Victoria S Akin

Victoria S Akin
  • Assistant Professor of the Practice of Mathematics
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

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.

Education & Training
  • Ph.D., University of Chicago 2017

Fellowships, Supported Research, & Other Grants

Improving Girls’ Math Identity through Problem Solving and Mentorship awarded by Duke Bass Connections (2020 to 2021)

Problem-based Learning to Improve Girls' Math Identity awarded by Duke Bass Connections (2018 to 2020)

Akin, V. “An algebraic characterization of the point-pushing subgroup.” Journal of Algebra, vol. 541, Jan. 2020, pp. 98–125. Scopus, doi:10.1016/j.jalgebra.2019.09.008. Full Text

Handel, Andreas, et al. “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, Mar. 2014, p. 20131083. Epmc, doi:10.1098/rsif.2013.1083. Full Text

Akin, V., et al. “TP_k completions of partial matrices with one unspecified entry.” Electronic Journal of Linear Algebra, vol. 27, no. 1, University of Wyoming Libraries. Crossref, doi:10.13001/1081-3810.1628. Full Text

Tori Akin

Assistant Professor of the Practice of Mathematics Tori Akin has been named one of the most innovative professors of 2019 by the education and training services company Arist for her approach to... read more »


Top 5% of Undergraduate Instructors in Natural Sciences

The Math department congratulates its faculty members Tori Akin, Rann Bar-on, Sarah Schott, Hugh Bray and Tom Witelski.  They have been recognized by Academic Affairs for their contribution to teaching excellence at Duke.  These faculty are in the... read more »