In 2019, the book, Living Proof: Stories of Resilience Along the Mathematical Journey, was co-published and made freely available by the AMS and the MAA. It is a collection of 41 stories written by successful mathematicians about times they have struggled in their math education or their careers. Each story provides insight into how we can develop our own tools for resilience while supporting others along their mathematical journeys. While there is a wide variety of challenges and techniques for overcoming those challenges represented among the 41 stories in Living Proof, the book cannot possibly capture the rich diversity of experiences lived by folks in the mathematics community. This recognition was the initial inspiration for this blog. The blog also provides us a greater opportunity to recognize recurring themes, common struggles, and common solutions. When a student loses confidence in themselves after getting their first bad grade on a math test, or when someone is told for the first time that they might not have what it takes to succeed in mathematics, we hope that the Living Proof book and blog will provide a wealth of stories to let that student know that even the most accomplished mathematicians have failed exams; even the most well-respected members of our community have heard people in positions of power tell them that they aren’t cut out to be mathematicians. Sharing our stories can become an important part of someone else’s story of resilience.
The opinions expressed on this blog are the views of the writer(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the American Mathematical Society.
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