Deborah Kent—HiMEd Lecturer

Deborah Kent—HiMEd Lecturer

A headshot of a smiling woman in a black leather jacket. She has prominent earrings made of interlocking circles.Deborah Kent grew up in the Northwest corner of the United States, which turned out to be great preparation for the weather in her current home of St Andrews, Scotland. She moved to the UK in 2020, to join the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of St Andrews where she lectures in mathematics, history of mathematics, and intellectual history. Before that, she was a tenured professor at Drake University, where she earned local and national awards for innovation in teaching and excellence in mathematical exposition. Since 2019, Deborah has given an annual series of plenary lectures at MathPath, a residential summer program for students showing high interest and promise in mathematics. She has also been a Mathematics subject expert for the PTI Maths Enrichment Residential and designed a Professional Enhancement Program for the American Mathematical Society. She is Librarian of the London Mathematical Society and a Council member of the British Society for the History of Mathematics. Deborah’s research in the history of mathematics focuses on 19th-century mathematical sciences.


Email Deborah to hear from teachers at to discuss possibilities for history of mathematics in your school.

To date, Deborah has given over 50 talks for students from ages 11 to 14. These talks include the following topics:

  • Fair and equitable division, cake-cutting
  • Solar eclipse expeditions
  • Omar Khayyam’s constructive solution to a cubic equation
  • The life and mathematics of Sophie Germain, public key encryption
  • Infinity 
  • Ada Lovelace and the first computer programme
  • The sphere-packing problem, from Sir Walter Rayleigh to the Fields Medal
  • Using mathematics to understand the natural world