Mathematicians are often inimically portrayed in popular culture, resulting in an abundance of non-mathematical identities in the classroom. Various tropes are propagated by the media that dominate our mental schemas of what makes a mathematician: the eccentric Einstein-like old man; the young, tortured genius; and the “genetically different” savant. However, these portrayals in popular culture can be used as a tool-rather than a hindrance-if teachers know how to present them properly in the classroom. Although the media often promotes mathematical myths, it can also be used to debunk them.
Journal of Mathematics Education at Teachers College
Barba, Kimberly M., "The Portrayal of Mathematicians and Mathematics in Popular Culture" (2018). Mathematics Faculty Publications. 65.
Barba, K. M. (2018). The portrayal of mathematicians and mathematics in popular culture. Journal of Mathematics Education at Teachers College, 9(1), 9-14. https://doi.org/10.7916/jmetc.v9i1.599