23 episodes

Radical Math Talk is the podcast dedicated to the revolutionaries in Math education! On this podcast, host Kwame Sarfo-Mensah will highlight the incredible educators who are reshaping, redefining, and decolonizing the way that Math education is taught in our schools. Additionally, he will explore the multiple ways in which Math education can be used as a vehicle for social justice and antiracist solidarity.

Radical Math Talk Kwame Sarfo-Mensah

    • Education

Radical Math Talk is the podcast dedicated to the revolutionaries in Math education! On this podcast, host Kwame Sarfo-Mensah will highlight the incredible educators who are reshaping, redefining, and decolonizing the way that Math education is taught in our schools. Additionally, he will explore the multiple ways in which Math education can be used as a vehicle for social justice and antiracist solidarity.

    23) "Mathematics for Human Flourishing" (Dr. Francis Su)

    23) "Mathematics for Human Flourishing" (Dr. Francis Su)

    In this final episode of 2022, I'm honored to close out the calendar year with Dr. Francis Su as he opens up about his personal math journey, his book "Mathematics for Human Flourishing", and his desire for schools and teachers to adopt an inclusive vision for mathematics.  To learn more about Dr. Su's work, you can visit his website at francissu.com or you can follow him on Twitter (@mathyawp).   



    BIO: Francis Su is the Benediktsson-Karwa Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College, and former president of the Mathematical Association of America.  He received his B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. His research is in topological and geometric combinatorics and applications to the sciences, including game theory, voting theory, and the mathematics of fair decisions. He has co-authored numerous papers with undergraduates. He also has a passion for teaching and popularizing mathematics through writing and public engagement.  His work has been featured in Quanta Magazine, Wired, and the New York Times.  From the Mathematical Association of America, he received the 2018 Halmos-Ford award for mathematical writing, and the 2013 Haimo Award for distinguished teaching of college-level mathematics. Three of his articles have been featured in Princeton Press' Best Writing on Mathematics in 2011, 2014, and 2018. He authors the popular Math Fun Facts website and is creator of “MathFeed,” the math news app. His book Mathematics for Human Flourishing, published by Yale University Press, won the 2021 Euler Book Prize. It offers an inclusive vision of what math is, who it’s for, and why anyone should learn it.

    • 59 min
    22) "Combating Anti-Blackness in the Math Classroom" (Dr. Nickolaus A. Ortiz)

    22) "Combating Anti-Blackness in the Math Classroom" (Dr. Nickolaus A. Ortiz)

    In this episode, I had the honor of welcoming Dr. Nickolaus Ortiz to the podcast to share his personal math journey, the ways in which anti-Blackness manifests itself in the math classroom, and so much more!  To learn more about Nickolaus, you can follow him on Twitter (@ProfessuhNAO) and LinkedIn.  



    BIO: Nickolaus Ortiz earned his doctorate in curriculum and instruction with a focus on mathematics education from Texas A&M University in 2018. Following graduate work, he served as a post-doctoral research associate at Michigan State University and is currently a tenure track assistant professor in the College of Education & Human Development’s Department of Middle and Secondary Education.  Ortiz is a mathematics teacher educator and researcher whose research interests deal with Black/African-American students and the impact that teachers have on these students’ performance and appreciation for mathematics. He is very much interested in how ontological Blackness is manifested and/or stifled during high-quality mathematics instruction that involves, for example, teaching for conceptual understanding and utilizing mathematics discourse, as well as identifying new and innovative ways for Black children to demonstrate the mathematics proficiency that already exists within. His scholarship deals with these issues, centering the brilliance of Black children in mathematics as an irrefutable reality. Ortiz is also a musician and loves everything from Gladys Knight to J. Cole, and utilizes music and Black vernacular in his approach to culturally relevant mathematics pedagogy.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    21) "Restorative Practices in the Math Classroom" (Neha Sobti)

    21) "Restorative Practices in the Math Classroom" (Neha Sobti)

    In this episode, I had the honor of interviewing Transformative Justice practioner and educator Neha Sobti for a second time!  In this conversation, Neha shares about her personal math journey, the need to decolonize restorative justice practice in the Math classroom, and so much more!  To learn more about Neha's work, you can follow her on Instagram and Twitter (@nehajoya).  

    BIO: Neha Sobti is a Transformative Justice practitioner, anti-racist school leader, scholar and poet. She supports educators in creating school communities grounded in relationships, healing, care, and culturally sustaining practices. She dreams and leads conversations about dismantling systems of racism in schools while supporting you on your journey to adopt anti-racist and transformative practices. Neha is currently a Doctoral Student at New York University in the Department of Administration, Leadership and Technology. She writes on topics of school discipline and transformative/restorative justice in education.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    20) "Social Justice in the Math Classroom" (Dr. Kari Kokka)

    20) "Social Justice in the Math Classroom" (Dr. Kari Kokka)

    In this episode, I had the pleasure of having Dr. Kari Kokka on the podcast to talk about her personal math journey, and the intersection of social justice and the study of mathematics.  To learn more about Kari's journey, you can visit her website at karikokka.com or follow her on Instagram and Twitter (@karikokka).



