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Special Panel Session on Science Policy

Wednesday, August 5, 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM, Marriott Wardman Park, Salon 2/3

Science and policy interact in many ways. Mathematical scientists – including mathematicians, applied mathematicians, statisticians, computer scientists, and mathematical sciences educators – can contribute to initiatives to advance national priorities that are in the best interests of all citizens. A key aspect of this interaction centers on education in the mathematical sciences, currently in the national spotlight due to the role it plays in economic mobility as well as its prominence in recent reports such as "Engage to Excel: Producing One Million Additional College Graduates with Degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics" (President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, 2012) and "The Mathematical Sciences in 2025" (National Research Council, 2013).

This panel will focus on the role that mathematicians and mathematics educators can play in addressing national priorities such as increasing college completion rates and improving the STEM skills of all graduates. Panelists will also discuss concrete ways to get involved in policy matters at the local, state, and national levels.

Linda Braddy, MAA
Karen Saxe, Macalester College


Dr. James Gates, University System of Maryland Regents Professor and PCAST member

Sylvester James “Jim” Gates, Jr. is a physicist, and holds two B.S. degrees and a Ph.D. degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Gates is currently a University System Regents Professor, the John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Director of the String and Particle Theory Center, Affiliate Professor of Mathematics, and serves on President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and on the Maryland State Board of Education.

Gates has been featured extensively on many NOVA PBS programs on physics, notably “The Elegant Universe” in 2003, and ‘‘The Fabric of the Cosmos’’ in 2011. In 2006, he completed a DVD series titled "Superstring Theory: The DNA of Reality" for The Teaching Company, composed of 24 half-hour lectures to make the complexities of unification theory comprehensible to non-physicists. He is past president of the National Society of Black Physicists, and is a NSBP Fellow, as well as a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Institute of Physics in the U.K. He also is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. In 2013, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, becoming the first African-American physicist so recognized in its 150-year history.

In 2013, Prof. Gates was awarded the Mendel Medal by Villanova University “in recognition of his influential work in supersymmetry, supergravity and string theory, as well as his advocacy for science and science education in the United States and abroad.” President Obama awarded Prof. Gates the Medal of Science, the highest award given to scientists in the U.S., at a White House ceremony in 2013.

Dr. Rush Holt, Chief Executive Officer, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Executive Publisher, Science Family of Journals

Holt is a graduate of Carleton College, and holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from New York University. Over his long career, Dr. Holt has held positions as a teacher, scientist, administrator, and policymaker. From 1980 to 1988, Holt served on the faculty of Swarthmore College, where he taught courses in physics and public policy. From 1987 to 1998, Holt was assistant director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory at Princeton University. Before coming to AAAS, Holt served for 16 years as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District. In Congress, Holt served as a senior member of the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Education and the Workforce. On Capitol Hill, Holt established a long track record of advocacy for federal investment in research and development, science education, and innovation. He served on the National Commission on the Teaching of Mathematics and Science (the Glenn Commission), founded the Congressional Research and Development Caucus, and served as a co-chair of the Biomedical Research Caucus.

In 1982, he took leave from Swarthmore to serve as an AAAS/American Physical Society Science and Technology Policy Fellow on Capitol Hill. Holt has said that his AAAS S&T Policy Fellowship was “life changing,” and served as a springboard to his role in Congress. He also served as an arms control expert at the U.S. State Department, where he monitored the nuclear programs of countries such as Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and the former Soviet Union.

David Manderscheid, Executive Dean and Vice Provost, College of Arts and Sciences, Ohio State University

Manderscheid received a B.S. in mathematics from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale University. His research is in representation theory with applications to number theory. He has won numerous teaching awards and received support from the National Science Foundation, the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Education.

Dean Manderscheid is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Mathematical Society. He chairs the American Mathematical Society Committee on Academic Freedom, Employment Security, and Tenure and the Mathematical Association of America Committee on Science Policy. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences and the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics Committee on Diversity.

Committee on Science Policy