I received my Ph.D. from the joint program at the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University. I also hold a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mathematics. Prior to my appointment at the University of Georgia, I taught middle-school and high school mathematics in California, and then spent 12 years as a professor at the University of Wisconsin. In my current position I enjoy working with graduate students, as well as pre-service and in-service mathematics teachers at the 6-12 level. For more information, see


  • Mathematics education
  • Algebra and algebraic reasoning
  • Generalization and proof
  • Student learning and cognition
  • Middle-school and secondary education
  • Mathematical Play


  •  Ph.D. in Mathematics and Science Education, 2004
    University of California at San Diego
  •  M.A. in Mathematics, 1998
    California State University, San Jose
  •  B.A. in Mathematics, 1993
    Washington University in St. Louis


Research Summary

My scholarship is focused on supporting students’ learning in middle school, high school, and at the undergraduate levels. I study student reasoning, particularly as it relates to algebra, generalization, and proof, as well as teachers’ pedagogical practices aimed at fostering meaningful student engagement. More recently, I have started studying mathematical play, and how to support students’ playful engagement in mathematical ideas.

I have received fifteen grants from national and state organizations including the National Science Foundation and the Institute of Education Sciences. I currently serve as the PI on two projects. One is an NSF-funded project investigating classroom practices that foster mathematical generalizations. This work includes scaling up findings from twelve years of teaching experiment studies to the whole-classroom level, in which my colleagues and I work with teachers to support their implementation of research-based units in algebra.

The second project is supported by an internal grant investigating what happens when we playify classroom math tasks. I have developed task design principles to foster mathematical play with adolescents and undergraduates in algebra and calculus, and my research team and I are studying the characteristics of students’ mathematical play and the learning that occurs when engaged in mathematical play.