

Confirmed Speakers & Participants

  • Asma Azizi Boroojeni
    Arizona State University
  • Iman Bahmani Jafarloo
    Politecnico di Torino
  • Alexander Barrios
    Carleton College
  • Ghanshyam Bhatt
    Tennessee State University
  • Sean Brooks
    Coppin State University
  • Maila Brucal Hallare
    Norfolk State University
  • Ron Buckmire
    Occidental College
  • Naiomi Cameron
    Lewis & Clark College
  • Carlos Castillo-Chavez
    Arizona State University
  • Lincoln Chandler
    Chandler Decision Services
  • Duane Cooper
    Morehouse College
  • Maria Angelica Cueto
    Ohio State University
  • Melvin Currie
    National Security Agency
  • Dennis Dean
    Seven Bridges
  • Papri Dey
    IIT Bombay
  • Alexander Diaz-Lopez
    Villanova Universiry
  • WIlliam Dula
    Clark Atlanta University
  • Carrie Eaton
    Bates College
  • Kossi Edoh
    NC A&T State University
  • David Eisenbud
    Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and University of California, Berkeley
  • Raechelle Emmanuel
    Cornell University
  • Baltazar Espinoza Cortes
    Arizona State University
  • Maurice Fabien
    Rice University
  • Arturo Fernandez
    UC Berkeley
  • ligia flores
    Sam Houston State University
  • Gabriela Florido
    California Polytechnic State University, Pomona
  • Colin Ford
    Purdue University
  • Luis David Garcia Puente
    Sam Houston State University
  • Edray Goins
    Purdue University
  • Helen Grundman
    American Mathematical Society
  • Abba Gumel
    Arizona State University
  • Robert Hampshire
    University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute
  • Brendan Hassett
    ICERM/Brown University
  • Leslie Hogben
    American Institute of Mathematics (AIM) & Iowa State U
  • Johnny Houston
  • Evelyne Hubert
  • Jacqueline Hughes-Oliver
    North Carolina State University
  • Trachette Jackson
    University of Michigan
  • Monica Jackson
    American University
  • Marvin Jones
    Indiana University
  • Julienne Kabre
    U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology
  • Donald King
    Northeastern University
  • Liang Kong
    University of Illinois at Springfield
  • Jayla Langford
    Purdue University Undergraduate Student
  • Oscar Leong
    Rice University
  • Torina Lewis
    Clark Atlanta University
  • Jaime Lopez
    Tulane University
  • Jean Lubuma
    University of Pretoria
  • Leonardo Marazzi
    Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Christine Marshall
  • Maria Martinez
  • William Massey
    Princeton University
  • Reginald McGee
    College of the Holy Cross
  • Lawrence McGill Jr
    Rhode Island College
  • Robert Megginson
    University of Michigan
  • Ronald Mickens
    Clark Atlanta University
  • Cesar Montalvo
    Arizona State University
  • Victor Moreno
    Arizona State University
  • David Murrugarra
    University of Kentucky
  • Asamoah Nkwanta
    Morgan State University
  • Eze Nwaeze
    Tuskegee University
  • Kamaldeen Okuneye
    School of Mathematical and Statistical Science
  • Peter Olver
    University of Minnesota
  • Rosa Orellana
    Dartmouth College
  • Saulo Orizaga
    The University of Arizona
  • Tomas Pajdla
    Czech Technical University in Prague
  • Jean-Claude Pedjeu
    Tennessee State University
  • Jamol Pender
    Cornell University
  • Arlie Petters
    Duke University
  • Joan Ponce
    Purdue University
  • Madison Ramsey
    Cornell University
  • Nar Rawal
    Hampton University
  • Adriana Salerno
    Bates College
  • Kiara Sanchez
    Sam Houston State University
  • Fatoumata Sanogo
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Rhonda Sharpe
    Women's Institute for Science, Equity and Race
  • Luca Sodomaco
    University of Florence
  • Luis Sordo Vieira
    The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine
  • Kimani Stancil
    U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
  • T Christine Stevens
    American Mathematical Society
  • Richard Tapia
    Rice University
  • Bianca Thompson
    Harvey Mudd College
  • Bourama Toni
    Howard University
  • Wencel Valega
    University of Tennesse Knoxville
  • Anthony Varilly-Alvarado
    Rice University
  • Mariel Vazquez
    UC Davis
  • Marilyn Vazquez
  • Leticia Velazquez
    Rice University
  • Talitha Washington
    Howard University
  • Suzanne Weekes
    Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Nathaniel Whitaker
    University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Dwight Williams II
    The University of Texas at Arlington
  • Robin Wilson
    California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
  • Ulrica Wilson
    Morehouse College
  • Bobby Wilson
    University of Washington
  • Emily Winn
    Brown University
  • Michael Young
    Iowa State University
  • Josephine Yu
    Georgia Institute of Technology

