Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Repeat invitations in ASL conference series

Now that we have some idea of the general trends in the proportions of male and female speakers over time in each of the four ASL conference series, let's look at the question of whether male and female speakers receive repeat invitations at similar rates. I'm going to ask this question two different ways.

Are the proportions of male and female speakers who speak more than once at ASL conferences similar?

The answer to this question appears to be yes for the conference series for which such an analysis is possible. Here are tables of the basic data (please note that all talks mentioned in this post are invited talks):

Annual Meetings Logic Colloquium
Men Women Men Women

1 talk 127 18 213 20
2+ talks 49 6 77 9
Percentage: 2+ talks 27.84% 25% 26.55% 31.03%

Men Women Men Women

1 talk 93 20 63 6
2+ talks 24 2 19 3
Percentage: 2+ talks 20.51% 9.09% 23.17% 33.33%

I used a chi-square test to determine whether women and men speak more than once at these meetings at statistically distinguishable rates.

When I carried out this analysis, I found that the p-value for the Annual Meetings is 0.9611, and the p-value for the Logic Colloquium is 0.7648. There is no reason to reject the hypothesis that multiple invitations are issued to men and women at the same rate!

However, I can't carry out this analysis for the AMS/ASL and APA/ASL meetings. The reason is that in general, a reliable chi-square analysis can't be done unless each category has at least 5 people in it. Only 2 women have given more than one talk since 1995 at an AMS/ASL meeting, and only 3 women have given more than one talk since 1998 at an APA/ASL meeting. In fact, only 9 distinct women have spoken at APA/ASL meetings in this time, so there is no way there could have been at least 5 women in both of these categories. It doesn't say anything very good about the number of women who are asked to speak at these meetings multiple times if there aren't enough for me to do a chi-square test.

Now let's ask another, related question:

Are the proportions of male and female speakers who speak n times at ASL conferences similar for each n?

In the analysis above, I didn't distinguish between speakers who spoke two, three, four, or five times: I combined all of these into a single "2+" category. Let's see what it looks like when I don't combine these categories:

Annual Meetings Logic Colloquium
Men Women Men Women

1 talk 127 18 213 20
2 talks 38 6 48 7
3 talks 10 0 25 2
4 talks 0 0 3 0
5 talks 1 0 1 0

Men Women Men Women

1 talk 93 20 63 6
2 talks 22 2 12 3
3 talks 2 0 5 0
4 talks 0 0 2 0

As you can see, I cannot analyze this data statistically for any conference: there simply aren't enough people in most of the categories. I'll just note that while 49 men have given more than two talks in any of these series, only 2 women have: 3.92% of the people who have given more than two talks in a single ASL conference series in the time frames I considered were women.

Summary: In the conference series in which enough women have given multiple talks to analyze, there is no statistically significant difference in the rates at which women and men are asked to give more than one talk. However, this analysis is only possible in two of the four series. Furthermore, when we consider not only whether male and female speakers give more than one talk but also how many invitations they receive, no series can be analyzed statistically, but women seem to be underrepresented among speakers who are invited more than twice.

It's worth noting that if I considered invited talks in all of these ASL conference series together, my findings might be different. I might look at this someday: at this point, the data in this spreadsheet is not consistently formatted, and that makes this particular analysis very difficult.

Next up: The ASL adopted its statement on women in logic at the Annual Meeting in 2012. Let's see if that seems to have had any effect on the proportion of female speakers at ASL meetings since then.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Marta Bunge short post on the international Category Theory meeting

I have asked several people to help with data and impressions on the gender inequality in Logic. I reckon that if we all do a little we can end up with lots of valuable information: on numbers, on ways of changing the status quo, on tips and tricks to survive and improve our environment.

