## “I think I see a mathematician!”

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010A little while ago, I was working with a fifth grader on a problem that challenged her. In the middle of the problem, she looked up at me, smiled, and said, **“I’m struggling, but that’s OK. My teacher told me that mathematicians struggle.”**

What an exciting moment! I am so glad that my student has a classroom teacher who is teaching her that struggling doesn’t mean that you’re “stupid,” and to persist in the face of a challenge!

My student also told me that when she was eager to stand up and give the answer to a math problem, her teacher said, ** “I think I see a mathematician!”** I’m thrilled that this teacher is encouraging her students to identify themselves as mathematicians—people capable of deeply engaging with mathematics!

*Thank you to Choco Leibniz for creating and sharing this beautiful, inspiring image of mathmaticians! The Famous Mathematicians are from left to right, top to bottom: Euclid, Boole, Al-Kwarizmi, Newton, Leibniz, Turing. *

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The anecdote is great. Sorry to see that there are no women in the image-mosaic. Hopefully, by the end of this century there’ll be plenty of well-known female mathematicians, too! Who knows, maybe your student will be one of them 🙂

Good point, Merry! Maybe we can make our own mosaic that includes female mathematicians! 🙂

Hello. I am the original author of the image. I’ve watched it travel over the internet for several years and have often wondered why I didn’t include any women (I am one, after all!).

I took the opportunity to update the image, this time with Hypatia and Ada Lovelace.

The new image has:

Al-Kwarizmi, Hypatia, Newton, Lovelace, Leibniz, Turing.

http://i.imgur.com/Koh4z.jpg

At some point I would like to do a full 3×3 grid including Boole and Euclid, as well as Benjamin Banneker. Unfortunately I ran out of steam before getting that far, but someday!

Choco, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your new image! I just looked at it and I got goosebumps. I never thought I would get to connect to the original creator, and I’m so glad to hear about the update!! Keep me posted if you decide to do a 3×3 version. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do next!

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