    BIO: Dr. Kari Kokka (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Teaching and Learning at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She studies Social Justice Mathematics, mathematics teacher activism, and critical consciousness development of mathematics teachers. Her current research projects are funded by the National Science Foundation and Spencer Foundation. Prior to her position at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas she was an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Pittsburgh where she was awarded the Dean’s Distinguished Research Award (2022), the Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award (2021), and the Iris Marion Marion Award for Social Justice (2019). 

    She began her career in education as a mathematics teacher and diving coach at Berkeley High School (1999) and was a mathematics teacher activist and mathematics instructional coach at Vanguard High School (2001-2011), a Title I public school in New York City, where she used Complex Instruction and Performance Assessment. She is co-founder of the Creating Balance in an Unjust World Conference on STEAMM Education and Social Justice (co-founded in 2007), former co-chair of the Critical Educators for Social Justice SIG, and has been part of the Radical STEMM Educators of the Bay Area, People’s Education Movement, and the New York Collective of Radical Educators. Dr. Kokka completed her Ed.D. at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (2017), principal certification with the NYC Leadership Academy (2011), and M.A. in Education (2001) and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University (1999). She is a proud product of East San Jose, CA K-12 public schools. You can learn more about her work at www.karikokka.com, and you can follow her on Twitter @karikokka. She can be reached at kari.kokka@unlv.edu.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    19) "sySTEMic flow" (Jessica Sanon)

    19) "sySTEMic flow" (Jessica Sanon)

    In this episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Jessica Sanon about her personal math journey, her advocacy for women of color in the STEM and entrepreneurial space, the founding of her company sySTEMic flow, and so much more!  To learn more about Jessica's work, you can visit her website at jessicasanon.com or you can follow her on LinkedIn.  



    BIO:  As an entrepreneur, Jessica Sanon is passionate about supporting and building economic mobility and capacity for marginalized communities. In 2017, Jessica founded sySTEMic flow, a socially driven organization aiming to advance STEM learning for women who identify as Black, Indigenous, and Person of color (BIPOC). Before joining HPN, Jessica was the Youth Employment Coordinator at Waltham Partnership for Youth, where she developed, implemented, and oversaw four career exploration and training programs that provided youth access and opportunity to workforce development and worked with business leaders on their recruitment and retention efforts within their organizations. She also worked at UMass Amherst as an Assistant Manager of Operations, implementing and managing student projects, events, and financial accounts.  

    Jessica Sanon joined the Housing partnership network staff in November 2020. As the Associate for Peer Exchange, Policy, and Innovation, Jessica is responsible for working with HPN staff to advance new business and program concepts that strategically address gaps in the affordable housing marketplace. She will work with HPN business line and program leaders and platform service staff to explore, pilot, and incubate new member initiatives and ventures that stem from peer engagement. Jessica will also assist the VP and the EVP of Peer Exchange in HPN's efforts to help members address racial equity in their organizations, the network, and the sector.  Jessica has worked across various disciplines and has experience in client management, program and business development, organizational assessment, and project management. 

    Most importantly, Jessica sees the work that she does as a community effort, focusing on addressing members' needs by continuously listening to members' perspectives in an open, safe-space, and collaborative environment.   Jessica earned her MBA at the Heller School with a concentration in Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Management from the Heller School of Social Policy and Impact Management at Brandeis University; she was elected as the 2018 student commencement speaker of her MBA class. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics & Statistics and Economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy certificate from the University of Massachusetts Boston.

    • 56 min
    18) "Almost Fun" (Lisa Wang)

    18) "Almost Fun" (Lisa Wang)

    In this episode, I have the pleasure of welcoming Lisa Wang to the podcast to talk about her personal math journey, her transition from Google into entrepreneurship, the founding of Almost Fun, and the need for teachers to take a culturally responsive approach to building Math joy and confidence in our most marginalized students.  To learn more about Lisa's work, you can visit the Almost Fun website at almostfun.org or you can follow them on Instagram (@almostfunlearning) or Twitter (@fun_almost).   



    BIO: Lisa Wang founded Almost Fun to ensure low-income students and BIPOC students have educational resources that empower their learning. Her passion for educational equity is inspired in part by students she has worked with and in part by her parents, who grew up in rural China with scarce access to quality educational resources.   Prior to leading Almost Fun, she was a product manager at Google, leading development of features on Google Classroom and Google Maps. She received her B.A. in Math and Computer Science from Harvard College.

    • 52 min

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