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Newsletter of The Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education

The Quest
Spring 2007
CRMSE Welcomes Ricardo Nemirovsky CRMSE Hosts its First AERA Reception
Physical Sciences Curriculum Adopted by California Alumnus Participates in Science for Monks Program
George Feher Awarded Wolf Prize in Chemistry Alumni Ellis and Knuth  on Demystifying Math
Recent Publications, Professional Accomplishments Dogs and Geometry
Recently Funded Projects Celebrations
Newsletter of The Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education 2

CRMSE Welcomes
Ricardo Nemirovsky
By Donna Ross longitudinal strand on the mathematics
of change across educational levels,
In September 2006, Ricardo highlights the centrality of bodily and
Nemirovsky became CRMSE’s kinesthetic activities in the learning
director, following Kathleen Fisher of mathematics, and articulates a per-
who served CRMSE for six years. spective on the role of tools for stu-
He joined the faculty as a pro- dents’ learning. In addition to research
fessor in the Mathematics and papers, he has co-authored curricular
Statistics department at SDSU in units, and has designed numerous
September 2005. Prior to coming mechanical devices and software to
to San Diego, Ricardo was senior enrich the learning of mathematics,
scientist at TERC in Massachusetts. including several math-oriented exhib-
TERC is a non-profit organization its for science and technology muse-
designed to improve math and sci- ums. In the last few years he become
ence education through research, involved in the use of video-based Ricardo Nemirovsky, CRMSE Director
development, and collaboration. multimedia as an avenue for research
Ricardo is bilingual, originally from publication, and as a tool for pre-ser- local Advisory Board, and is currently
Argentina, where he earned a degree vice and in-service teachers’ profes- seeking funding to invite mathematics
in Physics. He later became interest- sional development; in this regard, education faculty to CRMSE to dis-
ed in science education and earned he co-led the development of an cuss common goals and direction for
his Doctor of Education degree at authoring tool (“VideoPaper Builder”) mathematics education in the state.
Harvard in 1993. While in Argentina, for the creation of videopapers and Please join us in warmly welcom-
he began working for ORT, a non- explored its use in different contexts. ing Ricardo to SDSU and CRMSE.
governmental organization, founded Ricardo’s research on the embodied
in Tsarist Russia in 1880 that supports nature of cognition and on the creative
education, economic, and social use of mathematical artifacts has been
development throughout the world, published in a wide variety of jour- About CRMSE...
particularly among Jewish com- nals for different audiences, including
munities. He served as the Science Cognition and Instruction, Educa- The Center for Research in
Education Coordinator in Argen- tional Studies in Mathematics, Journal Mathematics & Science Educa-
tina and then went on to become of Mathematics Teacher Education, tion (CRMSE) is an interdisciplin-
the director of ORT in Mexico, Journal for Research in Mathematics ary community of scholars who
before moving to the US in 1987. Education-Monographs, Research in seek to advance mathematics
Collegiate Mathematics Education, and science education at local,
Ricardo’s research program focuses state, and national levels by pro-
on the investigation of the embod- Teaching Children Mathematics, and
The Journal of Mathematical Behavior. viding leadership in research,
ied nature of cognition, and on the materials and program devel-
study of how learning situations are Ricardo is delighted to work at SDSU opment, and evaluation. Its
experienced by students. Proponents where he has the opportunity to teach members include faculty from
of embodied cognition hold that cog- and work with graduate students while the departments of mathematics
nitive processes are deeply rooted continuing his research activities. In and statistics, biology, physics
in the body’s interactions with the his role as CRMSE director, Ricardo and psychology in the College of
world and with others and that per- has already introduced several new Sciences, and from the School
ceptuo-motor activity is embedded in programs, including a once-per-month of Teacher Education and the
the use and production of tools and video club, a CRMSE reception at the Department of Policy Studies
symbols. His focus on how situations annual AERA meetings, and the rede- in the College of Education. For
are and influenced by the strand of sign of the CRMSE website with the more information, please visit our
philosophy identified as “phenom- eventual aim of making it the hub for website at: http://www.sci.sdsu.
enology”. He has developed together mathematics and science education edu/crmse/new_site/index.html
with many other colleagues a body of events in San Diego County. He has
work that supports the creation of a also sought to form CRMSE’s first-ever
Newsletter of The Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education 3

