Due on the OpenLab Monday, October 17
October 12 is Indigenous People’s Day! September 15 to October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month! For this assignment, we’ll honor Indigenous mathematicians and Hispanic/Latinx mathematicians by learning about their lives and their work.
Pick one mathematician who identifies either as Indigenous or Hispanic/Latinx (or both) and who stands out you. Then write a short profile/biography of them as a comment on this post.
Where can you learn about mathematicians from these communities?
There are lots of places online to find out about these mathematicians. Here are a few resources:
- Lathisms showcases contributions of Latinx and Hispanics in the Mathematical Sciences; check out the Calendars and Podcasts tabs at the top of the screen.
- Indigenousmathematicians.org showcases mathematicians from indigenous communities; check out the Profiles and Honorees tabs at the top of the screen.
You can consider these two sites as starting points. Once you’ve chosen the mathematician you want to profile, try to find something out about them that’s not on one of these two sites. Most mathematicians have their own websites, which you can usually find by Googling their name (these may be more up to date than the two sites above). Some of them are active on Twitter and other social media. Your profile should include:
- Their name
- What community they are part of/identify with
- Something about their work (try to understand something about their work don’t worry if you don’t really understand it, just tell us whatever you found out about it)
- Where they are from
- Where they live/work now
- Why they are interesting or inspiring to you
- Anything else you learned about them that you’d like to share
- You can’t embed a photo in an OpenLab comment; if you want to include a photo of your mathematician, you can write your profile in a separate post and include a link to it in the comments on this post (tbh I love pictures!).
Why are we doing this?
As Frank remarked when we discussed the Bad-at-math assignment, mathematicians of European descent tend to dominate the popular conception of who mathematicians are. For example, in Calculus, we are mostly learning about work by these two dudes, who practically look like twins, right?
As a society we tend to ignore contributions from other groups, but there are working mathematicians of all different identities and from all different backgrounds. Here is a chance for us to learn about and celebrate work by people who often go unrecognized.