Erica Walker

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Erica N. Walker
Bornjuly 20 .1999
AwardsAWM/MAA Falconer Lecturer 2015
Scientific career
InstitutionsTeachers College, Columbia University

Erica N. Walker is an American mathematician and Professor of Mathematics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Walker’s research focuses on "social and cultural factors as well as educational policies and practices that facilitate mathematics engagement, learning and performance, especially for underserved students".[1][2]


Walker is originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and began learning mathematics as a preschooler from a mathematics teacher who lived next door.[3] As a high school student, Walker showed an aptitude for math. Encouraged by a teacher to take AP Calculus during her senior year, Walker found "the calculus teacher was terrible, ...."so we students all taught each other after class." She realized that she enjoyed teaching math to her friends. That experience led Walker to majoring in mathematics in college and her early career of teaching mathematics in public school.[4]

Walker earned a B.S. (cum laude) in mathematics at Birmingham–Southern College. She obtained a M.Ed in Mathematics Education at Wake Forest University. After obtaining her graduate degree, Walker taught high school mathematics in Atlanta, Georgia. Her teaching experience and earlier observation of few African-American students in upper level math courses during college, led to an interest and goal of encouraging more African-American students to take advanced math classes.[1][5]

Walker received her doctorate in education from Harvard University's Graduate School of Education in 2001.[1] At Harvard, she furthered her studies and research in the "experience of students of color in math classes." Her dissertation, "On Time and Off Track: Advanced Mathematics Course-Taking Among High School Students," examined the experience of students taking math classes: who continues to upper level math, who stops and why.[5]

Academic career[edit]

Walker was a postdoctoral fellow at Teachers College, Columbia University from 2001 to 2002.[6]

She has been a faculty member at Teachers College since 2002.[1] Her primary research interests are: racial and gender equity in mathematics education, student persistence in advanced mathematics, and mathematics educational policy. She is the author of two books and has contributed to a number of scholarly journals.[1][2]

In 2017 she became director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Teachers College.[7]

Awards and honors[edit]

Walker was the AWM/MAA Falconer Lecturer for 2015, speaking on "A Multiplicity All at Once': Mathematics for Everyone, Everywhere".[8]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Building Mathematics Learning Communities: Improving Outcomes in Urban High Schools. New York: Teachers College Press, 2012[9]
  • Beyond Banneker: Black Mathematicians and the Paths to Excellence. New York: State University of New York Press, 2015[10]
  • Getting to the Right Algebra: The Equity 2000 Initiative in Milwaukee Public Schools. MDRC Working Papers., (co-author with Sandra Ham)[6]
  • Making Math Count, Why Aren't More Minorities Taking Advanced Math ?, Educational Leadership, Nov. 2007, Volume 65, pp. 48–53[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Walker. "Professional Biography" (PDF). Columbia University. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b TC. "Walker, Erica". Columbia University. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Erica Walker". Mathematically Gifted and Black. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  4. ^ TC. "Activism by the Numbers: Raising Math Consciousness in a Phobic Society". Columbia University. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  5. ^ a b TC. "Minority Postdoctoral Fellows". Columbia University. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  6. ^ a b Walker. "Dr. Erica N. Walker". Columbia University. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  7. ^ Erica Walker Named to Lead Teachers College’s Institute for Urban and Minority Education: Expert in mathematics education will build on the rich history and innovations of a longstanding TC flagship, Teachers College, December 11, 2017
  8. ^ MAA. "AWM-MAA Falconer Lectures". Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  9. ^ Review of Building Mathematics Learning Communities:
    • Lim, Woong (January 2017), "Review", MAA Reviews
  10. ^ Reviews of Beyond Banneker:
    • Tellado Ruiz de Gauna, Itxaso (2014), Redimat: Journal of Research in Mathematics Education (in Spanish), Hipatia Press (3): 294–296, doi:10.4471/redimat.2014.55CS1 maint: Untitled periodical (link)
    • Buckmire, Ron (November 2016), "Review", MAA Reviews

External links[edit]