May 24 Day 77: Shine Your Light

Finding balance in isolation has been a challenge. My foci have been: creating community within my classroom and my professional association, sharing space and supporting priorities of family members, and meeting my commitments. Since March 9, my number one priority has been to survive the jarring upheaval that was this academic year in the time of Corona. With the benefit of a three day weekend, some rest, and seeing the end of the quarter in sight, I am taking this opportunity to plan for new adventures in isolation. I want to use my skills to amplify the role of math and science in sound decision making—to move closer to MAA’s vision of “a society that values the beauty and power of mathematics and fully realizes its potential to promote human flourishing.”

I realize this is a tall order. But I like to dream big. My summer to-do list contains the following:

  • Complete my multiyear labor-of-love book project Phoebe and Blaise: A Pattern of Correspondence. Elevator pitch “Griffin and Sabine meet Hugo Cabaret and do some math.” Sixteen chapters and 56 illustrations done. Five chapters and an undetermined number of illustrations to go.
  • Support local Tacoma Math Walks #TacomaMath through responsible socially-distant math walks. The pandemic knocked the feet out from under this project in March. Its time to pivot, re-engage community partners, and move the dial to promote a positive mathematical culture in my town.
  • Continue creating art in the medium of living light. In collaboration with my husband Mark, we have been creating LuxArt at the boundaries between science and art. He is the master of culture—growing bioluminescent¬† Photobacterium leignothi —and I paint on agar plates. Here are some of my favorite past portraits.

Why wait? I plan to paint agar plates tonight and let my own light shine through.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

6 thoughts on “May 24 Day 77: Shine Your Light

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