is documented above. Beyond this, one or more egregious incidents can tip the balance for an individual. This is an important issue for the mathematical sciences to address.
Recommendation 5-4: Every academic department in the mathematical sciences should explicitly incorporate recruitment and retention of women and underrepresented groups into the responsibilities of the faculty members in charge of the undergraduate program, graduate program, and faculty hiring and promotion. Resources need to be provided to enable departments to monitor and adapt successful recruiting and mentoring programs that have been pioneered at many schools and to find and correct any disincentives that may exist in the department.
Appendix E lists some of the organizations and programs that are committed to improving participation by women and minorities in the mathematical sciences at all levels of education.
The extent to which size of the pipeline of students preparing for mathematical science-based careers can be enlarged is fundamentally limited by the quality of K-12 mathematics and statistics education. The nation’s well-being is dependent on a strong flow of talented students into careers in STEM fields, but college students cannot even contemplate those careers unless they have strong K-12 preparation in the mathematical sciences. Absent such preparation, most are unlikely to be interested. Those statements are even more apt with respect to young people who could become mathematical scientists per se. The K-12 pipeline is an Achilles heel for U.S. innovation. Fortunately, a lot of innovation is taking place in K-12 mathematics and statistics education, and the mathematical sciences community has a role to play in strengthening and implementing the best of these efforts. This section gives a brief overview of the issues and pointers to the relevant literature. It is beyond the mandate of the current study to recommend actions in response to this general national challenge.
There are a large number of K-12 schools, both public and private, that perform at a high level year after year across the United States. Annual rankings of the best U.S. high schools document the top few on the basis of student performance parameters and other criteria.23 Most states employ
23 For example, US News and World Report, America’s Best High Schools, November 29, 2007; Newsweek, Best High Schools in the U.S., June 19, 2011; Bloomberg Business Week, America’s Best High Schools 2009, January 15, 2009.