Sara Maloni headshot

Sara Maloni

Assistant Professor of Mathematics

I love the relationships that we build with students in classes and with colleagues when we collaborate. I love the mutually challenging community that we create, and the collegiality and mutual support that arise. For all these reasons, I am very excited to be a College Fellow. I think too often we are pushed to make hasty decisions, without questioning our preconceptions. Too often I see people labelling themselves as "not Maths people", with a rigid, old-fashioned idea of what Mathematics is, and how Mathematicians should “look like”. In this class I would like to challenge the idea of Mathematics as an isolated subject built on dry formulas or arithmetic and show to the students what Mathematics is for me: beauty, symmetries, hidden patterns, curiosity, problem solving. I plan to do that by showing how Mathematics appears in so many different aspects, like visual arts, music, theatre, literature, architecture, politics, fights for human rights, sports, computer animations, and have the students explore and define what Mathematics is for them, hopefully integrating aspects they discovered in our local community. I think that  Mathematics "meets basic human desires -- such as desire for play, beauty, freedom, justice, and love -- and cultivates virtues essential for human flourishing", as Francis Su writes. I hope I can bring this idea to some of our first-year students, and  have them discover some new facets of Mathematics, and show them that there are multiple and equally worthy ways to be scientists.