Women and Math,  widening roads

Moira Chas 

Associate Professor of Mathematics

Stony Brook University

Imagine you grew up in a society where your teachers believed consciously or not that one of the features defining your kind of people is not being good at math. Imagine you had a Barbie who said:  “Math class is tough. Will we ever have enough clothes? I love shopping.” Now expand your vision so you can see daily occurrences of events like those, imagine those events populating your mind since you were born -- slowly, persistently and insidiously. Imagine that the praises to your beauty are many more than those to your mind. Imagine you are rewarded when you are nice, and punished when you are not…

For most of us, it is not hard to imagine such a society, because we grew up in one like that.  

In this talk, I will reason about different ways of how overcome these obstacles and what can we all do to change our mindsets so more of us can enjoy and apply the wonders of math. 

Moira Chas is an associate professor of mathematics at Stony Brook University. Born in Argentina, she discovered early in her life a passion for writing, and a bit later, a passion for math. Mathematics became then a source of literary inspiration until she moved to the U.S. and started living (and dreaming) in English. She works in low dimensional topology, and gravitates to mathematics that can be expressed by pictures. A large part of her research is rooted in finding and probing mathematical conjectures with computers. Many of these computer experiments have been conducted in collaboration with undergraduate, graduate and high school students.