Kit Yates has asked mathematicians to post a picture of themselves using the hashtag #realfaceofmath, in the hope of dispelling the incorrect stereotype that all mathematicians are geeky white guys with beards and glasses (hi!).
I wrote previously on mathematician stereotypes, and suggested a few ideas for sources of biographies of historical and contemporary people working in maths who would be stereotype-breaking. I’m happy to report that since I wrote that post, This Is What A Scientist Looks Like has attracted more mathematicians.
Of course, in the background to all this is the issue of who counts as a mathematician. This issue has been well-discussed here, including by Katie Steckles, Liz Hind and on at least one previous occasion by me, plus the amusing satirical take by Christian Lawson-Perfect. My view is that if you’re using maths and are happy to think of yourself as a mathematician, that’s good enough for me.
Anyway, back to Kit and the #realfaceofmath, the hashtag on Twitter has attracted some interesting pictures — but there’s always room for more. I’m not keen on pictures of myself, and I don’t think I particularly break the stereotype, but I suppose if I am going to suggest you contribute a picture of yourself, I should play ball myself. So here we go.
— Peter Rowlett (@peterrowlett) August 9, 2015