Faculty & Staff

Marilyn Frankenstein, MA

Professor of CPCS Foundation, College of Public and Community Service


photo of Marilyn  Frankenstein

Areas of Expertise

Social Justice through Mathematics; Ethnomathematics; Quantitative Reasoning; Art Through Activism; Media Literacy


MA, Brooklyn College, BS, Brooklyn College

Professional Publications & Contributions

Additional Information

Professor Marilyn Frankenstein has been teaching at CPCS since 1978, using math for peace and justice is one of the central themes in her coursework.  She stresses how reasoning quantitatively about public and community issues is connected to using math to work for justice and to work against injustice. In 2014, Professor Frankenstein was honored for her work on social justice through mathematics with a Clara Lemlich Award given by LaborArts and the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition.  Presented at the Puffin Gallery for Social Activism at the Museum of the City of New York, the event honored seven women “who are working for the larger good all their lives.”

To further develop this thread in mathematics education, Professor Frankenstein is involved professionally with an international community of mathematics educators who are developing the emerging field of Ethnomathematics. She has given seminars about her work at CPCS both nationally and internationally, including the countries of Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, England, Mozambique, New Zealand, and South Africa.

At UMass, Professor Frankenstein has been a member of the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG).  The group focused on addressing the theme of globalization and the closing of access to public higher education.

Along with Arthur B. Powell,  Professor Frankenstein co-edited Ethnomathematics: Challenging Eurocentrism in Mathematics Education (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1997). In the field of critical mathematics, she has written numerous articles, summarized in “Goals for a Critical mathematical Literacy Curriculum,” Beyond Heroes and Holidays: A Practical Guide to K-12 Anti-Racist, Multicultural Education and Staff Development, edited by Enid Lee, Deborah Menkart, and Margo Okazawa-Rey, Washington, DC: Network of Educators on the Americas, 1998, pp.306-313. Arthur B. Powell and  Professor Frankenstein also completed an article on “Respecting Intellectual Diversity: An Ethnomathematical Perspective” and they worked on an ethnomathematics education book that focused on classroom applications. Also, Professor Frankenstein continues to revise her critical mathematics education textbook, Relearning Mathematics (London: Free Association Books, 1989).

Courses Taught:
•  Quantitative Reasoning
•  Understanding Arguments
•  Media Literacy