My life would have taken a different path if I had only met a mathematician any time before college.
My childhood was difficult and mathematics was one of my only comforts. In fifth grade, I learned a trick that helped me understand multiplication. The lesson from my struggle was that I needed time to figure out the math. I started to love the subject because of this achievement.
People find it hard to believe that I ever had math anxiety. They don’t realize that we inherit negative attitudes toward math from our parents. My family was math phobic. I had more in common with them when I flunked my fourth grade math class.
The mathematician Eugenia Cheng wrote an article titled, “What if Nobody is Bad at Maths?” She explains that kids as young as five years old feel excitement about mathematics. Math anxiety is something we learn as we grow up. I agree with her statement at the end of the article.
One thing is clear: if you think of yourself as belonging to the “bad at … ” camp, it’s not because you failed maths. It’s because maths failed you.
This is why math communications matter and particularly activities with children. If we can get young people enthusiastic about math then we can circumvent the onset of math phobia. I am a passionate supporter of math communicators for this reason.
I hope my writing about mathematics helps adults change their relationship with mathematics. Healing the wounds of the math trauma they may have experienced.
I would like to start a math communications conference in the US. For people who cannot travel to the UK for Talking Maths in Public. This is why I am qualified to tackle this ambition.
My name is Suzza and I am non-binary. My pronouns are They/Them. I live on the Oregon Coast with my cat Misty. My hobbies are writing, web development, and cross stitching. I have 26 math themed cross stitch patterns for download. Including those that represent the LGBTQIA2S+ community.
I love talking to people about mathematics. If any of this interests you, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.