I’ve been in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Cal Poly Pomona since 2006. I was introduced to STEM programs that fostered equity and diversity through the MESA program (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) in middle and high school, and the Professional Development Program as an undergraduate at the University of California at Berkeley. Through my experiences in these programs as a participant and later as an instructor, I became interested in the complex issues related to access and equity in STEM education and mathematics education in particular, which in turn motivated my further study in mathematics.

My primary research focus is in the field of low-dimensional topology, with an emphasis on 3-manifold topology, knot theory, and graph theory. The study of knot theory is closely related to the study of 3-manifold topology and involves the study of mathematical properties of 3-dimensional spaces. My research in knot theory involves understanding the possible complexities and structures of surfaces in knot complements has been at the center of my research. More recently, I have begun to develop a research program related to the study of symmetries of embedded graphs in the three sphere and other manifolds.

In addition to maintaining an active research program in low-dimensional topology, I have interests in organizing around the issue of math literacy. This has for the most part come out of my work with the Algebra Project, Inc. both on the national level and locally in Los Angeles. This work centers around using equitable teaching practices along with community organizing to promote mathematics literacy and access for those communities that are the most underserved.

I firmly believe in equity and racial justice for the Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities, and much of my time goes towards related efforts in the mathematical sciences. While mathematics is often looked at as politically neutral, belief in this ideology is harmful to any group that doesn’t meet the norms set by the status quo, which is currently Euro-centric and male dominated.

Much of my career is inspired by the efforts of many others to push for a cultural shift in the mathematics community towards one whose membership and leadership recognizes and celebrates the contributions that all groups of people and cultures have to offer, and that is welcoming to and nurturing of the younger generation of Black mathematicians that are eager to enter the field as educators and practitioners.