should expand existing efforts and work with funding entities to create an organizational structure whose goal is to publicize advances in the mathematical sciences.
Finally, the committee notes that the boom-and-bust cycles of the academic job market, especially for new Ph.D.s, result in a substantial loss of talent because they both discourage entry to research in the mathematical sciences and increase the likelihood of exit from it. The impact on core mathematical sciences, where the academic job market is central, is especially severe. Important workforce programs, such as NSF’s former VIGRE program, are often dwarfed by these macroeconomic trends. Stabilizing these swings by expanding the availability of postdoctoral fellowships during downturns in the job market should be an important component of the nation’s overall strategy to strengthen the mathematical sciences workforce and ensure continuity over long time horizons. NSF/DMS did just that during the recession of 2008-2009, and it would be ideal if a mechanism were in place to respond similarly during the next downturn in hiring.
It is because of the importance and centrality of the mathematical sciences, as detailed elsewhere in this report, that these educational issues are as important as they are. As a community, mathematical scientists have been handed an extraordinary opportunity to play a central role in educating researchers and professionals in many of the most exciting career and research areas of the twenty-first century. Taking advantage of this opportunity requires a certain amount of cultural flexibility and the development of educational partnerships with those in other disciplines. The benefits to the country and to the mathematical sciences profession would be enormous.
Appendix C provides additional basic data about employment and Ph.D. production in the mathematical sciences.
Concerns About the Current Demographics
The underrepresentation of women and ethnic minorities in mathematics has been a persistent problem for the field. Fifty years ago, the mathematical sciences community consisted almost exclusively of white males, and that segment of the population remains the dominant one from which the community attracts new members. This implies that talent in other sectors of the population is being underutilized, and as white males become a smaller fraction of the population, it is even more essential that the mathematical sciences attract and retain students from across the totality of the population. While there has been significant progress in the last