# Classroom Classroom And Community Intersect Where Math A

### Mon, 19 Apr 2021 10:00:00 +0100

When you think of mathematicians, do you think of lone geniuses scribbling away at complex equations? This myth is one mathematician Ranthony Edmonds

…

Sofia Ranthony Edmonds is a post-doctoral researcher at Ohio State University, where she researches pure mathematics.

In addition to her research, Edmonds focuses on service and math outreach both in and out of the classroom.

** Joshua Kendall Edmonds/JKE Photography ** ** hide caption** Ranthony Edmonds is a post-doctoral researcher at Ohio State University, where she researches pure mathematics.

In addition to her research, Edmonds focuses on service and math outreach both in and out of the classroom.When you think of mathematicians, do you think of lone geniuses scribbling away at complex equations? This myth of the lone genius is one mathematician Ranthony Edmonds actively tries to dispel in her classroom as a post-doctoral researcher at The Ohio State University.

Edmonds herself is a testament to this — her journey to post-doctoral researcher wasn’t a straight line.”I did OK in my math classes, but not OK enough to feel validated that I showed promise as a mathematician — certainly not as a research mathematician or someone who wanted to go to graduate school and study math for its own sake,” says Edmonds.

But as evidenced by her title of post-doctoral researcher, Edmonds did eventually get into grad school and now studies math.

She says one of the keys to this success was finding community: in peers, in mentors, and at conventions, where she finally was exposed to math research and researchers who looked like her.”I kind of felt like this relentless knocking on doors and eventually many of them opened,” says Edmonds.

“I appreciated that.

But now that I’m on the other side of things as an instructor, I just feel like it shouldn’t have to take all of that, you know?” **So, community is something Edmonds now tries to replicate in her classroom.**Along with Professor John Johnson, she co-developed a course called Intersections of Math and Society: Hidden Figures.

The course centers the lives of the NASA Hidden Figures, the Black women mathematicians who helped launch the United States into space.

It also contextualizes how their relatively elite social status (for Black Americans at the time) and communities enabled their journeys as mathematicians.

Students then interview “local hidden figures,” professionals in the area community who use math in their daily lives and translate and design service projects to engage the wider community in math.

Along the way, students are encouraged to reflect on their own journeys — and broaden who they consider mathematicians.”I do love academic research …

It’s what kind of grounds me, if that makes sense, but it doesn’t drive me.

What drives me is, is trying to create access for others to be able to experience mathematics,” Edmonds says.

For Edmonds, math outreach and service is just as important as scholarship.

The hope is that in the end, math becomes a little more accessible and a little less intimidating for all who are involved.

Think we should consider math more? Let us know by emailing shortwave@npr.org.This episode was produced by Rebecca Ramirez, edited by Viet Le and fact-checked by Rasha Aridi.

TKTKTK1 was the engineer.NPR thanks our sponsorsBecome an NPR sponsor.

# Classroom

### Mon, 19 Apr 2021 10:00:00 +0100

– April 19, 2021

Classroom A Where Math And Community Intersect