Curriculum Vitae

Karen Saxe

Associate Executive Director

Director, Office of Government Relations

American Mathematical Society

1527 18th St NW

Washington, DC 20036

401-455-4115 |



·       PhD, Mathematics, University of Oregon, 1988

·       BA, Bard College, 1982

Academic Experience

Full-Time Appointments

·       Affiliate Researcher, Dept. of Math. & Stat., Georgetown University, 2017-present

·       DeWitt Wallace Professor of Mathematics, Macalester College, 2015-present

·       Chair (Dept. of Math., Stat., and C.S.), Macalester College, 2007-2013 & spring 2016

·       Professor of Mathematics, Macalester College, 2004-2015       

·       Associate Professor of Mathematics, Macalester College, 1999-2004

·       Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Macalester College, 1991-1999

·       FIPSE Postdoctoral Fellow, St. Olaf College, 1989-1991   

·       Instructor of Mathematics, University of Oregon, 1988

·       Graduate Teaching Fellow, University of Oregon, 1982-1988

Visiting Appointments

·       University of California, Berkeley 1/1/08-7/1/08

·       Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota (Mellon Faculty Exchange) 9/1/02-12/31/02

·       University of Virginia, Charlottesville 1/1/00-6/30/00

·       University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 1/1/97-8/1/97

·       Universidad Michoacan, Morelia, Mexico 1/1/95-2/1/95

·       North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 1/1/92-2/1/92

·       ETH, Zurich, Switzerland 5/1/89-7/1/89

·       Tata Institute for Fundamental Research, Bombay, India 8/1/87-9/1/87

Government Experience

·       AMS/AAAS Congressional Science & Engineering Fellow (Senator Al Franken DC office) 9/1/13-8/31/14

Grant, Awards and other Recognitions

Professional Recognition

·       Honorary Doctor of Science, Bard College 2017

·       Second Vice President, MAA 2014-2016

·       Member of Board of Directors, TPSE 2015-present

·       Professor Award for Mental Health and Disability, Macalester College 2015

·       AAAS Congressional Science & Engineering Fellow, AMS 2013-2014

·       Distinguished Teaching Award, MAA North Central Section 2007       

·       Excellence in Teaching Award, Macalester College 2007

·       The John and Samuel Bard Award in Medicine and Science, Bard College 1996

Grants Received

·       Principal Investigator, A Common Vision for the Undergraduate Mathematics Program in 2025, NSF DUE-1446000, 2014-2017

·       Travel Grant, AWM/NSF 2006         

·       Tensor Award, MAA 2003

·       Project Intermath, NSF 2000

·       Wallace Travel Grant, Macalester College 1997

·       Wallace Travel Grant, Macalester College 1997

·       Research Travel Grant, Pew Midstates Consortium 1993          

·       Grant to help fund hosting 17th Real Analysis Summer Symposium (4 day conference, over 100 participants, on Macalester Campus), University of Minnesota 1993   

·       Travel Grant, AWM/NSF 1992

·       Research Travel Grant, Pew Midstates Consortium 1992

·       Research Travel Grant, Pew Midstates Consortium 1991

Undergraduate Awards

·       John Bard Scholar, Bard College, 1981

Professional Activities


·       Member, AWM Science Policy Committee 2016-2019

·       Member, MAA Science Policy Committee 2016-2019

·       Member, Board of Directors, Transforming Post-Secondary Education 2015-present

·       Reviewer, Mathematical Reviews 2012-present


·       Member, AWM Fund Development Committee 2015-2018

·       AMS Representative, AMS-MAA MathFest Joint Lecture Committee 2016-2018

·       Chair, MAA Anneli Lax New Math. Library Editorial Board 2011-2017

·       Member, MAA Committee on Books 2011-2017

·       Second Vice President, MAA 2014-2016

·       Member, MAA Executive Council 2014-2016

·       Member, MAA Board of Governors 2014-2016

·       Organizer/Host, MAA North Central Section Meeting April 2016

·       Representative, MAA Representative to AAAS 2016

·       Representative, AWM Representative to CNSF 2016

·       Organizer, Common Vision Workshop May 2015

·       Member, MAA Committee on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics, 2015 Curriculum Guide writing group 2012-2015

