SIAM News Blog

Honoring Chad Topaz

June is LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, an annual U.S. celebration to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots and to promote equal opportunity and equal justice for the LGBTQIA+ community. In honor of Pride Month, SIAM is featuring Dr. Chad Topaz, a distinguished and committed applied mathematician from our community. We encourage you to learn more about Dr. Topaz’s research and career below, explore a compilation of resources and networks tailored for LGBTQIA+ professionals in STEM, and read about SIAM’s ongoing commitments to equity, diversity, and inclusion.


Dr. Chad Topaz is professor of complex systems at Williams College, adjunct professor (by courtesy) of applied mathematics at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and co-founder of an independent nonprofit organization: Institute for the Quantitative Study of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (QSIDE). QSIDE is a research-to-action institute working at the intersection of social justice and data science.

The author of over 70 published scientific papers and pieces of public scholarship, Dr. Topaz began his career using mathematics to understand problems in physics, chemistry, and biology. He obtained a Ph.D. from Northwestern University and an A.B. from Harvard University. He now focuses on areas such as criminal justice; diversity and inclusion in arts, media, and pop culture; education equity; and health care equity. His work has been covered nationally and internationally in The Atlantic, The Guardian, MIT Technology Review, Mother Jones, Science, Smithsonian Magazine, and more. 

As a SIAM member for the past 26 years, Dr. Topaz has been an avid SIAM conference attendee and subscriber to several SIAM journals, as well as a member of SIAM Activity Groups on Applied Mathematics Education, Data Science, Dynamical Systems, and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Moreover, he continues to be actively involved within the SIAM community through his service on the SIAM Review Editorial Board (2011-13; 2014-16; present), the SIAM Activity Group on Dynamical Systems Committee (2014-15), the SIAM Undergraduate Research Online Editorial Board (2015-17), the SIAM Student Paper Prize Committee (2015-17), the SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems Editorial Board, the SIAM Annual Meetings Organizing Committee (2018), the Richard C. DiPrima Prize Committee (2019-20), and the Dynamical Systems Organizing Committee (2023).

Dr. Topaz’s research honors include a New Directions Research Professorship at the Institute for Mathematics and its Application—the first given to a liberal arts college faculty member—a Kavli Frontiers Fellowship from the National Academy of Sciences, a Board of Trustees Award from Macalester College, an Equity and Diversity Visiting Fellowship from the University of Auckland, and the 2013 SIAM Outstanding Paper Prize Award. He is passionate about scientific communication and discourse, having delivered over 200 talks at colleges, universities, and scientific meetings. He’s deeply committed to educating the American public about the intersections of data science and social justice. Learn more about Dr. Topaz.

Watch the video below to learn more about Dr. Topaz’s professional journey and advice to early career professionals.

Resources and Networks for LGBTQIA+ STEM Professionals

The LGBTQIA+ community has historically been marginalized within the STEM workforce. Peruse the following list of resources and networks that may be of interest to LGBTQIA+ professionals and allies.

SIAM’s Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

As a professional society, SIAM is committed to empowering equitable, diverse, and inclusive participation in all aspects of our community. SIAM will provide a climate that encourages the open expression and exchange of ideas, that is free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, and that is welcoming and comfortable to all members and to those who participate in its activities.

In pursuit of this commitment, SIAM is dedicated to the philosophy of equality of opportunity and treatment for all participants regardless of gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion or religious belief, age, marital status, disabilities, veteran status, and field of expertise.

Are you interested in being featured by SIAM for future awareness months, or know of a colleague who does? Reach out to let us know via this interest form!

blog comments powered by Disqus