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Talk, ACEMS (online)

May 5, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Virtual Public Lecture featuring Dr. Eugenia Cheng

Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers

“Inclusion-Exclusion in the mathematical sciences: who is kept out, and how we can use maths to bring them in”

The question of why women and minorities are under-represented in mathematics is complex and there are no simple answers, only many contributing factors. I will draw on a combination of precise mathematical reasoning, techniques of abstract mathematical thinking, and my experiences as a woman in the male-dominated field of mathematics. I will argue that if we focus character traits rather than gender we can have a more productive and less divisive conversation, about math and beyond. I will present a new theory for doing so, showing that we can use abstract mathematical thinking to work towards a more inclusive society in this politically divisive era.

I will present the abstract field of Category Theory as a particularly inclusive subject area according to the dimensions of my new theory, and demonstrate its scope for deepening the curiosity and social awareness of high school students, rather than just pushing and evaluating them. This goes against the assumption that abstract mathematics can only be taught to high level undergraduates and graduate students, and the accusation abstract mathematics is removed from real life. No prior knowledge will be needed.  Dr Eugenia Cheng



May 5, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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