Math Stories Posts

Sean's Math Story

In my own math education, fifth grade stands out as a pivotal time for me. Once a month, our teacher would hand out timed math tests where we had to complete something like 100 arithmetic problems in 3 minutes.

I failed. Repeatedly.

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I Noticed I Didn’t Belong; I Wondered Why

This post is part of an ongoing series of stories about our personal relationships with mathematics. We introduced this series in a recent post. Today’s math story is from Michelle Nguyen, copy editor here at Desmos.

I grew up believing that there are two types of people: those who are good at math and those who aren’t. I had been convinced that our aptitude for math was a born trait, a characteristic inextricably woven into our genetics, like eye shape or hair texture. I also noticed that being “good at math” was reserved for certain people in our society. Math people were geniuses, “model minorities,” destined for lucrative careers, boys. I fell into some of those boxes but right outside of others.

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Allison's Math Story

This post is the first in an ongoing series of stories about our personal relationships with mathematics. We introduced this series in a recent post. Today’s math story is from Allison Hamburger, a member of the Desmos engineering team.

My math story is all about counting.

As a computer science major in college, I developed the habit of noting the exact number of people I perceived as women in a classroom. Perhaps unsurprisingly, in my math and computer science classes, there were often only a handful, sometimes even in a large lecture hall. In classes further outside of my major, that wasn’t the case.

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