Graduation Semester and Year

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics



First Advisor

James A.M. Álvarez


This phenomenological study examines the role of undergraduate and graduate Real Analysis courses in shaping the mathematical trajectories of seven women Ph.D. mathematicians from groups historically disenfranchised in mathematics.Qualitative analysis of interviews explores various aspects of their development as mathematicians with a focus on their experiences in Real Analysis. This study applies Ryan & Deci’s (1985) Self-Determination Theory's Basic Psychological Need Theory and Critical Race Theory to analyze the trajectories of the participants. The research explores how the fulfillment of basic psychological needs in their Real Analysis courses may have influenced their academic and professional journeys. The basic psychological need of Competency was identified most frequently in the participants’ experiences, followed by Relatedness, and Autonomy, respectively. Threats to these needs were identified in negative experiences shared by the participants. Threats to Competency were identified more often than Threats to Autonomy and Threats to Relatedness, respectively. Findings suggest that learning environments that encourage competence, relatedness, and autonomy in advanced mathematics courses may be of particular value in the doctoral degree trajectories of women from groups historically disenfranchised in mathematics.


Self-determination theory, Equity, Real analysis, Historically disenfranchised, Advanced mathematics, Classroom practices


Analysis | Science and Mathematics Education


Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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