·       Member, MAA Polya Award Committee 2010-2014

·       Chair, MAA Polya Award Committee 2012

·       Member, MAA Committee on Consultants 2011-2014

·       Organizer/Host, AMS Central Section Meeting April 2010

·       Member, AWM Nominating Committee 2009-2012

·       Member, AWM Travel Grant Selection Committee 2008-2009

·       Member, MAA Centennial Planning Committee 2007-2015

·       Member, Budapest Semesters in Math. Advisory Board 2004-2009

·       Member, Math Horizons Editorial Board 2004-2008 & 2008-2012

·       Member, College Mathematics Journal Editorial Board 1999-2005

·       Member, AMS-MAA Joint Meeting Organizing Committee 1994

·       Organizer/Host, 17th Real Analysis Summer Symposium 1993

·       Organizer/Host, The New Professor in Mathematics Conference 1990

I have served as a PhD examiner, and as external reviewer for tenure, pre-tenure and promotion cases at several colleges, and also on external review teams for departmental reviews at Connecticut College, Claremont McKenna College, Davidson College, Harvey Mudd College.

Community Service

·       Member, Common Cause MN Redistricting Leadership Circle, 2017-present

·       Redistricting consultant, City of Northfield, MN 2012

·       Member, Draw the Line MN, Citizens Redistricting Commission 2011-2012

·       Member, League of Women Voters Board, Northfield, MN 2011-2013

·       Enrichment program instructor, Greenvale Park Elementary, Northfield, MN 2004-2007

·       Volunteer, Laura Jeffrey Academy, St. Paul, MN 2009-2014

·       Founding member, Northfield Montessori Board 1997-1998

Macalester College Service

I have served the College in many ways. For 6.5 years, I chaired the largest department on campus, housing 3 majors (Mathematics; Applied Mathematics and Statistics; Computer Science). I have served on two of our three all-College elected committees, each more than once, and have chaired our Faculty Personnel Committee. I have also served on the Sexual Assault Support Team, the Educational Studies Steering Committee, and as a Study Abroad/International Center Liaison. I have served on over 18 different faculty hiring committees, both in my department (chairing several of these), and also in other departments (physics, religious studies, music, geography, chemistry), as well as on the most recent hiring committee for our Associate Dean of the Faculty (appointed by the provost). I have served on Macalester's Capital Campaign Advisory Committee (appointed by the president).


Refereed Publications 

1.     Can Math Help the Supreme Court Free Congress from Gerrymanders?, Notices of the Amer. Math. Soc., January 2018.

2.     SIAM’s Key Role in Transforming Post-Secondary Education in Mathematics, SIAM News, November 2016. [Appears also in Chinese, in Mathematical Advances in Translation, Vol. 1(2017), pp 79-81.]

2.      (with T. Ratliff) Rethinking Redistricting, Math Horizons, September 2016.

3.     (with T. Washington) AWM Visits to Capital Hill, AWM Newsletter, Volume 44, No.1, July-August 2016.

4.     (with T. Holm) A Common Vision for Undergraduate Mathematics, Notices of the Amer. Math. Soc., June-July 2016.

5.     My Year in the United States Senate, Notices of the Amer. Math. Soc., January 2015.

6.     A Conversation with Karen Saxe, AWM Newsletter, Volume 44, No.1, January-February 2014.

7.     (with C. Corcoran, Macalester 2012) Redistricting and district compactness, The Mathematics of Decisions, Elections, and Games, Contemporary Mathematics, vol. 624, Amer. Math. Soc., Providence, RI, 2014, 1-16.

