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Mathematics and Multiple Cultural Perspectives

Having trouble connecting mathematics and STEM to your MCP requirement? This is the guide for you!

What is the MCP Requirement?

The MCP (Multiple Cultural Perspectives) is requirement for Division II students to have completed prior to their Division II pass date. Make sure to discuss this requirement with your committee. See Hampshire's description of this requirement below:

Why incorporate MCP into a Math or STEM Division II?

There are many great opportunities to explore the MCP requirement that align with STEM interests. While studies in the content of mathematics are important and interesting for many students, you should also learn about how mathematics interacts with the outside world. Practically, we use mathematics to run algorithms on real life people and things. To dig into this, one must understand how mathematics acts within and supports systems of oppression and supremacy. See the article below to gain understand on why it is important for you to educate yourself on mathematics and MCP.

How to incorporate MCP into a Math or STEM Division II

Hampshire offers many excellent courses which help you gain understandings on issues of race and power. Additionally, the Pioneer Valley has many great organizations and volunteer opportunities to satisfy the MCP requirement. Here are some steps which you can take to satisfy the MCP requirement while also gaining context on what this all has to do with your own Div 2:

  1. Talk to your committee. Different professors have different interpretations of what the MCP requirement entails. It is important that you will satisfy the requirement to your committee's expectations before your pass date comes. As a bonus, if you address this requirement earlier in your Div 2, you can contextualize your Div 2 around issues of race and power.
  2. Think about what interests you from the MCP requirement. Are you interested in exploring racism in the mathematics classroom? Or what about the colonization of African and Asian mathematics knowledge? Think about how power and race relate to your studies of mathematics. How did you gain understanding in mathematics? Where did that knowledge come from? How was your identity related to your mathematics education? Who came up with the theorems you use? These are all questions which can be used as starting points to explore how you can use the MCP requirement to dive deeper into the field of mathematics. You can use the resources from this guide to start coming up with ideas.
  3. If you still need help, ask for it! You may be surprised that many faculty and staff at Hampshire have already been thinking about ways to link different subjects to the MCP requirement. The research librarians and the research alumni fellow all have ideas on how to start your work connecting the two.
  4. Pick a class or a volunteering opportunity. At Hampshire, you can explore classes which meet your interests that you thought about in step 2. The Five Colleges also offer many courses exploring issues of power and race. If you would prefer to volunteer as your MCP requirement, contact CORC or check out opportunities posted to NS or the Daily Digest.
  5. Reflect on what you're learning. During your MCP opportunity, you may find yourself having trouble connecting it to your Div 2. Visit the research librarians for help brainstorming research questions and curating themes surrounding your work in your Div and your work on your MCP requirement. Remember to come back to your initial interests you thought about in step 2.
  6. Keep going! The field of mathematics (and STEM in general) needs more power-conscious minds! See if you can include this work you completed moving forward into your Div 3.