Pamela E. Harris

Black and white photo of Pamela, facing camera wearing black top
Current Workplace
Williams College
Current Role
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
My Mathematics Success Story is...

My finishing high school was a big deal in my family, as both of my parents education ended at 9th grade. However, as an undocumented immigrant living in the United States there were few options for my post high school education. I was able to attend a community college and later, after marrying a US citizen and having a change in immigration status, transferred to Marquette University to complete a BS in mathematics. Following this I completed an MS and PhD from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. My first position was as a postdoctoral fellow at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where I worked for four years training leaders of character for the US Army. I found that work challenging and rewarding, but more importantly I consider it a small service to the adoptive country that has provided me with so many opportunities. Currently I am an Assistant Professor in the department of Mathematics and Statistics at Williams College. My research interests are in algebra and combinatorics, particularly as these subjects relate to the representation theory of Lie algebras. My recent research on vector partition functions and projects in graph theory has been supported through awards from the National Science Foundation and the Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics. I am interested in improving diversity and retention rates among women and minorities in the mathematical sciences. I co-organize research symposia and professional development sessions for the national conference of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, was a Mathematical Association of America’s Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) Fellow from 2012-2013, and I am an editor of the e-Mentoring Network blog of the American Mathematical Society. In 2016, I co-founded, an online platform that features prominently the extent of the research and mentoring contributions of Latins and Hispanics in the Mathematical Sciences. I am also the lead editor for the Special Issue on Motherhood and Mathematics of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, to be published in July 2018.

Women in mathematics
Racial diversity
Caring responsibilities (including children)
Diverse socioeconomic backgrounds