Mathematically Gifted & Black - Homepage

Black History Month
2024 Honoree

Back to Honorees
Tai-Danae Bradley

Tai-Danae Bradley

Research Mathematician at SandboxAQ and Visiting Research Professor of Mathematics at The Master's University

SandboxAQ and The Master's University

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Richmond, VA.


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

I didn’t like mathematics growing up and didn’t think much of it until after my second year of college. Around that time, I took a Calculus 3 course from someone who taught mathematics in a way I had never experienced before. He encouraged deep understanding and mastery over performance and memorization, and he continually emphasized that one does not have to be a genius to do mathematics (something I had never heard before). I frequently visited office hours and was amazed by his patience and humility when helping me grapple with the material. During this time, he also gave me a glimpse into the realm of mathematical physics and the exciting, unsolved problems therein. This whole experience was very impactful for me and was a major part of why I became a mathematician.


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

In 2015, during my first semester of graduate school, I started a math blog called Math3ma. While studying for qualifying exams, I would often write little expositions to myself to distill some of the topics and theorems from class. Eventually, I decided to share those writings online in case other students might find them helpful. I was very nervous at first and not sure what to expect. 

Over the years, though, I’ve received so many encouraging messages from people all over the world saying how helpful the articles have been to them. In retrospect, a “math blog” might seem like such a nerdy thing, but I’m so glad I did it. I’ve been overwhelmed by the effects it’s had over the years and even to today.


What is/are your most proud accomplishment(s) regarding your personal life?

As it turns out, Math3ma itself is very personal to me. Since I was a late bloomer to mathematics, I sometimes struggled with doubt as to whether I would finish my PhD, much less have a career in mathematics. So, the blog is a personal record of the “blood, sweat, and tears” that went on behind the scenes to bring me where I am today — when I look at each article, I see my personal journey. 

The name itself also has deep, personal significance to me. It is a twist on the Greek word “mathema”, which means “”a lesson”” or “”that which is learned.”” It is related to mathematics, of course, and it is also related to another Greek word: “mathetes,” which is used in the New Testament to refer to followers (learners) or disciples of Jesus. As a Christ-follower, I chose the word “math3ma” because it represents the intersection of these two important aspects of my life.


Please share some words of wisdom/inspiration.

Some of the treasured words of wisdom I’ve received is to always strive to persevere and endure through difficulties, despite what others may say or think. That advice has helped me a lot through life, so I’d encourage others with the same.