Plenary Speakers

Deborah Ball currently serves as dean of the University of Michigan School of Education, where she is also the William H. Payne Collegiate Professor and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor. Her research focuses on mathematics instruction, and on interventions designed to improve its quality and effectiveness. Ball has authored or co-authored over 150 publications and has lectured and made numerous major presentations around the world. Her research has been recognized with several awards and honors, and she has served on several national and international commissions and panels focused on policy initiatives and the improvement of education, including the National Mathematics Advisory Panel and the National Board for Education Sciences. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Education.

Jo Boaler is a Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University and the editor of the Research Commentary Section of The Journal for Research in Mathematics Education (JRME). Former roles have included being the Marie Curie Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Sussex, England, a mathematics teacher in London comprehensive schools and a lecturer and researcher at King’s College, London. Her PhD won the national award for educational research in the UK and her book: Experiencing School Mathematics won the 'Outstanding Book of the Year' award for education in Britain. She is an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (Great Britain), and a former president of the International Organization for Women and Mathematics Education (IOWME). She is the recipient of a National Science Foundation 'Early Career Award'. She is the author of seven books and numerous research articles. Her latest books What’s Math Got To Do With It? (2009) published by Penguin, USA and The Elephant in the Classroom (2010) published by Souvenir Press, UK, both aim to increase public understanding of the importance of mathematics, and the nature of effective teaching approaches in the USA and the UK.

Jere Confrey is the Joseph D. Moore Distinguished Professor of Mathematics Education at North Carolina State University. She is designing diagnostic assessments using wireless devices for rational numbers and learning trajectories. She served on the National Validation Committee on the Common Core Standards. She was Vice Chairman of the Mathematics Sciences Education Board, National Academy of Sciences (1998–2004). She chaired the NRC Committee, which produced On Evaluating Curricular Effectiveness, and was a coauthor of NRC’s Scientific Research in Education. She was a co-founder of the UTEACH program for Secondary Math and Science teacher preparation program at the University of Texas in Austin, and was the founder of the SummerMath program at Mount Holyoke College and co-founder of SummerMath for Teachers.

Christian Hirsch is Professor and Distinguished Faculty Scholar in the Department of Mathematics at Western Michigan University. His research interests include secondary school mathematics curriculum design and development, the impact of innovative curricula on student learning, and the use of innovative curriculum materials as a context for teacher learning. Since 1992, he has been Principal Investigator for the Core-Plus Mathematics Project, a high school curriculum development and research project, funded by the National Science Foundation. He is also Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Mathematics Curriculum, supported by the NSF under the former Centers for Learning and Teaching Program. Christian currently is PI of the Transition to College Mathematics and Statistics Project funded by NSF to design, develop, and evaluate the efficacy of a new fourth-year course for college-bound non-STEM students.

Amanda Jansen is an associate professor in the School of Education at the University of Delaware. In her research, she studies adolescent students' motivation and engagement in mathematics classrooms and pre-service and novice teachers' skills for analyzing and reflecting upon their mathematics teaching practice. Mandy taught junior high mathematics in Mesa, Arizona, for three years. She conducted her graduate work at Michigan State University in East Lansing, where she earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology in 2004. Her research has been published in journals such as Educational Studies in Mathematics, Mathematical Thinking and Learning, Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, and the Elementary School Journal. She was awarded the Early Career Publication award from AERA's Special Interest Group for Research in Mathematics Education in 2009. Her co-written book (with Jim Middleton, Arizona State University), Motivation Matters and Interest Counts: Fostering Engagement with Mathematics, was published by NCTM in 2011.

Janie Schielack is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Associate Dean for Assessment and PreK–12 Education in the College of Science at Texas A&M University. She joined the Department of Mathematics in 1982 where she has been responsible for the mathematics preparation of elementary and middle school teachers. She served as the Director of the Information Technology in Science Center for Teaching and Learning, an NSF project jointly supported by the Colleges of Science and Education at Texas A&M University that provided unique learning experiences to enhance teacher preparation and teacher professional development through the creation of science and mathematics education specialists with advanced degrees. She also chaired the writing committee for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics: A Quest for Coherence.

Cathy Seeley has four decades of diverse experience in K–12 education. She has been a middle school and high school mathematics teacher, K–12 district coordinator and K–12 State Director of Mathematics for Texas. From 1999 to 2001 she taught mathematics (in French) as a Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso and served as full-time President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics from 2004–2006. Dr. Seeley is the author of numerous articles and co-author of middle school and high school textbooks, and she is the author of the 2009 book for educators and the public, Faster Isn-t Smarter—Messages About Math, Teaching, and Learning in the 21st Century. Cathy Seeley is a senior fellow at the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas, working on state and national policy and improvement in mathematics education.

Jack Smith is an Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education at Michigan State University, where he co-directs the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology program. His principal research interest concerns the nature and development (i.e., long-term learning and change) of people's understandings of mathematical ideas typically encountered prior to high school, including spatial measurement, algebraic expression and argument, and rational numbers.

Suzanne Wilson is a professor and chair of the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University, as well as the director of the College of Education's Center for the Scholarship of Teaching. Her work spans several domains, including teacher learning, teacher knowledge, and the connection between educational policy and teachers' practice. She has conducted research on history and mathematics teaching and has reviewed the literature on teacher professional development and teacher education. Her current work focuses on developing sound measures for tracking what teachers learn in teacher preparation, induction, and professional development programs.


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