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Robert P. Moses

Robert P. Moses

Dr. Robert P. Moses visited Milton as the Martin Luther King Jr. Day speaker. A contemporary of Dr. King, Dr. Moses is a math educator and was a leader in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Dr. Moses worked to drive voter registration in Mississippi and, with Fannie Lou Hamer and Ella Baker, founded the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. After receiving a MacArthur Fellowship in 1982, he founded the Algebra Project Inc., to provide middle school students with the algebra skills to qualify for honors math and science classes in high school. Dr. Moses received his bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He taught math in the Bronx, Mississippi, Florida and Tanzania. Dr. Moses is the co-author, with Charles E. Cobb Jr., of the book Radical Equations—Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project. He has taught at Princeton University and as an adjunct professor at New York University’s School of Law. He serves on the Education Advisory of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute.

“In spite of itself, the country has expanded the idea of ‘we the people’ over the years. I see the country as lurching: moving forward and stepping back. It is a constant question: For whom does the Constitution exist? We need a Constitution that is appropriate for the 21st century and going forward.”

What’s the Big Idea?

As Robert F. Kennedy ’44 observed, the best ideas—the most daring, and those that make the most profound impact on our world—spring from the minds of people who are unafraid to ask “Why not?” This issue highlights Milton graduates whose ideas are limitless, who challenge outdated assumptions, and who champion new approaches to old problems. On campus, students and teachers celebrate not only thinking but rethinking, and the powerful good that can be achieved when minds are nurtured, compassionate, and free.