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STEM as Culture: Exploring exclusion and inclusion in mathematics and biology

Author(s): Carrie Diaz Eaton

Bates College and RIOS Institute

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Summary:
This is a paper given as a plenary lecture at the second CalcConf in Bergen, Norway, June 2023. The paper explores how marginalization in society & living between worlds becomes a superpower in bringing together ideas across disciplines as a…

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This is a paper given as a plenary lecture at the second CalcConf in Bergen, Norway, June 2023. The paper explores how marginalization in society & living between worlds becomes a superpower in bringing together ideas across disciplines as a boundary spanner. This paper is focused on relationships, mathematics, and biology, and in particular, with making calculus more inclusive for biology students.

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Abstract of the paper:

Finding a path for calculus in the biological sciences is not just about asserting an inherent place, but by enhancing and communicating the value of calculus. Thus, the key to a successful calculus is by reflecting on the culture of mathematics, the culture of biology, and the cultural space we create at the interface. Disciplinary culture is shaped by and shapes the disciplinary content we value, the language we use, and the way we treat each other. I draw on traditions of testimonio to share experiences, both personal and professional, in which the skills of boundary spanning between cultures were developed, critically refined, and empirically tested in the context of developing curriculum for calculus for life and environmental science.

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