Jun 12, 2022

Math Monday: Highlighting LGBTQIA+ Mathematicians in the Classroom

This Math Monday, we’re celebrating Pride Month with profiles of three amazing LGBTQIA+ mathematicians that you can bring into your classroom.


Find these profiles - and 30 more! - in the Math in Action slide deck!


Ron Buckmire

Ron Buckmire is a math professor and Associate Dean at Occidental College who has focused his work on primarily interested in numerical analysis and applied mathematics. He’s also served as a Program Officer at the National Science Foundation and helped found a group of LGBTQ+ mathematicians that later became Spectra. He has been recognized as Out to Innovate’s 2011 Educator of the Year and Mathematically Gifted & Black’s 2018 Honoree.

Watch this 10-minute interview to learn more!

Discussion Questions

  • Briefly describe how Buckmire decided to become a mathematician.
  • How does Buckmire define applied mathematics?
  • What three accomplishments does Buckmire say he’d like to be remembered for?
  • Buckmire says he learned from his mentor that “you can have a career trajectory that is not bounded by other people’s beliefs”. Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?
  • Buckmire says that “mathematics is a human endeavor”. What does he mean by that? What does that mean to you?


Autumn Kent

Autumn Kent is a math professor at the University of Wisconsin who studies the interaction between algebra, analysis, geometry, and topology in low-dimensional topology. She was named a Vilas Associate in 2018 and 2019 and awarded a Simons Fellowship in 2019. 

Watch this 2-minute video to learn more!

Discussion Questions

  • What areas of math does Kent focus on?
  • Kent describes the topology of a donut (torus). What analogy(ies) does she use?
  • How does Kent describe her path to becoming a mathematician?
  • Kent says “If there had been more representation, it would have been easier”. What kind of representation is important to you? In what ways might representation make your future path easier or more difficult?


Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is a physics professor and faculty member in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of New Hampshire. She is also a writer who recently published the book The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred

Read this article to learn more!

Discussion Questions

  • Based on this article, what drew Prescod-Weinstein to be interested in math? 
  • How have Prescod-Weinstein’s views of math and science changed since she was first interested in the field?
  • What connections does Prescod-Weinstein draw between math and social issues?


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About the Author

Kathryn Dawson

Kathryn (she/her) is excited to join the NGPF team after 9 years of experience in education as a mentor, tutor, and special education teacher. She is a graduate of Cornell University with a degree in policy analysis and management and has a master's degree in education from Brooklyn College. Kathryn is looking forward to bringing her passion for accessibility and educational justice into curriculum design at NGPF. During her free time, Kathryn loves embarking on cooking projects, walking around her Seattle neighborhood with her partner and dog, or lounging in a hammock with a book.

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