CRMSE-created Physical Sciences Curriculum Adopted by California
Interactions Development Team
Left to right, front row: Fred Goldberg,
Clarisa Bercovich-Guelman, Mike McKean,
William Doerge, Carlos Lopez. Back row:
Heide Doss, Sharon Bendall, Judith Leggett

My students
love it because
so much of it is
“hands-on” and
they feel valued...
ing division of Herff Jones. In addition
to a lavishly-illustrated textbook (avail-
able in English or Spanish), materials
for students include a science fiction
reader and a lively website. Students
use the online simulators to model
By Judith Leggett has succeeded in meeting the rigor- physical processes, examine relation-
ous standards for California schools. ships between variables in ways not
On November 9, 2006 InterActions
Second, because of those rigorous easily duplicated in labs, and visual-
in Physical Science, a middle school
standards it is often true that where ize abstract concepts such as forces.
science program, was adopted by the
California leads, other states follow. For teachers, there is a three-volume
California State Board of Education.
The California adoption is likely to Teacher Guide and a comprehensive
InterActions is a one-year middle- lead the way to truly national distri- online resource. There is an extensive
school program created by the Phys- bution of this innovative program. professional development program
ics Learning Research Group within of workshops and online tutorials.
San Diego State University’s Center This pioneering program is grounded
in years of research in the teaching Says Jeff Vanhoeven, a teacher with
for Research in Mathematics and
of physical science and how students nearly 20 years of teaching middle
Science Education. Fred Goldberg
learn. The pedagogy of InterActions school science, ‘I have never been
and Sharon Bendall headed up the
is based on guided inquiry, with a part of a curriculum that even
tight-knit SDSU development team,
direct instruction occasionally used comes close to InterActions in
and Patricia Heller of the University
to extend the ideas covered. The Physical Science in terms of student
of Minnesota and Robert Poel of
program is hierarchical, with topics learning and involvement. My stu-
Western Michigan University were
and skills developed in a structured dents love it because so much of it
co-PIs on the project. The develop-
progression, organized around the is “hands-on” and they feel valued
ment was funded by grants from
central themes of interactions and and respected because there is such
the National Science Foundation.
energy. Students develop target an emphasis on their knowledge
The adoption is significant for two and thought processes. InterActions
ideas through active learning expe-
reasons. Along with an Earth Sciences students learn science like a scien-
riences such as hands-on experi-
program from the same publisher tist, not by memorizing lists, or by
ments and computer simulations.
and similarly adopted in November, listening to a lecture. In addition,
this is the first time a reform-based The program is published by “It’s the student and teacher websites
middle school science curriculum About Time”, the educational publish- are fantastic…this is great stuff!’.
Newsletter of The Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education 4

Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education – Recently Funded Projects
Leland Beck (PI) and Alexander Chizhik mation compete for students‚ atten- Cheryl L. Mason (Co-PI), Dennis
(Co-PI), Cooperative Learning Methods tion. Project personnel include Joanne Sunal (PI) and Cynthia Sunal (Co-PI),
for Java-based CSI Courses, funded by Lobato (PI, Associate Professor in the University of Alabama; and Dean Zoll-
the National Science Foundation, CCLI. Department of Mathematics and Sta- man (Co-PI), Kansas State University,
STEEP (Science Teacher Education
tistics), Amy B. Ellis
and its Effect on Practice), funded by
Joanne Lobato, Coordinating Social
(Co-PI, MSED Graduate and Assistant the National Science Foundation.
and Individual Aspects of General- Professor in the Department of Cur-
izing Activity: A Multi-tiered ‘Focus- riculum and Instruction, University of This 5-year project (2006-2011) focus-
ing Phenomena’ Study, 2005–2008, Wisconsin at Madison), Ricardo es on critical needs in the undergrad-
funded by the National Science Foun- Munoz (Research Assistant), and uate preparation and long-term pro-
dation through the ROLE program. Bohdan Rhodehamel (Research fessional development of K-6 teachers
This goal of Assistant). of science. The goal is to investigate
this project is to Sandra P. Marshall, Cognitive the impact on
account for: (a) the Models of Decision Making in the these students of
ways in which fea- Expeditionary Strike Group, funded undergraduate,
tures of classroom by the Office of standards-based,
Naval Research. reform undergrad-
environments influ-
ence what students This research effort uate science
attend to math- is designed to courses developed
ematically; (b) the investigate the by faculty in the
particular math- ways in which NASA Opportuni-
ematical focus that emerges in a multiple decision ties for Visionary
classroom; and (c) how attention- makers with differ- Academics (NOVA) professional
focusing interactions are related to ent backgrounds development model. Thirty reform
the ways in which students general- and training oper- and 30 comparison undergraduate
ize or „transfer‰ their learning expe- ate together in a common mission. science courses from a national popu-
riences. In order to pursue these the- The context is the U.S. Navy’s new lation of 101 diverse institutions, strat-
oretical goals, a series of empirical force deployment of the Expeditionary ified by institutional type, will be
studies are being conducted in San Strike Group (ESG). The overall objec- selected and compared in a profes-
Diego and in Madison, Wisconsin tive of the project is to create a gen- sional development impact design
involving middle school and high eral schema model of decision making model. CRMSE’s Dr. Cheryl Mason
school students learning about the in the ESG. This model will build on and MSED first-year doctoral student,
topics of linear functions and qua- previous models of tactical decision Corinne Lardy, will serve as the west-
dratic functions. It is anticipated that making and problem solving as well as ern region research team for STEEP,
this research will result in benefits for on existing models of group decision collecting data from study institutions
teachers and their students, by dem- making. Its unique contribution will be within the Western United States, as
onstrating how the durable concepts a common schema structure that well as helping to coordinate larger
that students take away from instruc- applies to decision makers with varied aspects of the project
tion are influenced by many subtle backgrounds and areas of expertise. as a whole.
and often unintentional aspects of As such, the model should be equally
teaching practices involving the applicable to individual decision-mak-
nature of how certain mathematical ers, teams of decision-makers at com-
properties come to be the object of parable levels of command, and multi-
focus when multiple sources of infor- echelon decision-makers.

Continued, page 5
Newsletter of The Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education 5

Recently Funded Projects, continued

Ricardo Nemirovsky, SLC Catalyst: Randy Philipp and Vicki Jacobs, Studying assessments to answer their research
Research on Embodied Mathematical Teachers’ Evolving Perspectives (STEP): question: What are the similarities
Cognition, Technology, and Learning. A Cross-Sectional Snapshot of Teach- and differences among elementary
ers Engaged in Sustained Professional school teachers at three points during
The goal of this Development Focused on Children’s
SLC Catalyst activ- sustained professional development in
Mathematical Thinking, funded by
ity is to bring the National Science Foundation. terms of their knowledge, beliefs, and
together leading practices? Additionally, a longitudinal
researchers in the In this 5-year analysis of six cases will provide
fields of educa- (2005–2010) Teach- important information about the
tion, neurosci- er Professional changing needs of teachers while they
ence, psychology, Continuum project, evolve from initial participants to
sociology, and the researchers advancing participants. Secondary to
mathematics to seek to map a tra- the central research question is a for-
develop plans for a Science of jectory for the evo- mative assessment of the relevance
Learning Center that pursues lution of elemen- and application of the research find-
research on embodied mathematical tary school math- ings to providers of disparate models
cognition, technology, and learning. ematics teachers of professional development for both
The Center will develop theory and engaged in sus- prospective and practicing teachers.
empirical research that can encom- tained professional
Rafaela Santa Cruz, The San Diego
pass (a) the rapid emergence of new development relat-
State University Mathematics Sci-
technologies and types of profession- ed to children’s ence Teacher Initiative (MSTI).
al work that involve mathematical mathematical think-
ing. Four cohorts of MSTI is a compre-
description and analysis, (b) the chal-
30 teachers each hensive program
lenges of providing all students with
are differentiated to double the Col-
equitable access to powerful forms of
on the basis of the lege of Education
mathematical thinking, and (c) the
length of their par- credential enroll-
need to prepare learners for the
ticipation in such professional develop- ments in math-
increasingly unpredictable demands
ment: initial participants (in the begin- ematics and sci-
of work and public life.
ning stage), advancing participants ence. The first
(completed 2–3 years), teacher leaders component of the
(completed at least 4 years and program focuses
assumed leadership roles), and pro- on expanding numbers of candidates
spective teachers, a critical anchor for seeking other credentials who also
the initial participants’ evolutionary obtain mathematics or biology cre-
trajectory. Using a cross-sectional dentials. The second component cre-
design to investigate teachers at distinct ates a new pathway for community
points along the trajectory, the college transfer students interested in
researchers will design and employ mathematics and science credentials.
beliefs surveys, noticing instruments to The third component seeks to add
assess teacher interpretation of class- new pools of students by identifying
room interactions, observation proto- and mentoring high school students
cols for professional development and interested in teaching mathematics
classroom instruction, and content or science.
Newsletter of The Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education 6

