What is the Mathematicians Project?
The Short Version:
- We as math teachers tend to only talk about white male mathematicians.
- Most of my students don’t look like that, and thus, they have few mathematical role models they can identify with.
- Take 10-15 minutes a week to research (read Wikipedia, that’s all you need) a not-old-dead-white-dude mathematician, and then take 5 minutes in class to tell your students about them. Include a picture. It’s worth it, I swear.
I’ve blogged at MTMS about this project in far more detail than I have here. Check out those four posts below.
For the super excited, you can read the paper I wrote about the project below.
List of Mathematicians with Oppressed Identities (with Links) or use this spreadsheet
Men (alphabetical by last name)
- Artur Avila (Brazilian) b. 1979
- Benjamin Banneker
- Manjul Bhargava
- David Blackwell (African American) 1919-2010
- Ron Buckmire
- Rudranath Capildeo
- Jose Adem Chain (Mexican) b. 1921
- Ngô Bào Châu (Vietnamese) b. 1972
- Shiing Shen Chern (Chinese) 1911 – 2004
- Elbert Frank Cox (African American) 1895-1969
- Ismail Mustafa al-Faliki (Egyptian) 1825-1901 Very little info here. I must have gotten him from a book. I’ll let you know what that is if/when I find it again.
- Abraham Adolf Frankel
- Samuel Gitler Hammer
- Heisuke Hironaka (Japanese) b. 1931
- Jama Musse Jama (Somali)
- Clifford V Johnson
- Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi (Persian) c. 780-c.850
- Kunihiko Kodaira (Japanese) 1915-1997
- Victor Neumann-Lara (Mexican) 1933-2004
- Chris Matthews
- Robert Eugene Megginson (Native American) b. 1948
- Kelly Miller (African-American) 1863-1939
- Herman Mena (Ecuadorian)
- Antanas Mockus
- Shigefumi Mori (Japanese) b. 1951
- Srinivasa Ramanujan (Indian) 1887-1920
- John Nash
- Charles Reason
- Diego Rodriguez (Mexcian) 1569-1668
- Jason Sharples
- Thomas F Storer (Native American) 1938-2006
- Richard Tapia (Chicano) b. 1939
- Terence Tao (Chinese Australian) b. 1975
- Alan Turing
- John Urschel (African-American) b.1991
- Jesse Ernest Wilkins Jr.
- Francis William
- Scott Williams (African American) b. 1943
- Wen Tsun Wu (Chinese) b. 1919
- Shing-Tung Yau (Chinese) b. 1949
- Ahmed Zainy al-Yasry
Women (alphabetical by last name)
This book is a great resource for many of these women.
- Maria Gaetana Agnesi
- Amie Albrecht
- Rowena Ball
- Nina Bari
- Ros Chandra Bose
- Marjorie Lee Browne
- Emilie Du Chatelet
- Maria Chudnovsky b. 1977
- Fan Chung (Taiwanese-American) b. 1949
- Monica Clapp
- Joan Clarke (1917-1996)
- Ingrid Daubechies
- Shakuntala Devi
- Annie Easley
- Sue Finley (American) modern
- Hannah Fry (English) modern
- Courtney Gibbons (American) modern
- Shafi Goldwasser
- Concha Gomez (Cuban American) modern
- Evelyn Boyd Granville
- Lillian K Bradley
- Margaret Hamilton (American) b. 1936
- Euphemia Lofton Hayes (African-American) 1890-1980
- Fern Hunt
- Hypatia (Greek) c. 350-415
- Grace Hopper (American) 1906-1992
- Mary Jackson (African American) 1921-2005
- Mae Jemison (African American)
- Katherine Johnson (Coleman) (African American) b. 1918
- Nalini Joshi (Indian-Burmese-Australian)
- Frances Kirwan (British) b. 1959
- Sofia Kovalevskaya (Russian) 1850-1891
- Izabella Laba (Polish) b. 1966
- Olga Ladyzhenkaya
- Ada Lovelace (1815-1852)
- Vivenne Malone-Mayes (African-American) 1932-1995
- Maryam Mirzakhani (Iranian-American) b. 1977
- Emmy Noether (German) 1882-1935
- Karlie Noon
- Hee Oh (S. Korean) b. 1969
- Kate Adebola Okikiolu
- Kathleen Ollerenshaw
- Marian Pour-El (American) 1928-2009
- Mina Rees
- Marjorie Rice (American) b. 1975
- Sally Ride (American) b.
- Julia Robinson
- Nancy Grace Roman
- Doris Schattschneider (American) b. 1939
- Marjorie Senechal (American) b. 1939
- Caroline Series (English) b. 1951
- Hoang Xuan Sinh
- Mary Somerville (Scottish) 1780-1872
- Jean Springer (Jamaican) b. 1939
- Alicia Boole Stott (Irish-English) 1860-1940
- Daina Taimina (Latvian) b. 1954
- Karen Uhlenbeck (American) b. 1942
- Dorothy Vaughn (African American) 1910-2008
- Adrian Scott Duane modern
FYI, I should say that I cringed to use the labels “Men” and “Women” because of a former student who has graciously educated me more about transgender and non-binary people, but I recognize that those labels are still helpful as categories.
General Resources for Researching Mathematicians
Mathematicians of the African Diaspora (h/t Keith Devlin)
Mathematicians Born/Died on this Day This has a huge number of mathematicians. You’ll have to seek a bit for the non-white-male ones, but you can look at the Birthplace Index to help out. (h/t Andrew Thomas)
Math History Course Notes courtesy of commenter below. Includes Sophie Germain.
Beyond Banneker: Black Mathematicians and the Paths to Excellence by Erica N Walker
Awesome Things Great Teachers Have Done:
I have no good visuals for this project. The best I’ve got is this map that 1) Is scaled to accurately represent area 2) Gets pins for the location of each mathematician we introduce to class.
I also have added a Hidden Figures poster with tags on each of the women.
Each of which I like and students enjoy. But Brian (on twitter @_b_p and blogging at https://lazyocho.com/) has made some excellent printable posters to put up and he’s been kind enough to share them here! What a nice guy!