BIRS Workshop Lecture Videos

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BIRS Workshop Lecture Videos

Using Women’s Stories to Share Alternative Mathematical Experiences in a First-Year Seminar Mayes-Tang, Sarah


Abstract: From 2013-2016, I taught a seminar for first-year liberal arts students, The Mathematical Experience, that blended an introduction to number theory, topology, and group theory with an examination of mathematics as a field of study. The course used the stories of women mathematicians to counter popular narratives about the field such as the mathematician as a gifted loner, math as a `young man’s game’, and math as a realm of complete objectivity. These stories served as a launching pad for important discussions and helped students to develop a a more positive view of mathematics. In this talk, I will describe how women’s stories were integrated into the course design and provide evidence that putting women `into the equation’ helped to improve student attitudes and understanding.

About the speaker: Sarah Mayes-Tang is a mathematics educator and commutative algebraist currently at the University of Toronto. For four years prior to joining the faculty at UofT, she was a professor at Quest University Canada, a small liberal arts college in Squamish BC focused on undergraduate education. Sarah completed her PhD at the University of Michigan.

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