Organizing Committee

The transition to independent learning and research is a crucial and often jarring point in every graduate student's career. This transition is even more difficult for students from marginalized groups, who often have smaller support systems and may face an actively unsupportive environment at their institution. The goal of this workshop is to support, mentor, and guide students at this crucial stage in their career.

During the workshop, mentors will guide the student participants through the (often very daunting!) experience of trying to read a paper without being an expert in the area. The participants will be broken into small working groups, each focused on a recent paper in their area of interest. Each group will be assisted throughout the week by mentors, both early career mathematicians (late stage graduate students or postdocs) and faculty members. The topics covered in this workshop will be Number Theory, Combinatorics, Commutative Algebra, and Geometry/Topology.

The professional development component of the Roots of Unity Workshop will focus on practical tools for navigating a research career, while building community and increasing access to professionals or near-peers. These will include in-person panels and activities during the workshop and follow-up (virtual) activities throughout the year to continue nurturing the community and connections.

The program is tailored to support women of color, and our strategies reflect this priority. However, if you are a graduate student in your first three years of study and believe that this workshop will benefit you, please apply. We especially encourage applications from students of color who are women, nonbinary, and/or gender fluid.

Image for "Roots of Unity"

Confirmed Speakers & Participants

Talks will be presented virtually or in-person as indicated in the schedule below.

  • Speaker
  • Poster Presenter
  • Attendee
  • Virtual Attendee
  • Christine Berkesch
    University of Minnesota
  • Naiomi Cameron
    Spelman College
  • Haydee Lindo
    Harvey Mudd College
  • Michelle Manes
    American Institute of Mathematics
  • Priyam Patel
    University of Utah
  • Chandrika Sadanand
    Bowdoin College
  • Noelle Sawyer
    Southwestern University
  • Bianca Thompson
    Westminster College
  • Bianca Viray
    University of Washington
  • Shanise Walker
    Clark Atlanta University
  • Ashley Wheeler
    Centre College

Application Information

ICERM welcomes applications from faculty, postdocs, graduate students, industry scientists, and other researchers who wish to participate. Some funding may be available for travel and lodging. Graduate students who apply must have their advisor submit a statement of support in order to be considered.

In the area for the personal statement, please describe your interest in attending the Roots of Unity workshop. We are interested in understanding how your identities have impacted your mathematical journey, as well as your areas of interest and approximate timeline for choosing an advisor. To the extent that you feel comfortable sharing, please describe your journey, possibly including: your experiences collaborating with, supporting, and being supported by your peers, particularly those from groups marginalized in mathematics, and any obstacles that you have faced. Please also provide a list of the graduate courses you have taken in topics related to the workshop.

Application Deadline Extended: March 13, 2024

Applicants will receive the link to submit an advisor recommendation upon completing the online application.

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.
ICERM's special rate will soon be made available via this page for our preferred hotel, the Hampton Inn & Suites Providence Downtown. ICERM also regularly works with the Graduate Hotel and Hilton Garden Inn who both have discounted rates available. Contact before booking anything.
The only way ICERM participants should book a room is through the hotel reservation links located on this page or through links emailed to them from an ICERM email address ( ICERM never works with any conference booking vendors and never collects credit card information.
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.
To request special services, accommodations, or assistance for this event, please contact as far in advance of the event as possible. Thank you.
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. Brown University's "Code of Conduct", "Discrimination and Workplace Harassment Policy", "Sexual and Gender-based Misconduct Policy", and "Title IX Policy" apply to all ICERM participants and staff. Participants with concerns or requests for assistance on a discrimination or harassment issue should contact the ICERM Director or Assistant Directors Kathryn Boots or Jenna Sousa; they are the responsible employees at ICERM under this policy.
Fundamental Research
ICERM research programs aim to promote Fundamental Research and mathematical sciences education. If you are engaged in sensitive or proprietary work, please be aware that ICERM programs often have participants from countries and entities subject to United States export control restrictions. Any discoveries of economically significant intellectual property supported by ICERM funding should be disclosed.
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.

Eligible to be reimbursed
B-1 or Visa Waiver Business (WB)
Ineligible to be reimbursed
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.

ICERM does not reimburse visa fees. This chart is to inform visitors whether the visa they enter the US on allows them to receive reimbursement for the items outlined in their invitation letter.

Financial Support

This section is for general purposes only and does not indicate that all attendees receive funding. Please refer to your personalized invitation to review your offer.

As this program is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), ICERM is required to collect your ORCID iD if you are receiving funding to attend this program. Be sure to add your ORCID iD to your Cube profile as soon as possible to avoid delaying your reimbursement.
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
  • Flights on U.K. 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.)
Travel Maximum Contributions
  • New England: $350
  • Other contiguous US: $850
  • Asia & Oceania: $2,000
  • All other locations: $1,500
  • Note these rates were updated in Spring 2023 and superseded any prior invitation rates. Any invitations without travel support will still not receive travel support.
Reimbursement Requests

Request Reimbursement with Cube

Refer to the back of your ID badge for more information. Checklists are available at the front desk and in the Reimbursement section of Cube.

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.


Number Theory

Renee Bell (Lehman College), Bianca Thompson (Westminster College)

More info to come


Noelle Sawyer (Southwestern University), Chandrika Sadanand (Bowdoin College)

More info to come

Commutative Algebra

Haydee Lindo (Harvey Mudd College), Ashley Wheeler (Centre College)

More info to come


Naiomi Cameron (Spelman College), Shanise Walker (Clark Atlanta University)

More info to come