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Rethinking Gender With Mathematician Eugenia Cheng

A girl wears a face mask as students sit in a classroom in Germany. (INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
A girl wears a face mask as students sit in a classroom in Germany. (INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)

This rebroadcast originally aired on September 16, 2020.

A mathematician turns gender into a math problem. We hear how math can help us rethink ingrained conceptions of gender.  


Eugenia Cheng, mathematician, educator, concert pianist and author. Scientist-in-residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Author of “X+Y: A Mathematician’s Manifesto for Rethinking Gender” and “Molly and the Mathematical Mysteries: Ten Interactive Adventures in Mathematical Wonderland.” (@DrEugeniaCheng)

More from WBUR

Excerpt from “X+Y” by Eugenia Cheng

Excerpted from “X+Y” by Eugenia Cheng. Copyright © 2020 by Eugenia Cheng. This excerpt may not be reproduced without permission from the publisher. All rights reserved.

From The Reading List

Wired: “How to Undo Gender Stereotypes in Math—With Math!” — “Being a woman means many things.”

The Guardian: “x + y by Eugenia Cheng review – an end to the gender wars?” — “Eugenia Cheng is on a mission to change the world for the better, using maths. Her first book, How to Bake Pi, used recipes to teach readers how to think mathematically.”

New York Times: “Want a Better Way to Think About Gender? Use Math” — “Eugenia Cheng is a mathematician, a musician and a writer.”

New York Times: “To the Mathematician Eugenia Cheng, There’s No Gap Between Art and Science” — “‘The boundaries between subjects are really artificial constructs,’ says the mathematician and author, whose new book is ‘X+Y: A Mathematician’s Manifesto for Rethinking Gender.’ ‘Like the boundaries between colors in a rainbow.'”

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