Professional Accomplishments
Nadine Bezuk Joanne Lobato Other Accomplishments
was the 2005 College of is the Editor of the Transfer Strand
Education Recipient of a Fac- of The Journal of the Learning Sci- As often happens to our siblings,
ulty Alumni Award (also known ences, 2006-09 and an Editorial Judith Leggett’s famous brother
as the Monty) for Outstanding Board Member for Mathematical Anthony was knighted by the Queen
Contributions to the university. Thinking and Learning and for The (yes, of England) in 2005 in recogni-
Journal of the Learning Sciences. tion of his services to Physics, so he
Randy Philipp is now ‘Sir Tony’
received the 2006 Excellence in April Maskiewicz
Teaching in Mathematics Teacher Congratulations to April Maskiewicz Left to right, daughter Asako,
Education Award from the Asso- (MSED graduate, 2006)! April was wife Haruko, Anthony, Judith
ciation of Mathematics Teacher offered and accepted a position as
Educators (AMTE). He was a fea- an Assistant Professor in the Biology
tured speaker at their annual con- Department at Point Loma Naza-
ference, where he received this rene University as a Biology Educa-
award. The award is designed to tion Specialist. She was delighted to
recognize a colleague for a unique accept the position because she will
contribution to the pedagogy of
be able to implement her research-
mathematics teacher education.
based strategies in non-major biology
In addition, he is the first recipient
courses, conduct research, and work
of what will be an annual award,
with inservice biology teachers as
so others have big shoes to fill.
an advisor for their masters’ theses.
Chris Rasmussen April will join 2003 MSED gradu-
was awarded the 2006 Annie and ate Dianne Anderson in the Biology
John Selden Prize for Research Department. Dianne now serves as
in Undergraduate Mathemat- the director of the MA/NS program
ics Education by the Mathemati- in general biology. The program is
cal Association of America. He designed for working teachers to
formally received the prize at the develop academic and pedagogi-
2006 MAA’s Summer MathFest. cal content knowledge in biology.
Bonnie Schappelle Steve Reed
is writing a book called Thinking Visu- Congratulations to Andrew
was awarded a 2006 Frea E. Sladek
ally that will help launch a new series Benedict-Philipp and his proud
Outstanding Service Award. She
(New Directions in Cognitive Science) parents Margaret and Randy.
was nominated by Randy Philipp
by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Andrew celebrated his Bar Mitzvah
and Judy Sowder for her exem-
on June 17, 2006.
plary service, initiative, competence, Judy Sowder
and contribution to several major led a Mathematics Education Del- Andrew also competed with his
initiatives housed at CRMSE. egation to China in December of Robotics team in a regional contest
2005. The program was organized in December 2006. His score on the
Nadine Bezuk
by the People to People Ambassador Robotics run was the highest of all
is the first President of the newly
Program. In January, Judy was also competitors. His team won an overall
formed California Chapter of AMTE,
part of a 3-person team invited to award and recently returned from an
November 2006 – November 2008
and the Executive Director of the Taiwan to help mathematics educa- international competition in Florida.
Association of Mathematics Teacher tion researchers revise papers for Go Andrew!
Educators (AMTE) through Jan. 2010. submission to international journals.

Vicki Jacobs and Donna Ross
earned sabbaticals to conduct
and complete research projects.
Newsletter of The Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education 7

