An Exploration of the Underrepresented Groups Working in Mathematics Today

Library Resources | April 16, 2020

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In celebration of Mathematics Awareness Month, the American Mathematical Society provides insight on the importance of diversity in mathematics.

April is Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month, a time to increase the understanding and appreciation of mathematics and statistics. Mathematics is a subject that inspires widespread discomfort in our culture, and it’s common to hear someone describe him or herself as “not a math person.” But those who study the theory of learning are discovering that grit and persistence in the face of difficulty is much more important than inherent talent in learning mathematics. The myth of “math talent” has pernicious consequences and has the effect of erecting barriers to entry among populations who may not fit the stereotype of a mathematician.

Living Proof: Stories of Resilience Along the Mathematical Journey is a book that shares stories by professional mathematicians in those underrepresented groups, all of whom have overcome struggles in their professional careers. The book, which is freely downloadable from the two organizations that co-published it, the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America, contains 41 stories designed to inspire mathematics students and reassure them that while math may sometimes be difficult, the ability to succeed shouldn’t be hindered by a person’s gender, race, sexuality, upbringing, culture, socio-economic status, educational background, or any other attribute.

The myth of “math talent” has pernicious consequences and has the effect of erecting barriers to entry among populations who may not fit the stereotype of a mathematician.

The book’s mission is carried on by the Living Proof blog, which will provide a place for a continuing series of inspirational stories.

The American Mathematical Society also publishes MathSciNet, which is available through EBSCOhost and EBSCO Discovery Service. MathSciNet’s database of more than 3.7 million items can be searched via indexed fields such as author, institution, and MSC Primary and Secondary Classifications, and allows librarians, students and faculty the opportunity to easily link to related full text in the library’s collection. 

Watch the video to learn more about American Mathematical Society and MathSciNet.

MathSciNet via EBSCOhost and EBSCO Discovery Service from EBSCO on Vimeo.

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