Discover Science: Is Space + Race > STEM Opportunity?

William F. Tate IV, the third Discover Science Lecture Series speaker of the season, will present his lecture titled: Is Space + Race > STEM Opportunity? 

According to Tobler’s first law of geography, “Everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things.” This lecture describes the implications of this law for opportunity to learn in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education. Using geospatial methods, Tate illustrates the relationship between place and STEM attainment.


William F. Tate IV is the Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. He currently serves as Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Education. Tate has a particular interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) attainment. Ongoing research projects include understanding the distal and social factors that predict STEM doctoral degree attainment broadly defined to include highly quantitative social sciences disciplines (e.g., economics). His co-edited book titled, Beyond Stock Stories and Folktales: African Americans’ Paths to STEM Fields captures the direction of this research program.

For over a decade, Tate’s research has focused on the development of epidemiological and geospatial models to explain the social determinants of educational attainment as well as health and developmental outcomes. He served as a member of For the Sake of All research team, a multi-disciplinary group that is studying the health, development, and well-being of African Americans in the St. Louis region. His book project titled, Research on Schools, Neighborhoods, and Communities: Toward Civic Responsibility reflects his interest in the geography of opportunity in metropolitan America.

Professor Tate is a past president of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Among his research fellowships, he has been an Anna Julia Cooper Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Patricia Roberts Harris Fellow at the University of Maryland at College Park, a Ford Foundation Fellow at the University of Ghana, and the recipient of an Early Career Award (AERA). In 2010, he received a Presidential Citation from AERA for “his expansive vision of conceptual and methodological tools that can be recruited to address inequities in opportunities to learn.” In 2011, he was awarded fellow status in the Association. In 2015, he received Distinguished Contributions to Social Contexts in Education Research-Lifetime Achievement Award (AERA-Division G). In 2016, he was elected to the National Academy of Education. In 2017, Tate received an Inspiring Leaders in STEM Award from Insight Into Diversity magazine.

Thursday, February 6 at 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Davidson Mathematics and Science Center, 110 1664 N. Virginia Street, South campus