“Being a Trans Mathematician:
A Q&A with Autumn Kent”
Autumn Kent is a trans mathematician and a professor in the department of mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She specializes in the mathematics of topology and geometry and has published a little over 2 dozen papers on these topics, which you can read at www.math.wisc.edu/~kent.
Kent has also been known for her mathematical drawings, with some of her pen drawings published in the text Illustrating Mathematics (ed. Diana Davis), and her essay Cold, Austere, or Queer in “Living Proof: Stories of Resilience Along the Mathematical Journey.” She serves as a member of the UW Madison LGBTQ Committee and has both spoken at and organized conferences addressing the role of LGBTQ people and women in mathematics as a discipline. The interview she participated in with Evelyn Lamb is a great place to start to learn more about Kent’s work and how her identity intersects with mathematics, her career as a professor, and her body of work as an author.
“Mathematicians are very social, and there is plenty of overt transphobia, misogyny, homophobia, and racism plainly visible in the things academics say on social media. There is a dangerous amount of tolerance of intolerable people in academia based on the principle that we are all dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and beauty and that a person’s academic work makes them a person worthy of mutual respect. This principle is wrong.” – Lamb interview