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Candice Price -Math Gives Us Power

Meet Dr. Candice Price

· Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Smith College

· Judge for

Some of her Math Projects:

· The study of knots in DNA strands

· Building support networks for women and children in war zones

Watch this YouTube interview with Dr. Price!

Dr. Candice Price likes to use her math skills to make people stronger, to empower them. She can help people by connecting them together. The photo below shows what a network looks like. This one is a network of jazz musicians. Each dot is a musician. The lines show how the musicians work together.

Candice can make a network like this one for women who are living in war zones. During or after a war people and places get hurt. They need to be fixed. Women need to know who needs help and who can safely give help. They need a network. Candice can build a network map for them to help them find the support they need.

“We are all mathematical people. It’s not a gene. We do it every day.”

Candice is also using her math skills to unravel a very different kind of problem, DNA knots. Your DNA is in most cells of your body. Your DNA has the information your cells need to make you. It’s a bit like a blueprint. Instead of instructions for a house, DNA has instructions to make life. DNA molecules are like ropes. Inside the cell, those ropes sometimes get twisted into a knot. They won’t work. Candice studies these knots. If we understand how they are tied or untied, we could use knots. Someday we might be able to stop cancer cells by making their DNA tie itself in knots.

Candice never thought she’d grow up to be a mathematician. One of her professors in college told her that she was good at math. That professor encouraged her to get a math degree. Candice didn’t stop getting math degrees until she became a Doctor of Mathematics. Now Candice wants to help more kids feel mathematically empowered. “We are all mathematical people. It’s not a gene. We do it every day. If you like solving puzzles and math is something you enjoy, go for it. Don’t give up because you don’t look like other mathematicians. Be the first person like you to change that story. Feel mathematically empowered.”

Candice helps choose the most “mathical” books of the year. Here are some of the best math books she has chosen.

Read these magical, "mathical" books...


By Jennifer Swender

When Mika starts fifth grade at the middle school, her neat life gets messy. Separated from old friends and starting new classes, Mika is far from her comfort zone. And math class is the most confusing of all, especially when her teacher Mr. Vann assigns math journals. Art in math? Who's ever heard of such a thing? But when challenges arise at home, Mika realizes there are no easy answers. Maybe, with some help from friends, family, and one unique teacher, a math journal can help her work out problems, and not just the math ones. You can visit author Jennifer Swender’s Twitter page or visit her author page at Amazon.


by Rajani Lorocca, illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan

In ancient India, a boy named Bhagat travels to the Rajah's city, hoping to ensure his family's prosperity by winning a place at court as a singer. Bhagat carries his family's entire fortune--a single coin and a chain of seven golden rings--to pay for his lodging. But when the innkeeper demands one ring per night, and every link snipped costs one coin, how can Bhagat both break the chain and avoid overpaying? His inventive solution points the way to an unexpected triumph, and offers readers a friendly lesson in binary numbers--the root of all computing.

Visit author Rajani Larocca's website or visit his Amazon author page.


. . . and visit these fun math websites.


For older students:

Listen to these interviews, then try the math challenge if you dare!

For younger students:

Play these math games with your favorite PBS TV characters.

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Dec 18, 2021

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