January 9 Day 307: My New Hero Dr. Chelsea Walton

The Joint Mathematics Meeting is just about over. I have a social engagement remaining but my calendar for presentations, panels, and meetings is done. There were some remarkable moments but if I got to award a “Most Valuable Mathematician #JMM2021“, it would have to go to Dr. Chelsea Walton.

Dr. Walton gave two (not one but two) dynamite hour-long invited presentations. The first an MAA invited address entitled Navigating Collaboration. I already mentioned this talk in my post January 6 Day 304: The Mixed-Up No Good Very Bad Wonderful(?!?) Day It deserves repeating, she should write a book.

Then today she gave the NAM Claytor-Woodard Lecture. It was amazing.


She took the complex subject of noncommutative algebra and broke it into three stories—representations, deformations, and symmetries. There was real joy in the telling and her insights made the subject accessible to the nonexpert. There was humor and beautifully illustrated slides. This was a genuine invitation to the subject.

She showcased others from her field, both established and up-and-coming:

And she found ways to connect the subject to everyday experiences.

Dr. Walton, you are my new hero. Mathematics with story, intuition, clarity, collaboration, and joy. They are things I strive for and you achieve. Thank you.

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.

5 thoughts on “January 9 Day 307: My New Hero Dr. Chelsea Walton

  1. Oh my goodness- I am blown away from this! And super flattered! Thanks so much! I have to admit that it was tough putting the talks together over the holiday break. But I figured that if people were going to muster up the energy these days to attend, I better put on a show. I am truly honored by your very kind words and you made my week. 🙂

    Hope to meet in person later when the world gets off punishment.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: