The Virginia Tech Department of Mathematics on April 24 will host guest speaker Nicole M. Joseph, an assistant professor of mathematics and science education at Vanderbilt University’s Department of Teaching and Learning. Joseph’s talk will focus on the experiences of black women and girls in mathematics.

The lecture, “I Do (Not) Belong: Experiences of Black Women and Girls in Mathematics Education,” takes place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, at 340 Lavery Hall. Light refreshments will be served beforehand at 5:30 pm. The talk is sponsored by the Department of Mathematics, part of the Virginia Tech College of Science, and the Virginia Tech Moss Arts Center’s Women and Minority Artists and Scholars Lecture Series.

The event is free and open to the public.

In an overview of her lecture, Joseph wrote, “The experiences of black women and girls in mathematics is an understudied line of inquiry. We know very little about how they experience mathematics teaching and learning. The aim of this interactive talk is to problematize and interrogate the current circumstances surrounding black women and girls and mathematics that deny them access, power, participation, and opportunity to develop robust mathematics identities.”

Joseph is a 2014 National Academy of Education/Spencer Post-Doctoral Fellow and focuses her research on mathematics education and equity from an intersectional perspective. According to her biography provided by Vanderbilt, Joseph “primarily studies black women and girls, their identity development and their experiences in mathematics and mathematics education. She also studies the role of race, class, gender, and other socially constructed identities in mathematics identity development as well as the history of mathematics education of African Americans.”

Julianne Chung and Estrella Johnson, both assistant professors, and Gretchen Matthews, a professor, all in mathematics, are organizing the event.

“Not only does Dr. Joseph provide a powerful scholarly voice from the minority groups to which she belongs, she is an expert on intersectionality and its impact on learning,” Matthews said. “Hence, the university community stands to benefit from her visit in a number of ways. …She will be an inspiration, especially to those who might identify with her in some way. We see great potential impact for students, both undergraduate and graduate students, particularly those who see her as a role model.”

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