Since it debuted at UMBC in November 2014, The Mathematics of Being Human has garnered strong praise and it has traveled to San Antonio, New York City, and Baltimore. Its latest review comes in advance of an independent production of the play in New Delhi in January.
Stephen Abbott, a professor of mathematics at Middlebury College, reviewed the play for the January notice of the American Mathematical Society. Praising it for building off of real life experiences to explore studying mathematics and the humanities, Abbott gave the production a positive review.
“Witty and lighthearted, The Mathematics of Being Human is at its core a heady piece that engages its audience’s minds without making any sustained attempt to engage its hearts,” Abbott wrote in the review.” He added: “So is this play an argument for or against interdisciplinary teaching? Like a good piece of art, The Mathematics of Being Human doesn’t make this obvious or absolute for its viewers.”
The play, written by Michele Osherow, an associate professor of English, and Manil Suri, a mathematics professor, is inspired by their experiences jointly teaching a freshman seminar that bridged their two areas of expertise. The production was a natural outgrowth of a popular Chronicle of Higher Education article series and it debuted at UMBC in November 2014. It was directed by Alan Kreizenbeck, an associate professor of theatre, and Savannah Jo Chamberlain ’16, theatre, and Chaz Atkinson ’16, theatre, portrayed students in the seminar.
The Mathematics of Being Human is scheduled to be performed as an independent production with a new cast at the American Center in New Delhi on January 14 and 15, 2016. A future production will take place at the University of Pittsburgh.
Read Stephen Abbott’s full review in the January American Mathematical Society notice.
Image: Mathematics of Being Human debuts at UMBC. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.