Mathematically Gifted & Black - Homepage

Black History Month
2020 Honoree

Back to Circle of Excellence
Aissa Wade

Aissa Wade

Professor of Mathematics

The Pennsylvania State University

Where are you from?

I was born and grew up in Dakar, Senegal (West Africa). I received my undergraduate degree as well as my M.S. from University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, and my Ph.D. from University Montpellier 2, France.


Please describe an experience (or 2) that helped you discover/ cultivate your interest in the mathematical sciences.

In my senior year of high school, I had a mathematics teacher who would call one or two students to the board every day and asked them to present solutions to their homework problems. Unlike many of my classmates, I enjoyed those moments. My teacher would often ask questions on a topic he didn’t introduced yet. I was able to solve mathematics problems quickly. Later on, discussions with my father about STEM encouraged me to choose a career in mathematics.


What is/are your most proud accomplishment(s) in regards to your career in the mathematical sciences?

I’m proud to be a mentor to several female students majoring in mathematics both in the USA and in Africa. I am also proud to be the first Black female with a doctoral degree in mathematics from my graduate institution and to be awarded tenure from the Eberly College of Science at Penn State University.


What is/are your most proud accomplishment(s) in regards to your personal life?

Personally, I am most proud of my family. I am thankful for my family who motivates me every day and I’m seeking to be the best mother and wife.


Please share some words of wisdom/inspiration.

My advice to young scholars is to pursue their dreams. Don’t let anyone stop you from pursuing your passion. If you love mathematics, go for it!