Education

Academic Journal Will Feature Empowering Math Poems And ‘Raw’ Stories By ‘Math Mamas’

'art' by Eric Owens

A math professor at one of America’s most elite fancypants colleges has issued a call for math-related poems and “raw, witty, and relatable stories” by “math mamas” on the topic of “Mathematics and Motherhood” for a peer-reviewed academic journal.

The professor is Pamela E. Harris of Williams College — where a year of undergraduate tuition, fees and room and board costs $67,700.

The papers by “math mamas” will appear later this year in a special issue of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics.

The academic journal “will feature articles, autobiographical stories, poetry, and essays from a diverse set of women who have found success and balance in their mathematics career and motherhood,” the call for papers explains.

“This special issue will explore the intersectionality of mathematics and motherhood with the aim of empowering more women in mathematics to pursue careers in the mathematical sciences and the professoriate.”

The term “intersectionality” means the study of links — “intersections” — between different forms of oppression and discrimination. The concept is typically used to bind different groups of fringe activists together. (RELATED: The Dictionary Of The Modern Campus Activist)

The call for papers explains that “we are rewriting the storyline of what it means to be a mathematician.” As such, the special issue of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics will “expand on the common experiences and challenges faced by math mamas” and give “a voice to math mamas’ experiences in the intersectionality of mathematics and motherhood.”

“This special issue serves as a doorway to a community of support for women who want both a career and a family, as well as a guide offering insight to administrators about the challenges faced by mother mathematicians and some possible solutions,” the call for papers also says. “The contributors of this special issue come from diverse backgrounds in terms of ethnicity, religious affiliations, academic rank, and represent the changing face of mathematics.”

The Daily Caller obtained an email which Harris, the Williams professor, sent earlier this week to members of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics seeking scholarly contributions.

The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics defines humanistic mathematics as the “human face of mathematics,” according to Harris.

Recent articles in the academic math journal include “Metaphors and Mathematical Identity: Math is Like a Tornado in Kansas.”

There’s also a fiction piece entitled “Ladies’ Night” which features Jane, “an expert at her racket” who “reckons it’s payday” at the “Joint Statistical Meetings” in Las Vegas.

“The sun was setting and the neon was coming out overhead as I sashayed into the Platinum Horseshoe,” reads the first sentence of “Ladies’ Night.”

Harris, the Williams professor behind the effort to collect math poems from women, specializes in algebra and combinatorics. Her mathematical travels in 2017 took her to Ecuador, England, Canada and a handful of U.S. states.

Three other math professors are also managing the “Mathematics and Motherhood” call for papers: Becky Hall of Western Connecticut State University, Carrie Diaz Eaton of Unity College and Emille Davie Lawrence of the University of San Francisco.

Abstracts by “math mamas” for the special issue of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics are due October 1. The issue itself is scheduled to be released in November.

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