Karen Saxe
Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science

Mailing Address
Macalester College
1600 Grand Ave
St. Paul MN 55105

Campus Location
Olin-Rice 226
Campus Map (#13)

Contact Info


MSCS Links
Student Opportunities
I am currently in Washington, DC serving as Director of the Office of Government Relations of the American Mathematical Society. I will be on a leave of absence from Macalester, January 1, 2017-August 31, 2019. You can continue to use my Macalester email to contact me (at left).

I am writing a blog as part of my new job. Check it out!

On May 8, I was featured in a webinar offered as part of the "Math Frontiers" series offered by the National Academies. Ours was on redistricting; it was a real treat.

Students -- if you are interested in an internship or a post-graduation job doing science policy work, check out this list of opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. I see some of the links are broken, so you might need to do a Google search to follow leads!


Karen Saxe is DeWitt Wallace Professor of Mathematics at Macalester College. She received the endowed chair and gave her inaugural lecture on February 3, 2016. A recording of the full talk, slides for her talk, and her speech are available through these links:

Karen joined the Macalester faculty in 1991, and served as MSCS Department Chair 2007-2013. She also served as Acting Chair for spring 2016. She teaches calculus (all levels), real analysis, complex analysis, functional analysis, and interdisciplinary courses on game theory and mathematics in politics. 

She has been awarded the Mathematical Association of America North Central Section's Distinguished Teaching Award, and the Macalester College Excellence in Teaching Award. She has served as Second Vice President of the MAA (2014-2016), and Editor of the MAA's Anneli Lax New Mathematical Library. Karen has been a resource in Minnesota on redistricting, consulting with city governments, and served on the Minnesota Citizens' Redistricting Commission, created to draw congressional districts following the 2010 census. She continues this work as a member of Common Cause Minnesota's Redistricting Leadership Circle.

She serves on the Advisory Board for Transforming Post-Secondary Education in Mathematics (TPSE Math), an initiative sponsored by Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, aiming to effect constructive change in mathematics education at community colleges, 4-year colleges and research universities. She was honored to give an invited talk at the SIAM Annual Meeting in July 2016. And, recently received an Honorary Doctorate from Bard College. 

On her most recent sabbatical she served as the 2013-2014 AMS/AAAS Science and Technology Policy Congressional Fellow. Here is an interview about her time in Congress, working for Senator Al Franken, and an AMS Notices article about the experience.

Read about A Common Vision for Undergraduate Mathematical Sciences Programs in 2025 -- her NSF-funded project about curriculum and pedagogy for the first two years of college-level education in the mathematical sciences.