Marta Bunge wrote

In response to a previous suggestion of yours, Valeria De Paiva, I have been perusing the proportion of women among the invited speakers in the International Category Theory Conferences (CT) since the year 2000, and came up with the following figures (Women/Total): CT 2000 (0/5), CT 2006 (1/5), CT 2007 (0/8), CT 2008 (1/7), CT 2009 (0/5), CT 2010 (1/6), CT 2011 (1/6), CT 2013 (2/6), CT 2014 (2/6), CT 2015 (3/6), CT 2016 (2/6), CT 2017 (0/6). In order to know whether this an adequate proportion of women invited speakers one would need the additional information of the total number of category theorists who deserve to be so invited and of how many among those are women. Before the year 2000 there was no invited speakers list at the International CT meetings, but some speakers were given an hour as opposed to half an hour. I have not done a search for these, as the data for most of them are no longer available. There is recently an article in the journal Nature about the presence of women in science and on how to improve what seems to be an unfair situation, which I believe. I hope that someone more qualified than I can do this since I believe it is important for our field. Without a shadow of a doubt I consider Andree C. Ehresmann as someone who has done a lot for our field - not just by continuing the work of Charles Ehresmann by publishing his Oeuvres Completes and continuing with the journal Cahiers de Topologie et Geometrie Differentielle (Categoriques), but by encouraging many researchers in our field - both men and women. She certainly deserves mention as a woman and a mathematician. I leave you with that. All the best.

I need to do some more with this information.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Logic Colloquium, 1993-2016

It's time to take a look at the last type of ASL meeting: the Logic Colloquium. Here are the factors I'm considering:
  • Time span: I'm going back to 1993 for the very simple reason that that is the earliest meeting for which I can get a speaker list using Hofstra's level of access to the Bulletin of Symbolic Logic, where the meeting summaries are published.
  • Types of talks: I am considering all plenaries (except for Gödel lectures) and tutorials. I left the tutorials out of my analysis for the Annual Meetings because they haven't been an annual occurrence. They seem to happen each year at Logic Colloquia, so I didn't see a reason to exclude them.
  • Numbers v. proportions: As always, proportions!
And as always, let's start with a basic scatterplot with a regression line:

The equation of the regression line is
proportion = 0.003680(year) - 7.281694,
but once again, the R2 values are really low (0.1223 without adjustment, lower with). However, I got a nice surprise when I looked at the residuals. Usually, the years that are flagged as unusual are the years in which the proportion of female speakers is relatively high. This time, two of the flagged years were 2008 and 2011—the only years since 2006 with no female speakers—while the other was 2014, the only year in which the proportion of female speakers topped 20% (it was 30.8% that year).

Now let's compare the regression line to the LOWESS (locally weighted scatterplot smoothing) plot:

Of all the LOWESS plots I've done for different meetings, this one seems to be closest to linear, suggesting a relatively steady rate of improvement. On the other hand, it's consistently flatter than the others.

Summary: The proportion of female speakers is consistently low here—it's only topped 20% once—but there are far fewer years in which there have been no female speakers at all than in any of the other conference series and, in fact, these meetings have a higher average number of female speakers than any of the others. This may be in part because Logic Colloquium Program Committees have historically tended to invite more speakers than other Program Committees: there were between 13 and 29 invited speakers at each Logic Colloquium I looked at, while there were never more than 13 speakers at any of the other meetings in the years I studied. The more speakers you have, the less likely it is that none of them will be women, but the proportion of speaker who are women still isn't very high.

Next up: I'll look at the number of repeat invitations issued to women and to men in each of these conference series. Are the same women asked over and over again? Are women reinvited less often than men? Let's find out.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

APA/ASL Meetings, 1998-2016

Sorry about the delay, everyone—it took me a while to learn how speakers are chosen for APA/ASL meetings. It's time for an analysis of how the representation of women among speakers at these conferences has changed over time. I'm considering the same factors as before:
  • Time span: My useful data only goes back to 1998, so that's where I'm starting. If people are interested, I can dig up reliable data going back farther. Please note that some of the meetings are listed as happening in a year when they didn't actually occur. Due to scheduling, sometimes there are two APA/ASL meetings in one year and none in the next; in those cases, I listed the second meeting as having occurred the next year. You'll notice that there's no data from 2013; I'll explain that soon.
  • Types of talks: I am considering every talk at an APA/ASL meeting except (1) the contributed talks and (2) the talks on education. This is a departure from my norm: for the Annual Meetings and the AMS/ASL meetings, I considered only plenaries. So why am I making this change?

    My goal has always been to consider the program committees' speaker selection. At the Annual Meetings and the AMS/ASL meetings, the program committee only selects the plenary speakers; while there have been some tutorials, I've chosen to look at the types of talks that occur regularly. At the APA/ASL meetings, the program committee is responsible for choosing the speakers for not only plenary talks but special sessions. The only exceptions are the sessions on education: the speakers for those are apparently chosen by one person and then approved by the committee, so I've left them out. There is no data from 2013 because the only speakers that year were in an education session.

