I am passionate about sharing math research with the community; helping broaden how folks view what math is, how it is used, and who does it; and encouraging students in their future goals. In this direction, I have developed and led interactive STEM programs in schools, summer programs, and community centers in Providence, Columbus, and Evanston, with audiences spanning kindergarteners to senior citizens. I have also shared research with the community virtually through the 2Scientists podcast and the SkypeAScientist program. I am always happy to hear about opportunities to present research in community settings (if you are a K-12 teacher interested in math presentations, please email me here). I am also interested in hearing from students who are looking for public-science research projects.

STEM outreach in K-12 settings:

I have developed several interactive presentations aimed at K-12 students. I briefly describe the presentations below; please contact me if you would like to use the associated materials (I am happy to send slides and further details).

Zebrafish stripes with perler beads:
Fish have many different patterns, and multi-colored cells move around on the skin to form zebrafish stripes. In interactive presentations, I use perler beads ("pigment cells") to guide K-5th grade students through making their own patterns and then following a rule to create stripes. At the end of the presentation, I ask the students to guess what subject I teach, and I bring up my zebrafish code. As a group, we change numbers in the code to simulate different fish patterns. With prior postbac student Blake Shirman, I have also reworked this outreach project as a manuscript and public-science website, so that it can be used as a tool for broadening how children view applied math without a researcher needing to be present in the classroom.

Presentations on this topic:
  • 3rd-grade computer-coding class, Washington Elementary School, Evanston, IL (Feb. 2020)
  • 2nd-grade computer-coding class, Washington Elementary School, Evanston, IL (Feb. 2020)
  • Pheasant Run Clubhouse (Boys & Girls Club), Reynoldsburg, OH (Dec. 2018)
  • Pheasant Run Clubhouse (Boys & Girls Club), Reynoldsburg, OH (Dec. 2018)
  • Gables Elementary School (Boys & Girls Club summer program), Columbus, OH (July 2018)
  • Oakmont Elementary School (Boys & Girls Club summer program), Columbus, OH (July 2018)
  • Livingston Elementary School (Boys & Girls Club summer program), Columbus, OH (July 2018)

Simulating random walks within the cell:
Nerve cells have roadways inside them that are responsible for ferrying various cargoes throughout the neuron. The process is similar to traffic flow: kind of like on highways, a traffic jam can occur inside cells if transport is disrupted, and this is harmful for the cell. However, there is one big difference: traffic flow inside neurons is random. In this interactive presentation for 6th-8th graders, we explore random walks and mathematical biology using coin-flips and simulations to answer the questions in this worksheet.

I have given this presentation through the Ohio Supercomputer Center's YWSI program:
  • OSC Young Women's Summer Institute, Columbus, OH (July 2018)

When do small changes matter?:
In this presentation aimed at 5th-7th graders (or those with exposure to negative numbers), we explore concepts from dynamical systems (stability and instability) using stop signs, arrows, and number lines.

I have given this presentation twice through Kavita Ramanan's Math CoOp at Brown University:
  • Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth program, Providence, RI (Dec. 2016)
  • STEAM Week, Jewish Community Day School, Providence, RI (Feb. 2016)

STEM engagement for adults:

  • In an episode of the 2Scientists podcast titled Math the Vote, Pt. II, I talked about my scientific story, research, and outreach (Oct. 27, 2020).
  • Through the SPOT program at Northwestern, I have shared my research at the Levy Senior Citizen Center in Evanston, IL. I spoke about animal-skin patterns in Dec. 2019 and talked about elections (virtually) in Oct. 2020.
  • In an interdisciplinary talk titled Self-rule on the skin: how the zebrafish gets its stripes, I presented on what "autonomy" means from a math perspective at the OSU STEAM Factory Exchange on Autonomy (March 22, 2018).

Public-science articles:

* Asterisk denotes undergraduate or postbac students mentored

Teaching in correctional facilities:

Rhode Island correctional facilities offer community college courses in some centers, and in graduate school I volunteered as an instructor of math classes in women's prisons through a program led by Matthew Harrison:
  • Business Mathematics (topics including check writing, discounts, hourly wages, salary, and comissions), Spring 2014.
  • Basic Mathematics (topics spanning whole numbers, long division, fractions, and decimal multiplication), Fall 2013.

Press coverage:

Some of my research has received press coverage: Additionally, my commencement addresses were highlighted at UMBC and Brown:
  • Doctoral commencement address at Brown University
    • Announcement article in Brown News (May 3, 2017)
  • Valedictorian address at the University of Maryland Baltimore County