The Broader Engagement (BE) Program

The Broader Engagement (BE) Program was created in 2007 for the Supercomputing (SC) Conference Series as a way to engage people consistently underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Dr. Leung was inspired to expand the BE program to new conferences. Leung’s mission for expanding the BE program was to not only support more individuals from diverse backgrounds, but to also catalyze the creation of a more inclusive and diverse scientific society. In 2015, Leung brought the BE Program to the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Conference on Computational Science and Engineering SIAM CSE15, and again to SIAM CSE17, SIAM CSE19, and SIAM CSE21. The program has been such a success that in 2021, SIAM asked SHI to expand the BE program to other SIAM conferences. 

Since 2015, we have welcomed over 300 participants to the program. 

During the week-long conference, BE participants attend a rich scientific program that includes numerous interdisciplinary technical sessions, plenaries, and discussions that help advance their knowledge and skill sets. The BE program also helps participants develop a sense of engagement and belonging in the community through psychosocial support, such as a program orientation, mentoring, small learning groups known as “Guided Affinity Groups,” and motivational workshops/activities.

Each morning before a conference, our Guided Affinity Groups (in which women and minorities are the majority) meet with a leader to discuss technical topics, and the leader equips them with knowledge and tools to attend conference events. (Find more information and results from the BE programs at CSE15, CSE17, CSE19, and CSE21.)

We provide travel grants to attend professional society conferences, offer students access to the full technical program, provide opportunities for students to present research, and offer practice and coaching.

 If you are interested in bringing Broader Engagement to your conference, please email us at BE@shinstitute.org.

Consider donating to the BE program. Your gift of even $100 will facilitate a student from an underrepresented community to attend critical scientific conferences and participate in the Broader Engagement program at these conferences. 

 

“The BE program helped me garner resources not just for myself, but also for my peers at Santa Barbara Community College. I was so inspired and enthused by all of the research, opportunities and the feeling of community, that when I got back, I started a student chapter of SIAM at Santa Barbara City College. Currently, we have over 100 members who are interested in Applied Math and are exploring that as an option now because they joined this student chapter.”

Pulkita Jain, Santa Barbara Community College Student

“I consider the Broader Engagement program experience to have been absolutely the most valuable and empowering conference experience I have had to date as a student. I learned a great deal about research opportunities and employment opportunities available in CSE broadly. This information has been key in forming my projected career plans after graduate school. It’s an understatement to say that the BE program has vastly broadened my horizons and my potential career paths.” 

Kevin Luna, University of Arizona, Doctoral Student

“The BE program wasn’t just a community and a scientific family I became a part of, it helped me to really understand things I didn’t even know I wanted before. It’s helped to define a lot of my goals going into my fifth and final year of school.”

Minsoo Thigpen, Brown University