Professor Eugenia Cheng Kicks Off March Mathness 2023

Perennial favorite Professor Eugenia Cheng returned to Parker to kick off March Mathness 2023 with two MX’s, one for students in LS and another for IS, MS and US. Thanks to the generosity of the Stenn Family Civics Initiative, we were able to bring the beloved Professor back to our community and free her to share her passion for applying mathematical thinking to issues of civics and responsible citizenship.

In her first MX, our lively LS students (who were meeting Professor Cheng for the first time!) explored division and the usefulness of fractions from the perspective of fairness and the question of how to distribute resources among friends, be they cakes, pizza or indivisible goods such as an adorable stuffed animal. Students enthusiastically and correctly engaged in call and response when prompted to divide 6 by its various factors and if ½ + ½ should equal 1, with a highlight coming when the room full of young minds repeated after her, “proportional representation!”

In her second MX of the day, our IS, MS and US students engaged deeply with her powerful thoughts on gender, collaboration, success and how to engage productively in the wider world. The Professor touched on normal distribution curves, research on gender differences, and how her own personal pursuit of success and upstanding citizenship has evolved, and she concluded her talk by defining two useful terms of her creation, ingressive and congressive (which she applied to math and success). Given our desire to train our students to maintain an environment of safety and inclusivity for all, to engage with complex ideas in an appropriately sophisticated and nuanced way, and to apply their skills, thoughts and values to make the world just, beautiful, and interesting, Professor Cheng’s MX was the perfect kickoff to Parker’s March Mathness 2023!
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.