Alumna says math taught her to think differently about the world

Katherine McCulloh ‘12 thinks math is an art.

“Before attending Cornell I didn’t see math as the intricate art it is,” she said, “but being exposed to math at such an advanced level at Cornell helped me push myself to think, to see mathematics on a deeper level and construct more concrete arguments.”

Now on the math team at Success Academy Charter Schools, McCulloh said math has opened up many possible career options for her. After graduating with a math major, McCulloh pursued her passion for math education by teaching at Pershing High School. She then went on to work as an operations assistant at the National Museum of Math before taking her current job.

“Being a math major and taking high level mathematics classes made me think in a different way about the world around me,” McCulloh said, “It definitely prepared me for my work after graduation at the Museum of Mathematics and my current position.”

In her current position, McCulloh develops curriculum and provides resources and training to support middle school math teachers. Founded in 2006 by Eva Moskowitz, Success Academy Charter Schools is the largest free, public charter school network in New York City. Success Academy operates 46 schools serving 15,500 students in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

During her time at Cornell, McCulloh participated in the math department’s K-12 education and outreach activities, which are led by faculty, graduate students and undergrads in math and the Center for Applied Mathematics. She was also a math tutor at Belle Sherman Elementary School, which involved both in-class tutoring and assisting with an after-school program.

Outside of the classroom, McCulloh participated in the “Vagina Monologues” productions and worked at the Cornell’s Women’s Resource Center. She also interned at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies/ Monterey Institute of International Studies.

“All my experiences at Cornell were very formative,” McCulloh said. “Cornell prepared me well for my work in education.”

Yvette Lisa Ndlovu is a communications assistant for the College of Arts and Sciences. 

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