Pamela Harris, Williams College, gives the MAA Invited Address “A Mathematical Journey of Culture, Community, and Collaboration” on January 18, 2019 at the 2019 Joint Mathematics Meetings (JMM) in Baltimore, MD.
As a first generation college student and a dreamer, the experience of not knowing people of similar cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds working in academia, affected my confidence and belief that I could become a mathematician. I often felt isolated and unsure of my abilities to succeed in this field. However, these experiences positively impacted
my goals as an educator. In this talk I’ll share how, through my teaching, I aim to instill mathematical confidence in all students, and how learning and research communities help develop a culture of continuous improvement and collective responsibility.
Abstract: It wasn’t until the last year of my graduate program that I met another Latina Ph.D. mathematician. Before this I thought that I may be the only Latina working on a Ph.D. in the mathematical sciences. Of course this was silly, as I could have simply searched the words “Latinas in math” to discover Ruth Gonzalez, the first US born Hispanic woman who earned a Ph.D. in mathematics. The year? 1986 – during my lifetime.