8.     (with D. Flath, T. Halverson, D. Kaplan) The First Year of Calculus and Statistics at Macalester College, book chapter in Undergraduate Mathematics for the Life Sciences, MAA, edited by Ledder, Carpenter, and Comar, MAA, 2013.

9.     (with T. Ratliff) The Politics Before the Politics: Census 2010, Reapportionment, and Redistricting, Math Horizons, cover article November 2010, 5-9.

10.  (with M. Jones) The Job Talk, MAA Focus, November 2007.

11.  (with K. Moe, Macalester Department of Economics) Fixed Point Theorems in Economics, Interdisciplinary Lively Application Projects, edited by D.C. Arney, MAA 2004.

12.  (with B. MacCluer) Spectra of composition operators on the Bloch and Bergman spaces, Israel J. Math., (128) 2002, 325-354.

13.  Riesz operators and complex interpolation, Rend. Circ. Mat. Di Palermo, II (56) 1998, 215-218.

14.  On complex interpolation and spectral continuity, Studia Mat., 130 (3) 1998, 223-229.

15.  Compactness-like operator properties preserved by complex interpolation, Ark. Mat., 35 (2) 1997, 353-362.

16.  (with M.J. Evans and P. Humke) A characterization of s-symmetrically porous symmetric Cantor sets, Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 122 (3) 1994, 805-810.

17.  (with M.J. Evans and P. Humke) Symmetric porosity of symmetric Cantor sets, Czech. Math. J. 44 (119) 1994, 251-264.

18.  Essential order spectra of convolution operators, Indag. Mathem. 4 (1) 1993, 79-89.

19.  (with M.J. Evans and P. Humke) A symmetric porosity conjecture of Zajicek, Real Anal. Exch. 17 (1991-1992), 258-271.

20.  Interpolation and spectra of regular Lp-space operators, Canad. Math. Bull. 33 (1990), 470-481.

21.  (with D. Herrero) Spectral continuity in complex interpolation, Mathematika Balkanica 3 (1989), 325-336.


1.     (with L. Braddy) A Common Vision for Undergraduate Mathematical Sciences Programs in 2025. Mathematical Association of America, 2016.

2.     Beginning Functional Analysis, Springer-Verlag, 2002.

Book Reviews

1.     Measurement, by Paul Lockhart, The Mathematical Intelligencer, June 2014.

2.     In Pursuit of the Unknown. 17 Equations That Changed the World, by Ian Stewart, The Mathematical Intelligencer, September 2012.

3.     Mathematics and Common Sense: A Case of Creative Tension, by Philip J. Davis, The Mathematical Intelligencer, June 2008.

4.     The Two-Body Problem: Dual-Career-Couple Hiring Practices in Higher Education, by Lisa Wolf-Wendel, Susan B. Twombly, and Suzanne Rice, MAA Online Read This! 2004.

5.     After Math by Miriam Webster, MAA Online Read This! 2004.

Other Publications and Written Works

1.     Capital Currents, blog of the Washington Office of the American Mathematical Society:

2.     Interview with Karen Saxe, Notices of the Amer. Math. Soc., December, 2016.

3.     A Common Vision for Undergraduate Education in the Mathematical Sciences, On Teaching and Learning Mathematics, American Mathematical Society blog, May 20, 2015. Reprinted as Collective Action: Why the Future is Brighter for Undergraduate Teaching in the Mathematical Sciences in the AWM Newsletter, July-August 2015.