  • Numbers v. proportions: Once again, I'm considering proportions. If I were to point out that that there were three female speakers in each of 2008 and 2009, it would give a very different impression from pointing out that 37.5% of the speakers in 2009 and 23.1% of the speakers in 2008 were women.
Before I even show you a regression plot, I'd like to point out one thing about the 18 meetings I considered:
  • Number with 0 women: 11
  • Number with 1-3 women: 7
This is the only set of meetings I've looked at so far where it's more usual to have a meeting with no invited female speakers than a meeting with any. Now here's the customary linear regression:
The equation of the regression line is
proportion = 0.007065(year) - 14.090829,
but, once again, don't read too much into this. The R2 values are too low to suggest that this model is a plausible one (0.08987 without adjustment, lower with). When I looked at the residuals, the years 2003, 2008, and 2009 were all flagged. Those were the only years between 1998 and 2010 in which any women at all spoke.

Looking at a LOWESS (locally weighted scatterplot smoothing) plot helps us understand the trends in this data more easily. The high proportion of women in 2003 is treated as a clear anomaly when considered in the context of the years surrounding it in which there was no female representation at all, and the proportion of women begins to rise slowly in about 2008.

Summary: This is the most consistently low representation of women I've seen in any ASL meeting series so far. The percentage of female speakers hasn't gone over 17% since 2009, and there have been no female speakers at 11 of the 18 meetings considered. While this does seem to be improving, that improvement is generally limited to having one female speaker each year (there hasn't been more than one at a meeting since 2009).

Next up: Logic Colloquium!

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Gender Pay Gap that...

wasn't? ....

 Look at this Freakonomics piece

I used to think Freaknomics was a good program. Now I don't think so, anymore.
I disagree with this podcast very much, but it's worth reading.

It's hard to get the numbers that show how much choosing 'temporal flexibility' is not a choice, really.

For a very different take, check 
The American Association of University Women (AAUW)'s presentation:

The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap

 A "nice" quote from the AAUW presentation:

"While the pay gap has steadily narrowed over time, it is nowhere near being eliminated, and in recent years progress has actually stalled. In the 10 years between 2004 and 2014, the earnings ratio has barely budged, changing from 78 percent in 2013 to 79 percent in 2014—a change that is not significantly different."

More about whether it's a myth or not here
No, The Gender Pay Gap Isn't A Myth -- And Here's Why | Huffington Post .

So according to the number of occurrences in Google search page, the gender gap is a myth. I don't buy it. Do you?

Monday, September 26, 2016

AMS/ASL Meetings, 1995-2016

Today I'm going to try to answer the same question for the AMS/ASL meetings that I answered on Saturday for the Annual Meetings: how has the representation of women among speakers changed over time? I'm considering the same factors:
  • Time span: The AMS/ASL meeting has only been an annual occurrence since 1995, so I'll take that as my starting year.
  • Types of talks: The only talks I know of at AMS/ASL meetings since 1995 are plenaries, so that's easy! Again, I'm including speakers who were invited to give a talk, accepted the invitation, and then couldn't attend since the goal is to study who is invited, not who is invited and not prevented from attending.
  • Numbers v. proportions: Once again, I'm going to argue for studying the proportion rather than the number. The 2 female speakers out of 10 in 2004 and the 2 female speakers out of 6 in 2009 don't demonstrate the same level of representation.
Here's my first stab at a model: a simple linear regression. Take a look at the scatterplot of the proportions of female speakers at a meeting versus the year of the meeting with the regression line added.
Note that I'm representing this one with a graph where the axis for proportions goes from 0 to 1 instead of 0 to 0.5 like I did last time: I want to remind everyone that the proportions never get close to their possible maximum! The equation of the regression line is
proportion = 0.004814(year)-9.501405.
I'm not going to mention any predictions one can make from this equation: the R2 values are dismally low. In fact, the adjusted R2 is negative (-0.002544). When I looked at the residuals, the first two flagged years were 1995 and 1996—the first two years I considered, in which 28.6% of the speakers were women (no other year had a percentage that high until 2007). The other two were 2012 and 2013. 2012 was the year with the highest-ever level of representation (42.9%), and there were no female speakers in 2013. These percentages occurring in consecutive years does not make a good linear model likely!

Looking at a LOWESS (locally weighted scatterplot smoothing) plot helps a lot in making sense of this data: representation was not horrible in the first two years, it tapered off to almost nothing for about a decade, and since then, there have been some better years and some very bad ones.