Workshop Schedule

Friday, November 9, 2018
12:30 - 1:00Registration - ICERM 121 South Main Street, Providence RI 0290311th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:10Welcome - ICERM Director11th Floor Lecture Hall 
1:10 - 1:55A Feynman Approach to Dynamic Rate Markov Processes - William Massey, Princeton University Department of Operations Research & Financial Engineering11th Floor Lecture Hall
2:05 - 2:50Nonstandard finite difference models of some differential equations in Life Science - Jean M-S Lubuma, Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa11th Floor Lecture Hall
2:50 - 3:10Coffee/Tea Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
3:10 - 3:55Dynamically-Consistent Finite-difference Discretization for Population Biology Models - Abba Gumel, Arizona State University11th Floor Lecture Hall
4:05 - 4:50Algebra and Origami - Adriana Salerno, Bates College11th Floor Lecture Hall
5:00 - 6:30Welcome Reception / Poster Session11th Floor Collaborative Space 
Saturday, November 10, 2018
8:30 - 9:00Continental Breakfast at ICERM 11th Floor Collaborative Space 
9:00 - 9:45The characters of the symmetric group - Rosa Orellana, Dartmouth College11th Floor Lecture Hall
9:55 - 10:40The geometric disposition of Diophantine equations - Tony Várilly-Alvarado, Rice University11th Floor Lecture Hall
10:40 - 11:10Group Photo and Coffee Tea Break 11th Floor Collaborative Space 
11:10 - 11:55Lines on cubic surfaces in the tropics - M. Angelica Cueto, Ohio State University11th Floor Lecture Hall
12:00 - 1:30Break for Lunch / Free Time  
1:30 - 2:15Counting Arithmetical Structures - Luis David Garcia Puente, Sam Houston State University11th Floor Lecture Hall
2:25 - 3:10Smart Cities - Data and Decision science for parking management - Robert Hampshire, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute11th Floor Lecture Hall
3:10 - 3:30Coffee/Tea Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
3:30 - 4:15The Math of Mickens - Talitha Washington, Howard University11th Floor Lecture Hall
4:25 - 5:10x^2 + y^2 = 1? - Ronald Mickens, Clark Atlanta University11th Floor Lecture Hall
6:00 - 7:00Cocktail HourThe Biltmore Providence 11 Dorrance Street Providence, RI 
7:00 - 9:00BanquetThe Biltmore Providence 11 Dorrance Street Providence, RI 

Your Visit to ICERM

ICERM Facilities
ICERM is located on the 10th & 11th floors of 121 South Main Street in Providence, Rhode Island. ICERM's business hours are 8:30am - 5:00pm during this event. See our facilities page for more info about ICERM and Brown's available facilities.
Traveling to ICERM
ICERM is located at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Providence's T.F. Green Airport (15 minutes south) and Boston's Logan Airport (1 hour north) are the closest airports. Providence is also on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor. In-depth directions and transportation information are available on our travel page.
Hotel reservations will be made at the Providence Biltmore Hotel via a rooming list. Please email your program coordinator for assistance in booking a hotel room for this conference.

Contact before booking anything.
Those traveling with family who are interested in information about childcare and/or schools should contact
Technology Resources
Wireless internet access ("Brown-Guest") and wireless printing is available for all ICERM visitors. Eduroam is available for members of participating institutions. Thin clients in all offices and common areas provide open access to a web browser, SSH terminal, and printing capability. See our Technology Resources page for setup instructions and to learn about all available technology.
Discrimination and Harassment Policy
ICERM is committed to creating a safe, professional, and welcoming environment that benefits from the diversity and experiences of all its participants. The Brown University "Discrimination and Workplace Harassment Policy" applies to all ICERM participants and staff. Participants with concerns or requests for assistance on a discrimination or harassment issue should contact the ICERM Director, who is the responsible employee at ICERM under this policy.
Exploring Providence
Providence's world-renowned culinary scene provides ample options for lunch and dinner. Neighborhoods near campus, including College Hill Historic District, have many local attractions. Check out the map on our Explore Providence page to see what's near ICERM.

Visa Information

Contact for assistance.

B-1 or Visa Waiver Business (WB)
Not Reimbursable
B-2 or Visa Waiver Tourist (WT)
Already in the US?

F-1 and J-1 not sponsored by ICERM: need to obtain a letter approving reimbursement from the International Office of your home institution PRIOR to travel.

H-1B holders do not need letter of approval.

All other visas: alert ICERM staff immediately about your situation.

Financial Support

Acceptable Costs
  • 1 roundtrip between your home institute and ICERM
  • Flights on U.S. or E.U. airlines – economy class to either Providence airport (PVD) or Boston airport (BOS)
  • Ground Transportation to and from airports and ICERM.
Unacceptable Costs
  • Flights on non-U.S. or non-E.U. airlines
  • Seats in economy plus, business class, or first class
  • Change ticket fees of any kind
  • Multi-use bus passes
  • Meals or incidentals
Advance Approval Required
  • Personal car travel to ICERM from outside New England
  • Multiple-destination plane ticket; does not include layovers to reach ICERM
  • Arriving or departing from ICERM more than a day before or day after the program
  • Multiple trips to ICERM
  • Rental car to/from ICERM
  • Flights on a Swiss, Japanese, or Australian airlines
  • Arriving or departing from airport other than PVD/BOS or home institution's local airport
  • 2 one-way plane tickets to create a roundtrip (often purchased from Expedia, Orbitz, etc.)
Reimbursement Request Form

Refer to the back of your ID badge for more information. Checklists are available at the front desk.

Reimbursement Tips
  • Scanned original receipts are required for all expenses
  • Airfare receipt must show full itinerary and payment
  • ICERM does not offer per diem or meal reimbursement
  • Allowable mileage is reimbursed at prevailing IRS Business Rate and trip documented via pdf of Google Maps result
  • Keep all documentation until you receive your reimbursement!
Reimbursement Timing

6 - 8 weeks after all documentation is sent to ICERM. All reimbursement requests are reviewed by numerous central offices at Brown who may request additional documentation.

Reimbursement Deadline

Submissions must be received within 30 days of ICERM departure to avoid applicable taxes. Submissions after thirty days will incur applicable taxes. No submissions are accepted more than six months after the program end.