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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

A Classroom Where Math And Community Intersect | Short Wave - NPR

When you think of mathematicians, do you think of lone geniuses scribbling away at complex equations? 

Ranthony Edmonds is a post-doctoral researcher at Ohio State University, where she researches pure mathematics. In addition to her research, Edmonds focuses on service and math outreach both in and out of the classroom.
Photo: Joshua Kendall Edmonds/JKE Photography

This myth of the lone genius is one mathematician Ranthony Edmonds actively tries to dispel in her classroom as a post-doctoral researcher at The Ohio State University.

Edmonds herself is a testament to this — her journey to post-doctoral researcher wasn't a straight line...

So, community is something Edmonds now tries to replicate in her classroom.

Along with Professor John Johnson, she co-developed a course called Intersections of Math and Society: Hidden Figures. The course centers the lives of the NASA Hidden Figures, the Black women mathematicians who helped launch the United States into space. It also contextualizes how their relatively elite social status (for Black Americans at the time) and communities enabled their journeys as mathematicians.

Students then interview "local hidden figures," professionals in the area community who use math in their daily lives and translate and design service projects to engage the wider community in math. Along the way, students are encouraged to reflect on their own journeys — and broaden who they consider mathematicians.

"I do love academic research ... It's what kind of grounds me, if that makes sense, but it doesn't drive me. What drives me is, is trying to create access for others to be able to experience mathematics," Edmonds says.

Read more... 

Source: NPR