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Powering Through

June 25, 2019

Allison Henrich, Steven Klee and David Neel
Mathematics Professor Allison Henrich, Associate Professor Steven Klee and Associate Professor David Neel.

SU mathematics professors contribute to a new book for students struggling in the discipline.

As Allison Henrich, Steven Klee and David Neel know all too well, the study of mathematics can be as demoralizing as it is exhilirating. In the new book Living Proof: Stories of Resilience Along the Mathematical Journey, the three colleagues share their own journeys as mathematicians, the adversities and doubts they have overcome and the people who were instrumental in helping them along the way. 

In addition to serving as an editor for the book, Henrich wrote a chapter titled “Help Will Always Be Given at Hogwarts to Those Who Ask for It,” Klee authored “I Don’t Know What I’m Saying: Using Language as a Model for Embracing Mathematical Struggle” and Neel contributed “A Walk in the Park Isn’t Always a Walk in the Park.” 

These and other stories in Living Proof, its description reads, “are intended to provide support and inspiration for mathematics students experiencing struggle and despair. If students keep working, if they keep seeking, they’ll be rewarded by serendipity, which is really just, as these stories remind us, the habit of mind to be engaged and to notice when something good has happened.” 

“If you are a mathematics student reading this book,” Stephen Kennedy of Carleton College writes in the foreword, “my hope for you is that you find yourself somewhere in these pages and you are inspired to persist. If you are a mathematics teacher, I hope you find in these pages the inspiration to relieve the pressure of demoralizing struggle from a student.” 

A free e-book version is now available for download at Living Proof.