Math Monday: Highlighting Black Mathematicians within the Classroom



This Math Monday, we’re celebrating Black Historical past Month with profiles of three superb Black mathematicians. 


Katherine Johnson

It’s possible you’ll know her because the inspiration for the hit film Hidden Figures – Katherine Johnson was an astounding mathematician whose accomplishment in her 33-year tenure at NASA included calculating the trajectories for the Apollo 11 mission.

Watch the video to study extra:

 Dialogue Questions:

  • Johnson says “Math: you are both proper otherwise you’re flawed. That I appreciated about it.” Why do you assume that objectivity was vital to Johnson, given the obstacles she confronted?
  • In what methods was Johnson a trailblazer?
  • What attributes do you assume enabled Johnson to be extremely profitable at NASA?
  • Why do you assume Johnson’s accomplishments went largely unrecognized till not too long ago?


Benjamin Banneker

Benjamin Banneker was an completed mathematician, city planner, and author within the eighteenth century. He gained fame initially for hand-building an distinctive clock, then for publishing an almanac that included climate predictions, agricultural guides, and political writings. The success of this almanac led to Banneker’s correspondence with President Jefferson, the place he advocated for the abolition of slavery, and his position as a metropolis planner designing Washington DC. 

Watch the video to study extra:

 Dialogue Questions:

  • Which of Banneker’s accomplishments do you assume was probably the most vital? Why?
  • In what methods did Banneker use math to reach totally different fields?


John Urschel

John Urschel is a mathematician, a former NFL offensive lineman, and the creator of Thoughts and Matter: A Life in Math and Soccer. He not too long ago earned his Ph.D. from MIT together with his thesis Graphs, Principal Minors, and Eigenvalue Issues. Beginning in Fall 2022, he will probably be a Junior Fellow at Harvard College. 

Watch the video to study extra:


Dialogue Questions:

  • How does Urschel describe arithmetic?
  • What attributes do you assume enabled Urschel to be extremely profitable in each soccer and arithmetic?
  • Why does Urschel say it’s vital for him to outline himself as each Black and a mathematician?


Further Sources

Listed here are some further sources to proceed celebrating Black mathematicians within the classroom:

Concerning the Creator

Kathryn Dawson

Kathryn (she/her) is happy to hitch the NGPF crew after 9 years of expertise in schooling as a mentor, tutor, and particular schooling instructor. She is a graduate of Cornell College with a level in coverage evaluation and administration and has a grasp’s diploma in schooling from Brooklyn Faculty. Kathryn is wanting ahead to bringing her ardour for accessibility and academic justice into curriculum design at NGPF. Throughout her free time, Kathryn loves embarking on cooking initiatives, strolling round her Seattle neighborhood along with her associate and canine, or lounging in a hammock with a guide.


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