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Victoria S Akin, Assistant Professor of the Practice

Victoria S Akin

I am an Assistant Professor of the Practice in the Mathematics Department. I work primarily on teaching and math education. I am currently interested in the retention of women in STEM fields and the effect of intervention programs on girls' attitudes and beliefs about math. I am co-directing the Girls Exploring Math (GEM) program as part of this research effort. 

My thesis work is in mapping class groups of orientable surfaces. In particular, can a subgroup of the mapping class group with a natural topological or geometric definition be characterized purely algebraically? Does the algebraic characterization reveal properties of the mapping class group? I am interested in characterizing the disk-pushing subgroup, handle-pushing subgroup, and braid group inside of their respective mapping class groups.

Contact Info:
Office Location:  
Office Phone:  (919) 660-2869
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:

Teaching (Fall 2020):

  • MATH 230.03, PROBABILITY Synopsis
    Old Chem 116, TuTh 04:40 PM-05:55 PM
    (also cross-listed as STA 230.03)
  • MATH 230.05, PROBABILITY Synopsis
    Soc/Psych 126, TuTh 11:45 AM-01:00 PM
    (also cross-listed as STA 230.05)
  • MATH 730.03, PROBABILITY Synopsis
    Old Chem 116, TuTh 04:40 PM-05:55 PM
  • MATH 730.05, PROBABILITY Synopsis
    Soc/Psych 126, TuTh 11:45 AM-01:00 PM
Office Hours:

112L: Spring 2020
Monday-1pm to 3pm in Classroom Building 132
Tuesday-10am-11am in Physics 123
Wednesday-3pm to 4pm in Classroom Building 132

EHD 396: Spring 2020
Thursday-2pm to 3pm

Ph.D.University of Chicago2017

Education and instruction in mathematics • Geometric group theory

Recent Publications

  1. Akin, V, An algebraic characterization of the point-pushing subgroup, Journal of Algebra, vol. 541 (January, 2020), pp. 98-125 [doi]  [abs]
  2. Akin, V; Johnson, C; Nasserasr, S, TP_k completions of partial matrices with one unspecified entry, Electronic Journal of Linear Algebra, vol. 27 no. 1 (June, 2014), University of Wyoming Libraries [doi]
  3. Handel, A; Akin, V; Pilyugin, SS; Zarnitsyna, V; Antia, R, How sticky should a virus be? The impact of virus binding and release on transmission fitness using influenza as an example., Journal of the Royal Society, Interface, vol. 11 no. 92 (March, 2014), pp. 20131083 [doi]  [abs]
ph: 919.660.2800
fax: 919.660.2821

Mathematics Department
Duke University, Box 90320
Durham, NC 27708-0320