Summary: I'm not going to comment on the linear regression because that doesn't seem to be a reasonable model at all. Representation of women fell and then stayed extremely low for about a decade before beginning to increase again, but even the improvement since 2007 isn't stable: in six of those years, representation has been at least 28.6%, but it has dipped down to 0% in three rather regularly-spaced years.

Next up: the APA/ASL meetings!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

ASL Annual Meetings, 1989-2016

The question I've been asked most since my first post is whether women have become better represented among ASL speakers over time. I'll try to answer it today for the Annual Meetings. Here are the factors I'm taking into account:
  • Time span: 1989 begins the era in which the Annual Meetings occur independently instead of in conjunction with either the APA or AMS, so I'm starting then.
  • Types of talks: In that time span, the Annual Meetings have had plenaries, tutorials, Gödel lectures, retiring Presidential addresses, symposia, and panels. I'm restricting this analysis to plenaries because those occur every year (unlike tutorials, symposia, and panels) and because there is more than one of them each year (unlike Gödel lectures and retiring Presidential addresses). I'm also leaving off speakers in special sessions for now: I'd like to analyze speakers invited by a "universal" program committee separately from speakers invited by other members of their subfield.

    There are a few instances of speakers who were unable to deliver their talks. Since the goal is to study who is invited, I'm including all speakers who accepted an invitation. 

  • Numbers v. proportions: It makes the most sense to me to consider proportions. In 1994, 2 women and 11 men spoke, and in 2015, 2 women and 5 men spoke. Although the number of female speakers is the same, women were certainly not represented equally well.
My first step was to construct a basic regression. Here's a scatterplot of the proportions of female speakers at a meeting versus the year of the meeting complete with regression line.
The equation of the regression line is
proportion = .009357(year) - 18.617671.
This predicts that -0.7% of the speakers in 1989 and that 24.6% in 2016 were female: low on both counts, but the model isn't an obvious bad fit for the data. So how good is it?

The R2 isn't too shabby but isn't great either: it's about 0.40. When I examined the residuals, they mostly supported a linear regression, but a few years were flagged as unusual: 2016, the only year in which we've had parity, 2009, the year with the second-highest proportion (33.33%), and 1999, the only year before 2009 in which the percentage of female speakers went over 20% (25%). In short, the unusual years are the years with a relatively high proportion of female speakers.

My next step was to apply a locally weighted scatterplot smoothing (LOWESS). Here's the result:

It seems like there are two different eras: 1989–1998, when the percentage of female speakers was often 0 and below 20% even when it was positive, and 1999–2016, when the percentage of female speakers was generally at least 10% and ranged up to 50%. I have no idea what brought about the change—Richard Zach informs me that the ASL statement on women in logic wasn't adopted until 2012.

Summary: The basic linear regression tells us that the proportion of female speakers is increasing by just under 1% each year. The LOWESS model suggests it's increasing faster than that now, but the trouble with LOWESS is that it lets you see trends more clearly but doesn't let you quantify them easily. It looks to me like there are a few very good years with relatively high proportions of women improving the predictions while the rest have much lower proportions (and very consistent lower proportions, too—look at those flat sections in the scatterplot!).

Next up: the AMS/ASL meetings! Let me know what other analyses you'd like to see.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Gender ratios of speakers at ASL meetings

Hello, everyone! I'm Johanna Franklin, an assistant professor in the math department at Hofstra UniversityThank you, Valeria, for inviting me to write a guest post.

I've put together a fairly complete spreadsheet of people who have been invited to speak at three of the four varieties of ASL meetings: the Annual Meetings, the AMS/ASL meetings, and the APA/ASL meetings. This spreadsheet contains the name, sex, and role of every invited speaker for

  • the Annual Meetings back to 1989 and
  • the AMS/ASL meetings back to 1988 with the exceptions of 1989, 1991, 1992, and 1994.

It's difficult to tell what data I'm missing for the APA/ASL meetings, since the timing of these meetings has historically not been as consistent: it seems like there were both winter and spring meetings in some years but not others, and I don't know which years were which. 

My next post will be a more detailed analysis of the data I have, but here are some basic statistics for the plenaries given at the Annual Meetings and AMS/ASL meetings.

