The excitement of discovery inspires Assistant Professor of Mathematics Emily Cilli-Turner, PhD, to help her students gain a solid foundation in mathematics in the University of San Diego’s College of Arts and Sciences.

For Dr. Cilli-Turner, who began her undergraduate studies in psychology and transitioned into engineering before choosing mathematics, a cryptography course widened her perception of math beyond numbers and formulas. In graduate school, the experience of teaching broadened her career goals in academia.

“In cryptography, I liked looking at patterns and structures. It helped me see that I really did enjoy math,” Cilli-Turner says. “When I went to grad school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but as I was teaching, I realized I liked it. I like when students have the ‘light bulb’ moment.”

Joining USD last semester as part of the Borders and Social Justice cluster hire, Cilli-Turner has focused on pursuing diversity and equity goals in her area of study as well as social justice. Cilli-Turner is one of fourteen new faculty members hired as part of the university’s new collaborative strategy that focuses on bringing faculty from various thematic areas to join the College of Arts and Sciences community.

“I’ve been developing curricula for courses on gerrymandering and mathematics with social justice issues, and increasingly part of my research is looking at more inclusive classrooms,” she says. “In the broader (mathematics) community, there is a call to think about equity and especially access – who is in our classes, who should be in our classes, and creating an equitable and inclusive experience for all our students. The cluster concept also stimulates ideas for collaboration with students and faculty,” Cilli-Turner says….

*Full story at University of San Diego.*

Noah EinsteinApril 27, 2023 at 1:48 pmI am a mathematician. (Because I identify myself as one.). Are there unjust mathematical equations? Does 2 + 2 = 5?

This math professor is an expert at ambiguous communication. Does she have formal graduate education in newspeak?

Bottom line: what will her mathematics teach, what are the goals and what will the results be?

My preferred pronouns are genie and us.

read itApril 27, 2023 at 5:48 pmI guess you did not read the article, Noah Einstein.

Noah EinsteinApril 27, 2023 at 9:44 pmI did. Did you understand what she said about mathematics? What will her mathematics teach, what are the goals and what will the results be?

If you read and understood her, can you please provide an explanation not understandable only to those in the educational elite or progressives?

real lifeApril 27, 2023 at 10:13 pmI do not what courses she teaches but she is talking about teaching math in ways that people can see how it applies in real life.

Noah EinsteinApril 28, 2023 at 9:05 amThat is what applied mathematics is about. Why does it appear to have a political component (gerrymandering, for example)? Must every subject be politicized? There is no Democrat or Republican or gay or straight math. Also, there is a value in theoretical mathematics as well. Shouldn’t our educational institutions focus on teaching concepts and skills so that graduates are better prepared to take their place in the world and provide for themselves and others?

Or, is it more important that students adopt Leftist worldviews?

Your Fellow CatholicApril 29, 2023 at 3:15 amThere are unjust mathematical equations. Gerrymandering is one of them, and it is just as unjust when Democrats do it in Maryland (one of the most egregiously gerrymandered states) or whether New York does it in a way that threw the entire house into Republican hands even though the vast majority of voters voted for democratic house members.

I’d be curious Noah Einstein about your take on the mathematics of the loaves and the fishes.

Matt MaticsApril 27, 2023 at 3:16 pmthis approach to math doesn’t add up

not allowed to failApril 27, 2023 at 6:32 pmAs a matter of equity, some students are not allowed to fail even if they deserve to.

DanApril 27, 2023 at 7:08 pmThough now retired, I taught math for 31 years at Pasadena City College. The last several years saw mathematics instruction with a definite DEI emphasis. Contained in this emphasis were some good ideas on assisting students who had the ability to do college mathematics but for any one of a number of reasons had failed the equivalent high school courses (algebra II, trigonometry, pre-calculus or calculus). Identifying these students is not always easy and one part of the DEI emphasis is identifying who they are. Once identified, creating classroom experiences which help bring these students up to speed is also part of this emphasis. How this plays out in practice at USD I’m sure I have no idea but there are hints in this article. My great fear is that the equity emphasis, that is, equal outcomes, is only achieved by dumbing down all instruction so it is accessible to everyone. As we know, mathematics is not that way. Not everyone can get a PHD in mathematics like Emily; in fact it is very hard to earn such a degree. It would be most helpful if USD would define their equity goals for mathematics so we could see exactly what they intend to accomplish.

applicationsApril 27, 2023 at 9:44 pmDan, I think this is more about applications of math.

DanApril 28, 2023 at 8:39 amI agree, and should have included that. Thanks for the heads up.

CuriousApril 28, 2023 at 9:15 amapplications, then why is she “part of the Borders and Social Justice cluster hire?” “Cilli-Turner has focused on pursuing diversity and equity goals in her area of study as well as social justice.” If she were hired to teach applied mathematics, she wouldn’t have to be part of the Border and Social Justice cluster. Why can’t she just be a good math professor? Or, is she a “social justice” professor as well? Honestly, this is about more than good math instruction.

appApril 28, 2023 at 12:03 pmCurious, yes, it is about more than good math instruction. It is about how math is necessary in Social Justice. So she is working on curriculum that is interesting to people who are interesting in things like that.

There is nothing wrong with that.

We called them word problems.

What is today’s story here?

With the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute estimating 930,160 abortions, this means Planned Parenthood kills 40% of all babies killed in abortions in the United States.

That is Math.

CuriousApril 28, 2023 at 2:38 pmDo you think she’ll use that example?

(I’ll bet you lunch at Tommy Bahama’s Marlin Bar that she doesn’t.)

Or, only left-leaning examples?

Will she use binary numbers or 2 in base 10 regarding the number of genders?

I hope she does, but she won’t if she’s a social justice warrior.

Plain old justice and plain math seem to be needed.

not ChristianApril 28, 2023 at 6:10 pmOnce again, somebody just wants to make assumptions about somebody that they don’t even know. Not Christian. Totally against the teaching of Jesus Christ.

JudgingApril 29, 2023 at 1:57 amThis lady is doing nothing wrong

You are judging her. You are doing something wrong.

Reply to judgingApril 30, 2023 at 4:57 pmNo. Good judgment is badly needed, here. You really need to see fraudulence in the classroom, and protect your kids. Mathematics is pure, intellectual, theoretical. It has nothing at all to do with social qualities, such as race, ethnicity, gender, economic level, religion, politics, nationality, or anything else. Every child needs to learn basic mathematical skills, for practical purposes in life. But beyond that, higher mathematics is for those who are very talented at math. Some kids are born with innate mathematical gifts. A child with innate math talent, can be of any race, ethnicity, gender, religion, economic level, or nationality. Only God can give a child innate math ability. What is actually needed, is good math teachers in schools, who can help students do their best with it. Beyond that, a math major in college– and in grad school– needs to be guided to his or her fullest potential. Only God can give a child innate math ability– and everyone must respect that. This craze of schoolteachers and college professors trying to manipulate society, with liberal-leftist political agendas, is totally unfair to students, and needs to be ended.

Math "equity" garbageMay 1, 2023 at 9:26 pmSan Francisco schools are being driven by the crazy “equity” concepts in math. So guess what parents are doing? Affluent parents are either supplementing their children’s math education with tutoring or online courses, or putting them in private schools. And the parents of the poor and disadvantaged kids are unable to afford these things– so, the poor and disadvantaged children are getting nothing at all! This crazy “math equity” garbage ought to be illegal!