Publications – 2005-Present
Note: CRMSE members in red text, Current and former graduate students in orange text.
Beck, L. L., & Chizhik, A. W. (2006, October). Applying cooperative learning methods in teaching computer programming.
Presented and to be published in the proceedings of the ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, San Diego, CA.
Beck, L. L., Chizhik, A. W., & McElroy, A. C. (2005). Cooperative Learning Techniques in CS1: Design and Experimental
Evaluation. In (Ed.), Thirty-Sixth SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education: (pp. 470-474). New York,
NY: Association for Computing Machinery.
Beck, L. L., Chizhik, A. W., & McElroy, A. C. (2007, March). Cooperative learning for CS1: Making it work in your classroom.
To be presented and published in the proceedings of the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on
Computer Science Education, Covington, KY.
Carraher, D., & Nemirovsky , R. (2005). Video as a medium to conduct and communicate research. Journal for Research in
Mathematics Education – Monographs series. (13)
Chizhik, A. W., & Chizhik, E. W. (2006, October). Обучение детей из этнического меньшинства в мире
этнического большинства. [Educating ethnic minority children in an ethnic majority world]. Presented and to be
published in the proceedings of the Всероссийской научно-практической конференции на тему
«Диагностика и профилактика школьной дезадаптации» [All-Russia Scientific-Practical Conference on
Diagnosis and Prevention of School Maladaptation], St. Petersburg, Russia.
Chizhik, E. W., & Chizhik, A. W. (2005). Are you privileged or oppressed? Students’ conceptions of themselves and others.
Urban Education, 40, 116-143.
Clement, L., & Bernhard, J. (2005). A problem-solving alternative to using key words. Mathematics Teaching in the Middle
School. 10, (7), 360-364.
Harel, G. & Sowder, L. (2007) Toward Comprehensive Perspectives on the Learning and Teaching of Proof. In F. Lester (ed.)
Second Handbook of Research on Mathematics Teaching and Learning, Charlotte, NC: Information Age Inc., and National
Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Harel, G. and Sowder, L. (2005) Advanced Mathematical-Thinking at Any Age: Its Nature and Its Development. Mathematical
Thinking and Learning, 7(1), pp. 27-50.
Hodder, J., Ebert-May, D., Williams, K., & Luckie, D. (2005). Unraveling complexity: building an understanding of Ever-
glades restoration. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 3(7), 170-171.
Jacobs, V. R., Franke, M. L., Carpenter, T. P., Levi, L., & Battey, D. (in press). Professional Development Focused on Chil-
dren’s Algebraic Reasoning in Elementary School. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education.
Jacobs, V. R., & Kusiak, J. (2006). Got Tools? Exploring Children’s Use of Math Tools During Problem Solving. Teaching Chil-
dren Mathematics, 12 (9) 470-477.
Jacobs, V. R., Ambrose, R.C., Clement, L.C., & Brown, D. (2006) Supporting Teacher Learning: Using Teacher-Produced
Videotapes of Student Interviews as Discussion Catalysts, Teaching Children Mathematics, 12 (6) 276-279.
Kwon, O., Rasmussen, C., & Allen, K. (2005). Students’ retention of knowledge and skills in differential equations. School
Science and Mathematics, 105, 227-239.
Lobato, J. (in press). Research methods for alternative approaches to transfer: Implications for design experiments. In A. Kelly,
& R. Lesh (Eds). Design Research in Education. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Lobato, J. (in press). How rethinking assumptions about the “transfer” of learning can inform research, instructional practices,
and assessment. In C. Rasmussen & M. Carlson (Eds.), Making the Connection: Research and Teaching in Undergraduate
Mathematics. Washington, DC: Mathematical Association of America. Continued, page 7
Newsletter of The Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education 8

