Expository Articles, Talks, Notes, and Creative Writing

Ursula Whitcher

AMS Feature Columns

The Battle of Numbers
The Once and Future Feature Column
Risk Analysis and Romance
Quantifying Injustice
From Strings to Mirrors
Topological Quantum Field Theory for Vampires

Expository Articles

Counting points with Berglund-Hübsch-Krawitz mirror symmetry
Appeared in the Crossing the Walls in Enumerative Geometry conference proceedings.
Measuring Gender Representation on Editorial Boards in the Mathematical Sciences, with Andrew J. Bernoff.
Beyond the Black Box, with Jeroen Demeyer and William Stein.
Appeared in the Notices of the AMS.
Making a Hash of Things, with Adam A. Smith.
Math Horizons, November 2015.
Reflexive polytopes and lattice-polarized K3 surfaces
Calabi-Yau Varieties: Arithmetic, Geometry, and Physics, Fields Institute Monographs.
From Polygons to String Theory, with Charles Doran.
Appeared in Mathematics Magazine, December 2012.
Awarded the 2015 Merten Hasse Prize for exposition.


Selected slides or video from talks.

Hypergeometric decomposition of symmetric K3 pencils
BIRS has posted a video of the corresponding talk.
MathSciNet for Undergraduate and Graduate Students
A demo from the 2021 Joint Math Meetings.
Symmetry breaking: constructing a career in mathematics
Slides from a talk for the Swarthmore College Women+ in Mathematics and Statistics club
Visibility and Wikipedia
Slides from a SACNAS talk on "Visibility in the Mathematical Sciences"
Mirror, Mirror: String Theory and Pairs of Polyhedra
Slides from a Science at the Edge talk.
Mirror, Mirror: String Theory and Pairs of Polyhedra
Video of a talk at Madison Area Technical College.
K3 Surfaces with S4 Symmetry (Advanced Version)
Number Theory and Physics at the Crossroads, Banff International Research Station, May 2011
K3 Surfaces with S4 Symmetry
Valley Geometry Seminar, November 2010
Polytopes, Polynomials, and String Theory
Mathfest, August 2010
Mirror Symmetry Through Reflexive Polytopes: Physical and Mathematical Dualities
Bard College Colloquium, October 2010

Creative Writing and Mathematical Culture

Branch cuts: writing, editing, and ramified complexities
An essay about gender, sexuality, and career. To appear in the volume Shattering the ceiling of academic advancement: Tenure and beyond in the mathematical sciences (ed. Pamela E. Harris, Rebecca Garcia, Dandrielle Lewis, and Shanise Walker).
"Physics 6" (Climbing Lightly Through Forests)
A poem in a memorial anthology dedicated to Ursula K. Le Guin.
"The ten categories of being believed by Aristotle" (Liminality)
A poem inspired by a description of Aristotle's philosophy.
Video of me reading "Physics 6" and "The ten categories" for the 2021 Bridges poetry reading.
"Weighted graph" with S. Brackett Robertson (Liminality)
A poem about links.
Video of us reading the poem for the 2021 Bridges poetry reading.
"Difference Equations" and "K-Theory" (Bridges 2020 Poetry Anthology)
Also includes reprints of "Tuesday" and "Confidence Interval"
Video of me reading these four poems.
A poem whose form is based on the multiplicative group of units of the field of seven elements.
Women in STEM on a Spaceship
Essay on Mass Effect and women in STEM. Appeared in the AWM's Media Column, September-October 2014.
Confidence Interval
A poem about estimating probabilities. All characters and numbers are invented.
Math Anxiety and Gym Class, or How Teaching Math Led Me to Scale High Walls
Appeared in Math Horizons, November 2011.
"Boundary Conditions"
A poem about Sophie Germain. Appeared in The College Mathematics Journal, January 2011.


Revenant Gun, Math Horizons, 2018.
Gravity, Strings, and Particles, MAA Reviews, November 2015.
War Games: A History of War on Paper, MAA Reviews, August 2014.
Points and Lines: Characterizing the Classical Geometries, MAA Reviews, July 2012.
Number Theory in Science and Communication, MAA Reviews, March 2011.
My reviews for Mathematical Reviews (MathSciNet)


Toric Varieties and Lattice Polytopes
Fibration Example

Ursula Whitcher