Thursday Think Speaker Series

The MƒA Thursday Think Speaker Series brings accomplished speakers who dive into cutting edge topics in STEM education to MƒA. A unique part of our professional course offerings, these talks, held on a Thursday of every month throughout the school year, invite MƒA teachers and their colleagues, as well as other educators and the general public to learn and engage with these thought leaders and professionals in mathematics, science, and education.

Upcoming Events


Jacqueline Faherty, Ph.D.March 16 — Mapping the Universe Across Space and Time

Featuring Jacqueline Faherty, Ph.D.

It is an exciting time for space science. With several high-profile astronomy mapping missions sharing their findings, scientists have an unprecedented opportunity to explore this new data for the next big discovery about our place in the Universe. In this talk, Dr. Jackie Faherty will launch teachers into an immersive tour of the most complete map of the Milky Way Galaxy (and beyond) and guide them on an adventure into nearby stellar systems, exoplanet systems, star-forming regions, and more. Specifically, Dr. Faherty will focus on the distribution of objects within 1500 light-years—including stars, brown dwarfs, and exoplanets—and discuss how they form and disperse.

MƒA teachers can register for this event on the Small-World Network. Other guests may register here


Cornelius MinorApril 20 — What It Means to Be Us Right Now

Featuring Cornelius Minor

We know more now than we have ever known—about teaching, communities, numeracy, how to position students on the path to success, and all the different kinds of success that can coexist. Why is it, then, that in many communities, the strategies for student success continue to elude us? The world in which we teach is ever-changing and radically different than it was even two years ago. In this talk, Cornelius Minor, author of the book We Got This, will explore how to strategically listen to students and how to act on what we hear. We are more than enough. We got this!

MƒA teachers can register for this event on the Small-World Network. Other guests may register here


Peter Liljedahl, Ph.D.June 1 — Building Thinking Classrooms

Featuring Peter Liljedahl, Ph.D.

What our classrooms look like and what happens in them is often guided by institutional norms laid down at the inception of an industrial-age model of public education. These norms enable a culture of teaching and learning frequently devoid of student thinking. In this talk, Dr. Peter Liljedahl will present results from over fifteen years of research into how teachers can transform their classrooms from a space where students mimic to one where students think. Dr. Liljedahl will draw upon and discuss practices from his recently published book Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics (Grades K-12): 14 Teaching Practices for Enhancing Learning.

MƒA teachers can register for this event on the Small-World Network. Other guests may register here


Previous Speakers


John MichelottiMycology: Exploring Fungi in the Environment and in the Classroom

Featuring John Michelotti


Jasmine McDonaldWhen Does Breast Cancer Risk Begin?

Featuring Jasmine McDonald, Ph.D.

Jeffrey MorrisStatistics and Data Science in Society

Featuring Jeffrey Morris, Ph.D.

Gholdy MuhammadBuilding a Foundation For Culturally and Historically Responsive Education

Featuring Gholdy Muhammad, Ph.D.

The Story ColliderThe Story Collider

Featuring MƒA Storytellers

Emily RiehlThe Mathematics of Social Choice

Featuring Emily Riehl, Ph.D.

David SpergelMeasuring the Shape and Age of the Universe

Featuring David Spergel, Ph.D.

Zarin MachandaLiving With Chimpanzees

Featuring Zarin Machanda, Ph.D.

Master Teachers on TeachingMT²: Master Teachers on Teaching

Featuring MƒA Master Teachers

Francis SuThe Mathematics of Card Shuffling

Featuring Francis Su, Ph.D.

Paul AndersenThe Science of Wonder

Featuring Educational Consultant and YouTube Creator Paul Andersen

Clara Sousa-SilvaWould We Know Life if We Saw It?

Featuring Clara Sousa-Silva, Ph.D.

Sian BellockMath Anxiety: Who Has It, Why It Develops, and How to Guard Against It

Featuring President of Barnard College Sian Beilock, Ph.D. 

Florian KrammerCOVID-19 Vaccines: What Do We Know Four Months Into Vaccine Rollout?

Featuring Florian Krammer, Ph.D.

Jess PhoenixVolcanology: Danger, Discovery, and Delight

Featuring Volcanologist Jess Phoenix

Erich JarvisSinging in the Brain

Featuring Neurobiologist Dr. Erich Jarvis

Dr. Robert Berry IIIExamining Identity, Agency, Positionality and Authority in Mathematics Teaching

Featuring National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) President Dr. Robert Berry

Chris EmdinWhen Content Meets Context: Toward a Revolution in STEM Education

Featuring Professor Chris Emdin

Mona ChalabiMade You Look: Statistics Through Data Visualization

Featuring Data Editor of Guardian US Mona Chalabi

George HartHands-On Puzzles

Featuring Mathematician and Sculptor Dr. George Hart


For speaker inquiries or speaking opportunities, contact Uzma Shah, Associate Director, Scientific Outreach and Partnerships