Publications – 2005-Present, continued
Lobato, J. & Ellis, A. (in press). Essential understandings: ratios, proportions, and proportional reasoning. Book published in
the Essential Understandings Series: Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Lobato, J. (2006). Alternative perspectives on the transfer of learning: History, issues, and challenges for future research. The
Journal of the Learning Sciences, 15(4), 431-450.
Lobato, J., Clarke, D., & Ellis, A. (2005). Initiating and eliciting in teaching: A reformulation of telling. Journal for Research in
Mathematics Education, 36(2), 101-136.
Marshall, S. (2006). Measures of Attention and Cognitive Effort in Tactical Decision Making. Human Factors of Decision
Making in Complex Systems. (in press). (pp. -). Aldershot, Hampshire, UK: Ashgate Publishing.
Marshall, S. (2005). Assessing Cognitive Engagement and Cognitive State from Eye Metrics. In (Ed.), Proceedings of HCI
International, 11th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Vol. in press. (pp. -). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Nemirovsky, R. (2005). Mathematical Places. In R. Nemirovsky , B. Warren, A. Rosebery & J. Solomon (Eds.), Everyday
Matters in Science and Mathematics. (pp. 45-94). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum
Nemirovsky , R., Barros, A., Noble, T., Schnepp, M., & Solomon, J. (2005). Learning mathematics in high school: Sym-
bolic places and family resemblances. In T. A. Romberg & T. P. Carpenter (Eds.), Understanding mathematics and science
matters. (pp. 185-206). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Nemirovsky, R., Lara-Meloy, T., DiMattia, C., & Ribeiro, B. T. (2005). Talking About Teaching Episodes. Journal of Math-
ematics Teacher Education. 8, 363-392.
Nemirovsky, R., Rosebery, A., Warren, B., & Solomon, J. (Eds.). (2005). Everyday Matters in Science and Mathematics:
Studies of Complex Classroom Environments. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Noble, T.; DiMattia, C.; Nemirovsky, R.; Barros, A. (2006) Making A Circle: Tools, Representations, and the Spaces
Where We Live. Cognition and Instruction 24, (4) 387-437
Philipp, R. A. (2007) Mathematics Teachers’ Beliefs and Affect. In F. Lester (ed.) Second Handbook of Research on Mathemat-
ics Teaching and Learning, Charlotte, NC: Information Age Inc., and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Philipp, R., Ambrose, R., Lamb, L., Schappelle, B., Sowder, L., Thanheiser, E., & Chauvot, J. (in press) Effects of early field
experiences on the mathematical content knowledge and beliefs of prospective elementarly school teachers: An experimen-
tal study. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education.
Rasmussen, C. (2005). Building cognitive models with sensitivity to context: Rate of change in differential equations. Paper
presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Canada.
Rasmussen, C., Kwon, O. N., Allen, K., Marrongelle, K., & Burtch, M. (2006, 0 0). Capitalizing on Advances in Math-
ematics and K-12 Mathematics Education in Undergraduate Mathematics: An Inquiry-Oriented Approach to Differential
Equations. Asia Pacific Education Review, 7, 85-93.
Rasmussen, C., & Marrongelle, K. (2006). Pedagogical content tools: Integrating student reasoning and mathematics into
instruction. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 37, 388-420.
Rasmussen, C., Stephan, M., & Allen, K. (2005). The form and function of gestures: The case of equilibrium solutions at the
Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Canada
Rasmussen, C., Zandieh, M., King, K., & Teppo, A. (2005, 0 0). Advancing mathematical activity: A view of advanced
mathematical thinking. Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 7, 51-73.
Reed, S. K. (In Preparation). Thinking Visually. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Reed, S. K. (2006). Cognition: Theory And Applications (7th Ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Continued, page 8
Newsletter of The Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education 9

Publications – 2005-Present, continued
Reed, S. K. (2006). Cognitive Architectures For Multimedia Learning. Educational Psychologist, 41, 87-98.
Reed, S. K. (2006). Does Unit Analysis Help Students Construct Equations? Cognition And Instruction, 24, 341-346.
Reed, S. K. (2005). From Research To Practice And Back: The Animation Tutor Project. Educational Psychology Review, 17,
Solomon, J., Nemirovsky, R. (2005) Mathematical Conversations. Journal of Research in Mathematics Education – Mono-
graphs 13.
Sowder, J. (2007) The Mathematical Education and Development of Teachers. In F. Lester (ed.) Second Handbook of Research
on Mathematics Teaching and Learning, Charlotte, NC: Information Age Inc., and National Council of Teachers of
Verney, S., Granholm, E., Malcarne,, V., & Marshall, S. (2005). Culture-Fair Cognitive Ability Assessment: Information
Processing and Psychophysiological Approaches. Assessment.
Weatherhead, J., & Marshall, S. (2005). From Disparate Sensors to a Unified Gauge: Bringing Them All Together. In (Ed.),
Proceedings of HCI International, 11th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Vol. in press. (pp. -).
Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Williams, K.S., Fisher, K., & Anderson, D. (2005). Developing a diagnostic exam for general biology. In (Ed.), Pathways to
scientific teaching in ecology education: Vol. 90. (pp. 694-). Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Ecological Soc. of Amer. 90th
Annual Meeting and IX International Congress of Ecology.

