Sarah Mayes-Tang

Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto

Quest mentees at graduation 2017 Sarah and Michael with statue of Xu Guangqi at Beijing Ancient Observatory Karen Smith's students at MathFest 2015 Quest going-away party


As a child growing up in Chatham, Ontario, some of my favourite activities were dancing, piano, beadwork, and baking. When I entered Queen's University as an undergraduate, I was not sure what I wanted to major in. At the end of my first year, I realized that I couldn't imagine not learning more math, so I decided to pursue a math major. My desire to continue learning, engage in math research, and teach grew during my time at Queen's and led me to apply to graduate math programs.

I earned my M.S. and Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Michigan where I studied commutative algebra and algebraic geometry under the supervision of Karen Smith. As a graduate student I taught in Michigan's calculus program and the Center for Inquiry-Based Learning. I also had many opportunities to learn more about math education, through courses in the School of Education and programs offered by the Center for Research on Teaching and Learning. Each of these opportunities deepened my desire to pursue a career focused on undergraduate math education.

From 2013 to 2017, I taught at Quest University Canada, a school dedicated to innovation and experimentation in undergraduate education. I had the opportunity to design several courses from the ground up and to work closely with scholars and teachers from other disciplines. My work at Quest strengthened my interest in developing institutional policies, designing courses for non-math majors, and increasing the represenation of women and minorities in mathematics.

Outside of math, I enjoy baking, fitness, needlepoint, reading, and spending time with my family. My husband is a high school math teacher in Oshawa, Ontario.

Other Writing

For some informal writing about math, education, and women in STEM, see my Medium and Twitter accounts.