A Mathematician's Manifesto For Rethinking Gender

Hosted by the Department of Mathematics

MAR.1.04, Marshall Building, United Kingdom


Dr Eugenia Cheng

Dr Eugenia Cheng



Professor Jan van den Heuvel

Professor Jan van den Heuvel

Head of Department of Mathematics

X+Y: A Mathematician's Manifesto for Rethinking Gender

The question of why women and minorities are under-represented in mathematics is complex and there are no simple answers, only many contributing factors. Dr Cheng will draw on a combination of precise mathematical reasoning, techniques of abstract mathematical thinking, and her experiences as a woman in the male-dominated field of mathematics.

Dr Cheng will argue that if we focus on character traits rather than gender, we can have a more productive and less divisive conversation, about math and beyond. She will present a new theory for doing so, showing that we can use abstract mathematical thinking to work towards a more inclusive society in this politically divisive era. 

Meet our speaker and chair

Eugenia Cheng is a mathematician, educator, author, public speaker, columnist, concert pianist and artist. She is Scientist In Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She won tenure in Pure Mathematics at the University of Sheffield, UK and is now Honorary Visiting Fellow at City, University of London. She has previously taught at the Universities of Cambridge, Chicago and Nice and holds a PhD in pure mathematics from the University of Cambridge. Alongside her research in Category Theory and undergraduate teaching her aim is to rid the world of “math phobia”.  Her first popular math book, How to Bake Pi, was published by Profile (UK)/Basic Books (US) in 2015 to widespread acclaim including from the New York Times, National Geographic, Scientific American, and she was interviewed around the world including on the BBC, NPR and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Eugenia was an early pioneer of math on YouTube and her videos have been viewed around 15 million times to date. Her next popular math book, Beyond Infinity was published in 2017 and was shortlisted for the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize 2017, and The Art of Logic was published by Profile and Basic Books in 2018. She also writes the Everyday Math column for the Wall Street Journal, and has completed mathematical art commissions for Hotel EMC2, 6018 North, the Lubeznik Center and the Cultural Center, Chicago. She is the founder of the Liederstube, an intimate oasis for art song based in Chicago. Her book x + y : A Mathematician’s Manifesto for Rethinking Gender was published in 2020 and her first children’s book is on its way.

Jan van den Heuvel is the Head of the Mathematics Department at LSE. He has taught at the School for over 20 years on a variety of courses, from large undergraduate ones to specialised PhD courses.

His research interests include discrete mathematics in general, with the focus on graph theory. He is also interested instructural properties of classes of graphs (such as planargraphs)and algorithmic aspects of properties of graphs in those classes. He has also published in related areas such as matroid theory.

This event has been organised by the Department of Mathematics at LSE. You can follow us on Twitter via @LSEMaths and keep track of the event using the hashtag #LSEEugeniacheng.

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