Included here is a brief explanation, a longer one if you want, and then a list of non-white-male-mathematicians with links. That will be an on-going, ever-updating list. Some of this is archived at TMC, and I’ll guest blog at Blogarithm about it soon, but this has a long list of mathematicians with links. Enjoy!
What is the Mathematicians Project?
I’ve blogged at MTMS about this project in far more detail than I have here. Check out those four posts below.
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.
Scroll down for Mathematician links.
The Longer Version:
Many of you have heard of my Mathematicians Project from either attending my MCTM or TMC16 presentations or you’ve been unfortunate enough to simply be around me when I start ranting.
For the super excited, you can read the paper I wrote about the project below.
[UPDATE: It has been pointed out that several of the “traditional” mathematicians we talk about were likely not, in fact, white. Euclid, Eratosthenes, & Pythagoras have all been mentioned to me as likely not having been white. I think this conversation with students can be productive. I’ve certainly talked to students about it, and about why the images we see of these men are of traditionally looking white men. If you have one like it with your class, I would be curious to hear how it went.]
A List of Not White Men Mathematicians with Links
UPDATE (1/13/2017) I’m working on a searchable spreadsheet for these. It’s under construction, but you can use what’s already up if you like.
Please post in the comments what is most helpful. Nothing would make me happier than to hear that others have adopted this project and have improved on it.
Also share any mathematician you think I should feature here and I will update this!
Men (alphabetical by last name)
Artur Avila (Brazilian) b. 1979
Manjul Bhargava (Canadian-American, Indian origin) b. 1974
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.
Heisuke Hironaka (Japanese) b. 1931
Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi (Persian) c. 780-c.850
Kunihiko Kodaira (Japanese) 1915-1997
Victor Neumann-Lara (Mexican) 1933-2004
Robert Eugene Megginson (Native American) b. 1948
Kelly Miller (African-American) 1863-1939
Herman Mena (Ecuadorian)
Shigefumi Mori (Japanese) b. 1951
Srinivasa Ramanujan (Indian) 1887-1920
Diego Rodriguez (Mexcian) 1569-1668
Terence Tao (Chinese Australian) b. 1975
John Urschel (African-American) b.1991
Scott Williams (African American) b. 1943
Wen Tsun Wu (Chinese) b. 1919
Shing-Tung Yau (Chinese) b. 1949
Women (alphabetical by last name)
This book is a great resource for many of these women.
Maria Chudnovsky b. 1977
Fan Chung (Taiwanese-American) b. 1949
Joan Clarke (1917-1996)
Sue Finley (American) modern
Hannah Fry (English) modern
Courtney Gibbons (American) modern
Concha Gomez (Cuban American) modern
Margaret Hamilton (American) b. 1936
Euphemia Lofton Hayes (African-American) 1890-1980
Hypatia (Greek) c. 350-415
Grace Hopper (American) 1906-1992
Mary Jackson (African American) 1921-2005
Katherine Johnson (Coleman) (African American) b. 1918
Nalini Joshi (Indian-Burmese-Australian)
Frances Kirwan (British) b. 1959
Sofia Kovalevskaya (Russian) 1850-1891
Isabella Laba (Polish) b. 1966
Ada Lovelace (1815-1852)
Vivenne Malone-Mayes (African-American) 1932-1995
Emmy Noether (German) 1882-1935
Hee Oh (S. Korean) b. 1969
Marian Pour-El (American) 1928-2009
Marjorie Rice (American) b. 1975
Doris Schattschneider (American) b. 1939
Marjorie Senechal (American) b. 1939
Caroline Series (English) b. 1951
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
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.
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.