Annual Meetings

  • Out of 268 plenaries in 28 years, 238 (89%) were given by men and 30 (11%) by women.
  • The smallest number of male speakers was 3 (in 2016, the only time the ratio has ever been 1:1); the largest was 13 (in 1997, when there were no plenaries by women).
  • The smallest number of female speakers was 0 (in 9 different years and as recently as 2003); the largest was 3 (which has happened twice: 2016 and 2009).
So the highest number of plenaries given by women in a year matches the lowest number given by men.

AMS/ASL meetings

  • Out of 180 plenaries in 25 years, 155 (86%) were given by men and 25 (14%) by women.
  • The smallest number of male speakers was 3 (in 1990, when there were only 3 plenaries!); the largest was 12 (in 2000, when there were no plenaries by women).
  • The smallest number of female speakers was 0 (in 11 different years and as recently as 2013); the largest was 3 (which has happened once: in 2012, when the most even male:female ratio was achieved).

Once again, the highest number of plenaries given by women in a year matches the lowest number given by men.

Please help me fill in the missing information and let me know what kind of statistical analysis you'd like to see!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Some successes?...

I was hoping to transfer the best posts from the Facebook group to here, as a way of keeping them accessible.

However, life is very busy right now (and when is it not very busy, you may ask...) so I will try to at least summarize some of the stuff that we (the facebook group women in logic) did so far.

The group was created in July, 8th 2015.  The description reads   "A group for women in Logic, philosophical, mathematical or computational. or any other kind of formal logic that you care about."

 One of main information sources is the American Association of University Women (AAUW), especially the factsheet `Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing' they have at It's from there that this interesting graph comes. No, I do not have any sensible explanation for why Computing and Mathematics behave so differently from the other STEM occupations and why such a sharp fall from 1984. And I do not like the explanation Planet Money gave in their `When Women Stopped Coding' podcast.

 But this post is supposed to be about successes. I can remember two: the program committee for the journal 
"IfCoLog Journal of Logics and their Applications" now has 25% of women in the editorial board,  acting on Sara L. Uckelman's observation that it was  only 2 into 33. Not ideal, but much better.  We also complained about the BLC (British Logic Colloquium) lack of women in the program committee for 2015 and have changed it at least for one year, 2016. 

We also  had a good situation with WOLLIC 2015 (Four women, four men as invited speakers; ten women, ten men in the program committee and a very nice program). However, for  2016  the invited speakers situation was very good (4 female and 3 male), but the PC composition not so good: 5 women in 19 people. Keep people thinking about these numbers is important and difficult. Mostly it's not that people don't want women in PCs, they simply don't think of them. Implicit bias for every one, male and female.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Impromptu LiCS 2016

Yesterday Shankar asked me to say a few words about the history of LiCS (Logic in computer Science), which is completing 30 years now. (wow, the vastness of my old age still surprises me, when I'm not looking...)

Since he mentioned it after 3pm, and since the said few words were supposed to be pronounced at 5pm, I improvised.  kind of. I warned him that I'd like to point out again the lack of diversity in the LiCS community and that I'd like to show two slides: Orna Kupferman's main slide, pointing out the problems from  LiCS2013 (below) and Brigitte Pientka and all of us spreadsheet of invited speakers in TCS, still being compiled.

The bottomline for LiCS: 30 years, 130 invited LICS speakers, 12 female, less than 10%. This is after all the effort that the discussion in 2013 produced.

I ended up adding a joke or two and there was some discussion of the code of conduct that SIGLOG is trying to get  accepted for all of our conferences. The PDF is here.

(apparently Ella Fitzgerald was having problems to find gigs, so Marilyn Monroe "convinced" a bar owner to book Ella, promising that she'd sit at the bar every night Ella sang. It was a success for both, they say, but it might be an internet folktale, who knows.)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Women in Logic: the blog?

Women in Logic is a Facebook group  for women in Logic, philosophical, mathematical or computational. or any other kind of formal logic that you care about. We have more than 200 members now and so far, we have been finding it useful to discuss issues that affect us in our daily lives.

There is also a  Women in Logic spreadsheet with names of female logicians, organized by continent. This is an attempt at showing that there are plenty of female logicians around.

The issue of lack of recognition of the work of female logicians, mathematicians, physicists, scientists in general is a serious one. But we try to make fun of it, as much as we can.

We also mean to use this blog to organize and keep links to studies and graphs that show the extent of the problem and the tools other people have found to fight it.

UPDATE: We have more than 360  members in the Facebook group now and we have also a spreadsheet detailing Invited Speakers lack of balance in Theoretical Computer Science in this document.