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Back to Early Math Symposium June 2024

Mathical Biographical Stories that Nurture Growth Mindset

Children's literature with mathematical themes, including youth biographies of persistent mathematicians persevering despite barriers to education, social connection, and vocation, can speak powerfully to children's imagination as future mathematicians.


Imaginative literature provides a special invitation to non-math-lovers in the math classroom. Students who do not yet experience math as relevant and meaningful may resonate with stories of mathematicians as young people.


Here, we share three examples from among the 25 youth biographies of the lives of mathematicians and scientists currently featured in the Mathical List:


Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain, by Cheryl Bardoe


The Girl with a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague, by Julia Finley Mosca


Friend of Numbers: The Life of Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, by Priya Narayanan


We will examine some of the barriers faced by these mathematicians and explore ways to introduce and integrate the books into the math classroom.

Download Available:

  • Presentation PowerPoint


Kirsten Bohl 2023 - Kirsten Bohl.JPG

Kirsten Bohl is Outreach Coordinator at the Simons Laufer Mathematical Sciences Institute (SLMath), the organizer of Mathical Books. Mathical selects, promotes, and distributes math-inspiring fiction and nonfiction for children ages 2-18.

Kirsten Bohl

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