In this workshop led by Padmanabhan Seshaiyer from George Mason University., the participants will engage in learning about integrating equitable and inclusive pedagogy to enhance their own instructional practices for broadening participation in research, education and outreach. Discussions will also include the impact of unconscious bias which is influenced by cultural stereotypes that affect how individuals evaluate and treat one another. These often continue to impact both universities and workplace environments across the globe. Another important discussion will include the opportunity to engage the next-generation workforce around data-driven pathways, programs and practices as well as nurture them on human-centered approaches to problem solving using design and systems thinking, that will help us to understand the skills and competencies required to close the gap between higher education and workforce development.
Speaker bio: Dr. Padmanabhan Seshaiyer (Padhu) is a Professor of Mathematical Sciences at George Mason University (GMU) where he has served in multiple leadership positions including the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Director of the STEM Accelerator Program and Director of the Center for Outreach in Mathematics Professional Learning and Educational Technology. His research interests are in the broad areas of Computational Mathematics, Data Science, Computational Biomechanics, Computational Thinking, Mathematical Modeling, Design and System Thinking, STEM education and Teacher Professional Development. During the last decade, he has initiated and directed a variety of educational programs including faculty development, post-graduate, graduate and undergraduate research, K-12 outreach, teacher professional development, and enrichment programs to foster the interest of students and teachers in STEM at all levels. He has also served as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation and currently serves as the Chair of the US National Academies Committee for Mathematics Instruction. He is also an appointed member on two different boards reporting to the Governor of Virginia including the STEM Education Advisory Board and the Workforce Development Board. In April 2019, he was selected as one of the “Figures that Matter” for his contributions to Academia and Society and was awarded an honorary doctorate by Vrije Universiteit Brussels. Dr. Seshaiyer also was one of the lead members on a taskforce from Virginia that helped to establish the first-ever high school data science standards, curriculum and course as new post-secondary pathways that is approved by the VA Board of Education.