Penn State Mont Alto colloquy to address mathematics and social justice

Kira Hamman, Penn State Mont Alto instructor in mathematics

Kira Hamman, instructor in mathematics, will present "Mathematics and Social Justice" March 16 at Penn State Mont Alto.

Credit: Debra collins

MONT ALTO, Pa. — Penn State Mont Alto will continue its spring Colloquy Series when Kira Hamman, instructor in mathematics, presents "Mathematics and Social Justice" at 2 p.m. March 16 in the University Library. Hamman will explore the link between math and science literacy and equality in the United States.

The program is open to the public and is free of charge. Coffee is provided and discussion is encouraged. The Colloquy Series presents current research by Mont Alto faculty in an informal environment at a level that is accessible to a general audience.

A number of high-profile events over the last several years have refocused national attention on the realities of social injustice in the United States. Even as globalization and technological innovation accelerate, our society has not, yet, succeeded in guaranteeing equal rights for all citizens, according to Hamman.

"These things are fundamentally linked," she said. "To quote civil rights activist Robert Moses, 'the ongoing struggle for citizenship and equality for minority people is now linked to an issue of math and science literacy ... people who don't have access to it are like the people who couldn't read and write in the industrial age.' We will consider this link in both its historical context and its modern incarnation."

Hamman teaches mathematics at Penn State Mont Alto. She is a set theorist by training with interests in pedagogy and the intersection of mathematics and social justice. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in mathematics from Dartmouth College. She also holds a master of science in mathematics from Dartmouth College and a bachelor of arts in mathematics from Smith College.