Links to Resources on Not Just White Dude Mathematicians

Below are some of the places I have found useful in researching mathematicians. This page will be under regular revision – please comment with any additional resources below and I’ll add them here! By all means, repost, copy and share widely.

Links to online resources on Black Mathematicians

Links to online resources on Latinx Mathematicians

Links to online resources on Female Mathematicians

Resources on Indian Mathematicians

Resources on Native American mathematics

General Resources on a Variety of Mathematicians

BOOKS

Organizations

5 thoughts on “Links to Resources on Not Just White Dude Mathematicians”

  1. “Mathematics is for Everyone”
    It’s one thing to broaden the definition of ‘Mathematician’ to include people of diverse origins, out of mutual respect and shared appreciation for Mathematics. This is cool and good. For example African Fractals: https://youtu.be/7n36qV4Lk94

    “Not Just White Dude Mathematicians”
    It’s another thing to broaden the definition of ‘Mathematician’ by specifically negating a people group. This is unfair and wrong. I can’t do anything about the fact that I’m white and male. Nor should I, it’s OK to be white.

    I presume you are doing this to encourage ‘everyone’ to consider becoming a mathematician, which is a positive intention. But the way you are doing it is negative and excluding. I have white male children, and you probably do too. Because you define it by a negation (“non-white-male”) here is how our kids will instinctively internalize this message: there’s somehow something bad about white dude mathematicians, simply because of their sex and race. There is not. To say otherwise is openly sexist and racist.

    Please don’t shame and exclude people just for being who they are, that really hurts. We need all the mathematicians we can get irrespective of ethnicity. For example, that African Fractals math is unique and phenomenal research, the Internet would not have access to it had he not chosen that topic as his PhD. Please don’t dismiss his work which champions African Fractals just because he happens to be a white dude. It’s OK to be white, no shame accept everybody.

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    1. I’m afraid you’ve missed the point and it’s an important note. The topic is not “not white male mathematicians” it’s “not JUST white male mathematicians”. I’ve written about that extensively and presented at conferences on the topic. Much of it is linked here: https://arbitrarilyclose.com/mathematician-project/
      I have also written about the African Fractals – which I agree is wonderful research. https://arbitrarilyclose.com/2020/07/03/mathartchallenge-82-african-fractals/

      In short, however, if you ask almost any group of people – high schoolers, young students, adults – to name the mathematicians they can think of, they’ll list almost exclusively white male mathematicians. The list is generally: Einstein, Newton, Steven Hawking… and then folk kind of peter out. Upon some gentle pushing, people might add Archimedes, Euler, Euclid… After the popularity of “Hidden Figures” Katherine Johnson sometimes makes the list.

      The point is that we, right now, tend to ONLY talk about white male mathematicians. When I discuss with students, I assure them, they will learn about those mathematicians in school. And they are wonderful, excellent mathematicians. Hard to deny the genius of Gauss. The point of this project, however, is to expand our idea of who learns and does math beyond purely white men.

      There is a great deal of genius out there that has been excluded from our schools. The intent of this project is to help fill those gaps. I assure you, your white male children have plenty of roll models already.

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