Join us for Dr. V. Rani Satyam talk on "What is Mathematical Beauty? Importance for Mathematics Education" Tuesday February 8, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. in Rotunda 356.

Mathematicians throughout history have talked about pieces of mathematics as elegant or beautiful. In this talk, we'll first unpack what do we really mean when we say math is beautiful and consider why this is important for educational purposes. I argue surprise is one of the most important and relevant aspects, as this means we can create opportunities for mathematical beauty for students out of any content for K-16 students. I share emotion data from undergraduate students taking an introduction to proof class, for insight into mathematical moments they found satisfying.

Dr. Rani Satyam is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at Virginia Commonwealth University. She received her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from Michigan State University in 2018. Her research is centered on students’ mathematical cognition, affect (emotions, attitudes, beliefs, etc.), and the relationships between the two. In particular, she focuses on students’ mathematical thinking learning, primarily with undergraduates and proof. She also investigates students’ emotions in regards to mathematics, to understand the mechanisms behind intense positive experiences (e.g. moments of mathematical beauty, aha moments). She's a member of MAA's Project NExT and AMTE's STaR fellow programs and is a member of the NSF-funded Creativity Research Group.