Why Everyone is a Math Person
We’ve all heard someone say “I’m not a math person.” Maybe we’ve said it ourselves. But it’s nonsense, says statistics professor Connie Vaughn. There’s no such thing as “not a math person”; if your brain can process language, it can handle math. The problem most “not math” people run into is one of math anxiety — that irrational fear that can be the product of a bad experience. It can also be passed on from others like parents and even teachers, whose efforts to help a child learn math come packaged with their own anxieties and biases. Connie’s mission in this talk is to bust the myths surrounding the stereotypes of what being “a math person” means.
I’m passionate about showing people how they’re so much more than they think they are, mathematically and otherwise.
I’ve known I was a math person since I fell in love with algebra in Mrs. Gunthner’s eighth grade math class. I went on to study mathematics/statistics and psychology at Miami University of Ohio with Honors and summa cum laude.
Later I taught statistics at Loyola University Chicago, where I first encountered severe math anxiety in my students. At Loyola, I also received a masters degree in Developmental Psychology, and explored a deep interest in human development theory and research that helped me respond to my students’ experience.
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