Hispanic Mathematicians: Jaime Escalante

Oct 3, 2021 | Killeen

Happy October! 


As we know, Hispanic Heritage Month is in full swing, and we want to highlight some remarkable Hispanic/Latino men and women who have contributed to the world of math. We will be posting excerpts from Dreambox.com that highlight these men and women. To continue our series, we are highlighting Jaime Escalante.


Writers from Dream box write, “Jaime Escalante was a math educator from Bolivia. He immigrated to the United States in the 1960s. In 1974, he accepted a job as a math teacher at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles. The student population was predominantly Hispanic and low-income. It was a challenging place to teach, with a history of violence and academic underperformance.”


Dream Box writers also write, “Escalante wanted to see his students succeed and started an advanced mathematics program. Eventually, his program grew. In 1982, his largest class took and passed the AP Calculus test. Because so many of his students had passed, the testing company suspected cheating and invalidated their scores. Escalante protested, and many students retook and passed the test months later. This incident gained a lot of public attention and was the basis for the 1988 film Stand and Deliver. Jaime Escalante continued teaching until 1998. He received many awards for his work in education, including the Presidential Medal of Excellence, and was inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame in 1999.”


Stay tuned for another mathematician post this Wednesday. Be sure to check out last week’s Hispanic Highlights. Follow our social media pages for weekly updates on the center. 


-Danica Komlofske

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