Podcast talks with MIT doctoral candidate Clare Kim about the (recent) history of math

Author: Ted Fox

cover art for With a Side of Knowledge podcast, featuring a plated Notre Dame waffle in the background behind the show's name and two dialogue bubbles in the foreground

With a Side of Knowledge is a podcast produced by the Office of the Provost at the University of Notre Dame. It brings listeners informal interviews with fascinating scholars and professionals from both Notre Dame and elsewhere that take place over brunch.

The 16th episode of season two, “On Math, Origami, and How No Discipline is an Island,” was released Thursday, May 16, and features Clare Kim, a doctoral candidate in the Program in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society at MIT. She spent the 2018–19 academic year in residence at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study as a graduate student fellow and, when she and host Ted Fox talked, was nearing completion of her dissertation.

Kim’s work traces the trajectory of mathematical thinking—and just as importantly, our mainstream thinking about mathematics—in the United States over the last 100-plus years. Although her dissertation is structured chronologically, she refers to her research as a cultural analysis and history, one that uncovers a surprising degree of back and forth between math, as a discipline, and more humanistic pursuits, something that continues to this day. While she’s at it, she also tells an intriguing story about a lawsuit involving origami.

You can visit provost.nd.edu/podcast to learn more about With a Side of Knowledge, which is available through iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher or by searching “With a Side of Knowledge” in your favorite podcast app.

You can also listen to the episode with Kim using the player below.