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ADJOINT 2021 Workshop

The African Diaspora Joint Mathematics Workshop (ADJOINT) is a yearlong program that provides opportunities for U.S. mathematicians – especially those from the African Diaspora – to form collaborations with distinguished African-American research leaders on topics at the forefront of mathematical and statistical research.

Beginning with an intensive two-week summer session at MSRI, participants work in small groups under the guidance of some of the nation’s foremost mathematicians and statisticians to expand their research portfolios into new areas. Throughout the following academic year, the program provides conference and travel support to increase opportunities for collaboration, maximize researcher visibility, and engender a sense of community among participants.

ADJOINT enriches the mathematical and statistical sciences as a whole by providing a platform for African-American mathematicians to advance their research and careers and deepen their engagement with the broader research community.

The 2021 program took place June 21 - July 2, 2021 at satellite sites around the U.S. due to ongoing pandemic travel restrictions.

About the Program

Each summer, three to five research leaders will each propose a research topic to be studied during a two-week workshop.

During the workshop, each participant will:

  • conduct research at MSRI within a group of four to five mathematical and statistical scientists under the direction of one of the research leaders
  • participate in professional enhancement activities provided by the onsite ADJOINT Director
  • receive funding for two weeks of lodging, meals and incidentals, and one round-trip travel to Berkeley, CA

After the two-week workshop, each participant will:

  • have the opportunity to further their research project with the team members including the research leader
  • have access to funding to attend conference(s) or to meet with other team members to pursue the research project, or to present results
  • become part of a network of research and career mentors.

The 2021 ADJOINT Program Director is Dr. Jacqueline Hughes-Oliver, North Carolina State University.


Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, possess a Ph.D. in the mathematical or statistical sciences, and be employed at a U.S. institution.

Selection Process

The guiding principle in selecting participants and establishing the groups is the creation of diverse teams whose members come from a variety of institutional types and career stages. The degree of potential positive impact on the careers of African-Americans in the mathematical and statistical sciences will be an important factor in the final decisions.

ADJOINT 2021 Application Process and Deadline

The ADJOINT 2021 workshop takes place at MSRI in Berkeley, California from June 21 - July 2, 2021. The research leaders and research topics can be found below.

Applications for ADJOINT 2021 were submitted via MathPrograms. Applications which were submitted by February 1, 2021 received full consideration.

2021 application guidelines:

  • a cover letter specifying which of the offered research projects you wish to be part of; if more than one please indicate your priorities
  • a CV
  • a personal statement, no longer than one page, addressing how your participation will contribute to the goals of the program (e.g., why you are a good candidate for this workshop and what you hope to gain)
  • a research statement, no longer than two pages, describing your current research interests, and relevant past research activities, and how they relate to the project(s) of greatest interest to you (e.g., what motivates your current interests and what is your relevant research background)

Due to funding restrictions, only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply.

For more information, please contact Christine Marshall, MSRI's Program Manager at coord@msri.org.

2021 Research Leaders and Topics

Danny Krashen (Rutgers University)
"Adventures in Constructive Galois Theory"

Understanding Galois extensions of fields is a central problem in algebra, with a number of open questions, accessible at a number of levels. At the core, Galois theory is an attempt to understand the arithmetic of fields, by studying the types of equations one can set up over a given field, and the structure and symmetries of their sets of solutions. (Click for full description)

Nathan Broaddus (Ohio State University)
"Steinberg Modules of Braid Groups"

Many important groups of interest in topology are duality groups. As such they have an associated group cohomological object which we call the “Steinberg Module” of the group. We will begin with an introduction to the braid group and discuss a number of elementary descriptions of its Steinberg Module. Our first research goal will be to unify as many of these disparate descriptions as possible. (Click for full description)

Emma K. T. Benn (Mount Sinai University)
"Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Health: Applying a More Nuanced Inferential Framework"

Reducing and eliminating health disparities is of utmost concern for many public health and biomedical researchers and has been a stated goal for Healthy People 2000, 2010, and 2020. However, when it comes to racial disparities in health, researchers have done well at describing differences, but have often struggled to identify mutable targets for intervention. This problem exists for a host of reasons, including the complex contextual factors surrounding racial disparities, however, this may also stem from the way in which we operationalize race in research. For the proposed project, we will first explore the operationalization of race as a “cause” when examining racial disparities in health based on multidisciplinary discourse around this topic from statisticians informed by the potential outcomes framework, epidemiologists, clinical investigators, and others. (Click for full description)

Julie Ivy (North Carolina State University)
"Using Decision Modeling to Personalize Policy in Complex Human-Centered Problems"

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of sequential decision making under conditions of uncertainty, learning as the future evolves, and effectively using data to inform decision making. The pandemic further highlights the significant role that mathematical modeling can and should play in addressing complex human-centered problems. This research project will consider these types of problems from a systems modeling perspective. The focus of this project will be decision making under conditions of uncertainty with the goal of modeling complex interactions and quantitatively capturing the impact of different factors, objectives, system dynamics, intervention options and policies on outcomes with the goal of improving decision quality. (Click for full description)

ADJOINT Program Directors

  • Dr. Edray Goins, Pomona College
  • Dr. Caleb Ashley, University of Michigan
  • Dr. Naiomi Cameron, Spelman College (2020 site Director)
  • Dr. Jacqueline Hughes-Oliver, North Carolina State University (2021 site director)
  • Dr. Anisah Nu’Man, Spelman College

Previous Years

MSRI has been supported from its origins by the National Science Foundation, now joined by the National Security Agency, over 100 Academic Sponsor departments, by a range of private foundations, and by generous and farsighted individuals. ADJOINT 2021 receives additional support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.