While these Caucasian men are undoubtedly figureheads and pioneers in these fields, as evidenced by textbooks and myriad of media coverage, the successes and key contributions of women and people from visible minority groups in shaping the STEM disciplines are notoriously absent. The underrepresentation of women role models is pervasive in STEM, which results in gender bias and stereotypes and can discourage girls from considering careers in STEM starting at young age.
Undergraduate students , with the guidance of Professors Steven Desjardins and Frithjof Lutscher, along with colleagues including Professors Monica Nevins, Anne Broadbent, Elizabeth Maltais and Jemila Seid Hamid, are developing a website as a virtual resource to educate people about the history of mathematics and the importance of underrepresented scientists who have contributed to the discipline. This project collects, analyzes and creates historical or contextual biographical information about mathematicians and their contributions to mathematics from across history and cultures, many of whom have not been fully recognized to date or who merely end up in the footnotes of scientific articles. The website ‘’ aims to improve the representation of mathematicians from groups that are underrepresented in STEM education, workforce and research. This website contains curated resources that can be used to incorporate the many facets of diversity that have been traditionally neglected in educational materials on the history of Western Science. The resource is freely available for professors to include in their courses to bring to light the broad story of mathematics.
‘The History of Mathematics – Let's tell the whole story’ is an ongoing project and new material is continuously added to the website. Profs. Lutscher, Desjardins and colleagues hope that this project will bring to light the ingenious accomplishments of those mathematicians who have been forgotten or were never fully acknowledged.