author,
mathematical explorer

Francis Su writes about the dignity of human beings and the wonder of mathematical teaching.  He is the Benediktsson-Karwa Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College and a former president of the Mathematical Association of America. In 2013, he received the Haimo Award, a nationwide teaching prize for college math faculty, and in 2018 he won the Halmos-Ford writing award for a speech that inspired his book Mathematics for Human Flourishing (2020). His work has been featured in Quanta MagazineWired, and the New York Times.

This is Su's public-facing webpage. His scholarly work can be found at his Harvey Mudd College webpage.

 
 new book 

Mathematics for Human Flourishing 

An inclusive vision of mathematics—its beauty, its humanity, and its power to build virtues that help us all flourish
in bookstores now

"Like mathematics itself, Su's book is for everyone."

—Harvard Magazine, review

"'Mom, this is really good.'
S has not read anything that was not assigned to him still school went remote. So grateful."

—Mother of a teenager, tweet

"I don't much like the word 'inspiring,' but damned if I can think of a more suitable word for this book."

—Inside Higher Ed, review

"unconventional...
an invitation and a manifesto..." 

—Scientific American, review

I’ve aimed this book at a wide audience—especially those of you who don’t see yourselves as “math people.” Maybe the way for you to see yourself in mathematics is not for me to convince you that math is great or that math does lots of wonderful things, but for me to show you that math is intimately tied to being human. For then your deepest human desires reveal your mathematical nature—and you only need to awaken it. My friend Christopher Jackson, who discovered math as an inmate in a federal prison, has helped me see this more clearly than ever before.

other highlights
writer
SELECTED
PIECES

THE LESSON OF GRACE IN TEACHING

My Haimo Award acceptance speech. It may be my most popular piece of writing.

SOLVE THIS MATH PROBLEM: THE GENDER GAP

The op-ed I wrote for the Los Angeles Times after Maryam Mirzakhani won the Fields Medal.

speaker
SELECTED
VIDEOS

 

 

An clip from an inteview with Quanta Magazine, about why the community of mathematicians can be exclusive, even when we don't want to be.

 

The challenge from Phi Beta Kappa: give a 5-minute talk about math to general audience. I chose to speak about themes from my book. At PBK's EnLighting Talks Los Angeles.

professor
SELECTED
WORK

NEW (June 2019)

MASTERING LINEAR ALGEBRA

Video Series

For the Great Courses series, I made twenty-four 30-minute lectures on linear algebra. It can be used to supplement any linear algebra text.

NEW (Dec 2019)

TOPOLOGY THROUGH INQUIRY

Textbook

With Michael Starbird. An inquiry-based textbook for self-study or use in a course. Guided discovery. Covers point-set and algebraic topology.

New York Times

TO DIVIDE THE RENT, START WITH A TRIANGLE

Article about my research

A New York Times reporter called me one day, saying he'd used my research to solve his roommate problem. So he wrote a story and made a NYTimes interactive feature.

 
 
recent blog posts

Contact

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E-mail: [mylastname] @ math.hmc.edu.

Snail mail and more info can be found at:

"Inspiring."
---Inside Higher Ed
in bookstores
 now

#Math4HF

© 2020 by Francis Edward Su