Professor Francis Su, PhD

Professor Francis Su
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Harvard University
Linear algebra is about seeing the world visually in a completely different way. It’s about growing in your ability to recognize the hidden mathematical structures that underlie the everyday problems we encounter.

Francis Su is the Benediktsson-Karwa Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College. He earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University, and he has held visiting professorships at Cornell University and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, California. In 2015 and 2016, he served as president of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA).

Professor Su’s research focuses on geometric and topological combinatorics and their applications to the social sciences. He has published numerous scientific papers, and his work on the rental harmony problem (the question of how to divide rent fairly among roommates) was featured in The New York Times. He also wrote the book, Mathematics and Human Flourishing.

Professor Su’s teaching and writing are nationally renowned. The MAA has recognized his work with the Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award and the Henry L. Alder Award for exemplary teaching, as well as the Paul R. Halmos-Lester R. Ford Award and the Merten M. Hasse Prize for distinguished writing. He is the author of the popular Math Fun Facts website; has a widely used YouTube course on real analysis; and is the creator the math news app MathFeed,. Professor Su’s notoriety as a popularizer prompted WIRED magazine to call him, “the mathematician who will make you fall in love with numbers.”