Andrew Fiss

Andrew Fiss


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  • Associate Professor of Technical & Professional Communication
  • Ph.D. History & Philosophy of Science, Indiana University
  • A.B. Mathematics, Vassar College


My graduate degrees in history and philosophy of science and postdoctoral fellowships in science, technology, and society (STS) and writing studies have positioned me to work at the intersections of STS and STC. My research articles have appeared in the journals Science & Education, the History of Education Quarterly, New York History, Peitho, Configurations, and Technical Communication Quarterly. My new book, Performing Math: A History of Communication and Anxiety in the American Mathematics Classroom (Rutgers, 2021), argues that we must understand mathematics as communication-based, particularly in order to deal with Americans’ widespread math hatred and high rates of math anxiety. With evidence from a dozen educational archives, it recovers the performative dimensions of communicating about mathematics, during the emergence of many assumptions, techniques, and frameworks of American higher education. Performing Math brings together Civil War Era instructions for reading mathematics textbooks, manuals for speaking at the blackboard, and debates about written testing, with informal student performances (funerals for mathematics textbooks) and student-generated mathematical plays.

My participation in multiple grants advances transdisciplinary education, community engagement, and educational innovation. As named personnel in the 2019 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant “Human-Centered Engineering,” I interviewed engineers and humanists about the values of each others’ fields, exploring the possibilities of building “engineering humanities” on the model of medical humanities. On the 2020-2022 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant “Michigan Community and Anishinaabe Renewable Energy Sovereignty (MICARES),” I extended these interests to explicit models of team science and collaboration.

At the undergraduate level, I especially teach courses that contribute to the Program in Scientific and Technical Communication. STC at Michigan Tech is a leader in the field, significantly arguing for the importance of humanities-based STC for over 40 years. At the graduate level, I participate in the MS/PhD program in Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture: teaching Public Understandings of Science; Technical & Scientific Communication; and the Practicum in Teaching Technical Communication, and serving as research advisor and graduate program director.

Links of Interest

Google Scholar Profile


  • Technical Communication
  • STS (Science and Technology Studies; Science, Technology, and Society)
  • Science Communication
  • History and Philosophy of Science and Math
  • Interdisciplinary, Multidisciplinary, and Transdisciplinary Education