Abstract / Synopsis
The definition of who is or what makes a “mathematician” is an important issue to be addressed in the mathematics community. Too often, a narrower definition of who is considered a mathematician (and what is considered mathematics) is used to exclude people from the discipline—both explicitly and implicitly. However, using a narrow definition of a mathematician allows us to highlight, examine, and challenge systemic barriers that exist in certain spaces of the community. This paper analyzes and illuminates tensions between narrow and broad definitions and how they can be used to promote both inclusion and exclusion simultaneously. In this article, we present a framework of definitions based on identity, function, and qualification and explore several different meanings of mathematician. By interrogating various definitions, we highlight their risks and opportunities, with an emphasis on implications for broadening and/or narrowing participation of underrepresented groups in the mathematics community
Ron Buckmire, Carrie Diaz Eaton, Joseph Hibdon, Katherine M. Kinnaird, Drew Lewis, Jessica Libertini, Omayra Ortega, Rachel Roca & Andrés R. Vindas Meléndez, "On Definitions of "Mathematician"," Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Volume 13 Issue 2 (July 2023), pages 8-38. DOI: 10.5642/jhummath.ZRUZ1463. Available at: https://scholarship.claremont.edu/jhm/vol13/iss2/4
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