Attributes of a good mathematician

In a Professional Development activity a couple of years ago, we brainstormed the “attributes of a good mathematician.” These were supposed to be the characteristics that a successful math student should be developing, so we started thinking about how to inculcate them in our students. This year we’re taking the idea seriously, requiring our freshmen (both college-prep and honors) to write reflections about how they are demonstrating each attribute. The reflections are to be spread out throughout the year, roughly one per month, in no particular order. I’m looking forward to seeing the results!

Here are the attributes:

A mathematician values…

  • Persistence
  • Communication
  • Resilience
  • Critical thinking
  • Logic
  • Curiosity
  • Creativity
  • Organization
  • Collaboration

By the way, this is a great example of how professional development ought to be: bottom-up, not top-down.

Categories: Math, Teaching & Learning, Weston