Math in the Age of Trump

For obvious reasons, I do not fit into the standard mold of a mathematician. But over time, I have learned to embrace my identity within the mathematics community and have learned to use this to my advantage. This talk will be a reflection of this unfolding, so naturally it will be an open, frank, and personal lecture. It will feature some striking, and sometimes rather awkward, conversations I have had about race, gender, and social justice within and also outside of academia. Even though a few of these experiences were negative initially, I will share how I eventually gained something very positive out of each of these interactions.

Now due to a certain recent political event, some of us might not feel so optimistic these days and one may think that they are powerless in shaping society as a whole. This is the subject of another talk (by someone better than me!) but here I propose that we “make the problem smaller” as one does typically in math to gain traction on a tough problem. Namely I hope to convince you that every one of us has certain and immediate power in propelling math culture in the positive direction towards diversity, inclusion, and fairness amongst all mathematicians—not just the ones who fit into the standard mold.