4.     Mentoring and the mathematics postdoc (letter to the editor), Notices of the Amer. Math. Soc., February 1990.

Talks since 2012


1.     Joint Mathematics Meetings, San Diego CA (January)

2.     Math Department Seminar, Lewis & Clark College, Portland OR (March)

3.     Math Department Seminar, Bucknell University, Lewisburg PA (March)

4.     Math Department Seminar, Colgate University, Hamilton NY (April)

5.       Plenary speaker, Hudson River Undergraduate Mathematics Conference XXV, St. Lawrence University, Canton NY (April)

6.     Math & Statistics Department Colloquium, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie NY (October)

7.     Special Session Speaker on the Mathematics of Decisions, Elections, and Games, Ann Arbor MI (October)


1.     Two panel presentations, Joint Mathematics Meetings, Atlanta GA (January)

2.     A mathematical adventure through the census, reapportionment, and redistricting, IMACC Keynote Speaker, Illinois Mathematics Association of Community Colleges, Monticello IL (April)

3.     Trends in post-secondary education in mathematics, National Science Foundation, Arlington VA (May)

4.     Congressional apportionment and redistricting, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA (May)

5.     Washington update, CBMS meeting, Alexandria VA (May)

6.     Plenary speaker, Annual Meeting of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, Chicago IL (July)

7.     Ready for redistricting 2020?, MathFest, Chicago IL (July)

8.     Math Department Teaching Seminar, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis MD (September)


1.     Joint Mathematics Meetings, Seattle WA (January)

2.     Panel participant, Preparing Future Faculty Retreat, University of Minnesota (January)

3.     DeWitt Wallace Inaugural Speech, Macalester College, St Paul MN (February)

4.     Plenary Lecture, joint meeting of MAA Pacific Northwest Section and Northwest Undergraduate Mathematics Symposium (NUMS), Oregon State University, Corvallis OR (April)

5.     Joint Policy Board for Mathematics, Annual Meeting, Washington DC (April)

6.     Carnegie Corporation, New York City (June)

7.     Plenary Lecture, MathPath Summer Camp, St. Paul MN (June)

8.     Plenary Lecture, SIAM Annual Meeting, Boston MA (July)

9.     MathFest, Columbus, OH (August)

10.  Moody Lecture, Harvey Mudd College (October)

11.  Analysis of the November 8th election, for faculty retirees’ group, Macalester College, St. Paul MN (November) 


1.     Joint Mathematics Meetings, San Antonio TX

2.     Plenary Lecture, MAA Golden Section Meeting, Foothill Community College, Los Altos Hills CA

3.     Plenary Lecture, MAA Illinois Section Meeting, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb IL

4.     Plenary Lecture, MAA Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, Colorado College, Colorado Springs CO

5.     Mathematics Department Colloquium, Loyola University, Chicago IL

6.     MAA MathFest, Washington DC

7.     Panel participant, Transforming Post-Secondary Education in Mathematics (TPSE Math) regional meeting, Chicago, IL


1.     MAA MathFest, Portland OR

2.     Mathematics Department Colloquium, St. Mary's College, St. Mary's City MD

3.     Plenary Lecture, MAA NJ/Metro NY Section Meeting, St. Peter's University, Jersey City NJ

4.     Plenary Lecture, 17th Annual Legacy of R.L. Moore -- IBL Conference, Denver CO

5.     Mathematics Department Colloquium, Macalester College, St. Paul MN

6.     Serie Center for Scholarship and Teaching, Macalester College, St. Paul MN

7.     AMS Committee on Education, Washington DC

8.     Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences Executive Council Meeting, Washington DC


1.     Mathematics Department Colloquium, University of Richmond, VA


1.     AMS Special Session on the Mathematics of Decisions, Elections, and Games, Joint Mathematics Meetings, Boston MA

2.     Mathematics Department Colloquium, Macalester College, St. Paul MN

3.     Mathematics Department Colloquium, Augsburg College, Minneapolis MN

4.     Panel discussion after theater production Truth Values, St Olaf College, Northfield MN

5.     Math4All Lecture, Notre Dame University, South Bend IN

6.     Distinguished Lecture Series, MAA Carriage House, Washington DC

Membership in Professional Societies

·       American Mathematical Society (AMS)

·       Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM)

·       Mathematical Association of America (MAA)

·       Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM)

·       American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)