Increasing the visibility of mathematicians from under-represented groups

Objectives

  • Get to know each other and start building a Math 1B community
  • Increase the visibility of mathematicians from under-represented groups and describe their mathematical contributions – let’s expand our ideas on “who” a mathematician is

Instructions

PART 1: INTRODUCE YOURSELF

PURPOSE

A lot of current research suggests that when students feel a sense of community in their online classes, they’re more likely to be successful. Throughout this course, you will be interacting with each other on discussion boards, giving each other feedback in the form of peer reviews, and possibly working together in a group for the application project. Getting to know each other now will be helpful, as it is essential that we all feel comfortable making mistakes together and learning from these mistakes. Let’s all aim try to support each throughout this process.

PROMPT

Introduce yourself to your classmates and share any information that you’d like to. For example, you may share your major, interests, past experiences in math, etc. Feel free to share a photo or even create a video using the Studio tool for this assignment.

Reply to at least one other classmate.

There is no required length for this part of the assignment.

Make sure to follow the Netiquette guidelines.

PART 2: INTRODUCE A MATHEMATICIAN

PURPOSE

Mathematics education has a long history of only highlighting the work of white male mathematicians. If this surprises you, I encourage you to look through any of your past math textbooks, or Google search “mathematician” and see what faces and names come up. White men are not the only people who are excellent mathematicians! There is a lot of diversity among people who do math and who have laid the groundwork for what we know about math today. For this assignment, we will get a chance to learn about mathematicians from groups who are not usually centered as mathematicians.

WHAT GROUPS ARE UNDERREPRESENTED IN MATHEMATICS?

Groups that are statistically underrepresented in mathematics are: women, Blacks and African Americans, Latinx, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and Pacific Islanders. Let’s focus on increasing representation of these groups for this assignment. If you want to learn more, you can look at the data here. (Links to an external site.)

Note that white men are not underrepresented in mathematics, so if you choose to present a white male mathematician, this assignment will be marked “Incomplete.” If you have any questions about this, feel free to start a conversation with me by sending me a Canvas message.

PROMPT

Use one of the resource websites below, or other resources if you like, to find a mathematician (contemporary or past) from an under-represented group who you find interesting. In your discussion post, share the following:

  1. Photo of the mathematician (if you can find one)
  2. The name of the mathematician
  3. Major field of study and summary of their contributions to the field of math
  4. Why you find this person interesting.

RESOURCES

Here are a couple websites to help you get started, but you are welcome to use other resources if you want to.

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