Pamela E. Harris

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Pamela E. Harris
Born (1983-11-28) November 28, 1983 (age 36)
Academic background
Alma materMarquette University, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
ThesisCombinatorial problems related to Kostant’s weight multiplicity formula (2012)
Doctoral advisorDr. Jeb Willenbring
Academic work
InstitutionsWilliams College

Pamela Estephania Harris (born November 28, 1983) is a Mexican-American mathematician, educator and advocate for immigrants. She is an assistant professor at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts and co-founder of the online platform Lathisms.[1] She is also an editor of the e-mentoring blog of the American Mathematical Society (AMS).[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Harris first emigrated with her family from Mexico to the United States when she was 8 years old.[3][4] They returned to Mexico, before eventually settling in Wisconsin when Harris was 12.[3][5] Because she was undocumented, she could not attend university.[6][5] Instead, she studied at the Milwaukee Area Technical College, where she earned two associate degrees.[5] After she married a US citizen and her immigration status changed, she transferred to Marquette University, where she obtained a bachelor's degree in mathematics.[6][3] She went on to complete her master's degree and in 2012 a PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her PhD dissertation was advised by Jeb F. Willenbring.[7] Harris was a Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) fellow in 2012.[8] She became a Davies Research Fellow at the United States Military Academy[3][5] and, in 2016, an assistant professor at Williams College.[9][5]

Harris studies algebraic combinatorics, in particular the representation of Lie algebras.[5] In order to understand this representation she studies vector partition functions, in particular Kostant's partition function.[3] She is also interested in graph theory and number theory.[9] In 2016 she co-founded an online platform called 'Lathisms' which aims to promote the contributions of Latinxs and Hispanics in mathematics.[1][3]


In 2019, Harris won the Henry L. Alder Award of the Mathematical Association of America, a national teaching award for young faculty, for her mentorship towards undergraduate research and for her "fierce advocate for a diverse and inclusive mathematics community".[10] She further received the early career Faculty Mentor Award from the Council of Undergraduate Research.[9]

She was an invited plenary speaker for Mathematical Association of American at the 2019 Joint Mathematics Meetings.[11] In 2019 she was a keynote speaker at national conference of SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science).[6][12]

In 2018 Harris was featured in the book Power in Numbers: The Rebel Women of Mathematics.[4][12]


  1. ^ a b "Check out the Lathisms website, co-founded by Professor Harris!". Mathematics & Statistics. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  2. ^ "About the Editors". e-Mentoring Network. January 25, 2013. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Williams, Talithia (October 23, 2019). "Spotlight on: Pamela Harris". Chalkdust. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Williams, Talithia (2018). "Pamela E. Harris (b. November 28, 1983): Improving Diversity on the Mathematical Sciences". Power in Numbers: The Rebel Women of Mathematics. Race Point Publishing. pp. 192–195. ISBN 978-0-7603-6028-6.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Cortez, Ricardo; Ardila, Federico (September 1, 2018). "Pamela Harris: The Mathematical Rise and Social Contribution of a Dreamer" (PDF). Notices of the American Mathematical Society. 65: 1. doi:10.1090/noti1723.
  6. ^ a b c Serrato Marks, Gabriela (January 16, 2020). "Five facts about Pamela E. Harris, Mexican-American mathematician and educator of "leaders of character"". Massive Science. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  7. ^ Pamela E. Harris at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  8. ^ "Fellow Search Form | Mathematical Association of America". Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  9. ^ a b c "CUR Math/CS Division Selects 2019 Faculty Mentor Awardees | General News – News | Council on Undergraduate Research". Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  10. ^ "Henry L. Alder Award". Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  11. ^ "Joint Mathematics Meetings 2019". Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  12. ^ a b "Keynote Speakers – SACNAS". Retrieved January 18, 2020.

External links[edit]