Did you know?
Three of San Diego State University’s CRMSE members authored or
co-authored chapters in the prestigious Second Handbook of Research
on Mathematics Teaching and Learning (Frank K. Lester, Jr., editor).
SDSU faculty wrote more chapters than faculty at any other university,
providing evidence of CRMSE members’ influence and distinction.
Newsletter of The Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education 10

CRMSE Hosts First Ever AERA Reception
Under the direction of Ricardo
Nemirovsky, CRMSE hosted its first
reception at AERA, held in April 2007 in
Chicago. About 50 researchers, practi-
tioners, and graduate students attended
the event, including Mathematics and
Science Education (MSED) doctoral pro-
gram graduates and former SDSU faculty.
Newsletter of The Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education 119

Wolf Prize awarded to UCSD’s George Feher
George Feher, a physics research profes- semi-synthetic molecular energy convert-
sor at UCSD, was awarded the presti- ers, which may have profound implica-
gious 2007 Wolf Prize in Chemistry. He tions in an energy-demanding world.”
will share the $100,000 prize with Ada
The Wolf Prize has been awarded annu-
Yonath of Israel’s Weizmann Institute
ally since 1978 to living scientists and
of Science. Feher won the prize “for artists for “achievements in the interest
ingenious structural discoveries of the of mankind and friendly relations among
ribosomal machinery of peptide-bond peoples ... irrespective of nationality,
formation and the light-driven primary race, colour, religion, sex or political
processes in photosynthesis.” He uncov- views”. The prize is awarded in Israel
ered the basic mechanisms for how by the Wolf Foundation, founded by Dr.
plants and bacteria use photosynthesis Ricardo Wolf, a German-born inventor
Photo by Roger Isaacson, UCSD to convert light into chemical energy. and former Cuban ambassador to Israel.
Elsa Feher is a founding member of According to the Wolf Prize jury, Feher It is awarded in six fields: Agriculture,
CRMSE and an emeritus professor of “pioneered the structure/function rela- Chemistry, Mathematics, Medicine,
Physics at SDSU. Her husband George, tions of the simplest reaction center and an Arts prize that rotates annually
professor of Physics at UCSD, has just in photosynthesis, revealing the basic between architecture, music, painting
been awarded the prestigious Wolf principles of light energy conversion in and sculpture. Each prize consists of a
Prize in Chemistry for 2006/07. biology.” It added: “Feher’s impressive diploma and USD$100,000. The Wolf
work in research on photosynthesis rests Prizes in physics and chemistry are often
Excerpts from the original article reprint-
on his extraordinarily vivid imagination considered the most prestigious awards
ed with permission from reporter Kim
in those fields after the Nobel Prize.
McDonald of the UCSD News Center, and on the sustained discipline with
University Communications, Universilty which he forced himself to master the
California, San Diego. underlying biochemistry in a brilliant and Congratulations to systematic manner. His work is seminal
rel/science/wolfprize07.asp for the construction of synthetic and George Feher!

Dogs and Geometry
Test your recognition of
transformations. Can
you identify the
rotations and
in the

Thanks to Judy Sowder for
contributing the photographs
of her talented canines,
schnauzers Cody (black) and
Winner (salt and pepper).
Newsletter of The Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education 12

Find out what our graduates are doing now…
Andy Johnson was the first graduate of medical research has attrib-
CRMSE’s Mathematics and Science Edu- uted to it.
cation Doctoral (MSED) program. He is
now an associate professor at Black Hills “I’m starting to think I should
State University. learn meditation because it
seems really beneficial.
BHSU professor participates They’ve proven you can make
in Science for Monks program yourself happy just by medi-
tating,” he said.
By Mary Garrigan, Journal staff
Reprinted with permission from He recounts one research
the Rapid City Journal project that put a meditating
monk inside an MRI machine.
Teaching Buddhist monks about sci-
His brain scan revealed that
ence has provided Black Hills State based teaching workshops with sci-
the pleasure centers of the monk’s
University physics professor Andy ence educators, like Johnson, where
mind “lit up like they had never seen
Johnson with a few spiritual lessons they conduct experiments and develop
before,” Johnson said.
of his own. their own theories about the “big
questions” of science. Johnson is finding, after three years of
Black Hills State University physics
exposure to Eastern religious thought,
professor Andy Johnson works with a Remarkably, their theories are always
that it holds spiritual lessons for West-
group of Buddhist monks during a close to the scientific explanations
ern cultures. Here in the West, we
science workshop at a monastery found in textbooks, Johnson said.
have some funny ideas about happi-
in India. Buddhist spiritual development has ness, he said.
Johnson is a physics educator with a some striking similarities to scientific
“They may not know much science
passion for improving the way sci- thought, Johnson has noticed. Meditat-
but they’re very smart about the
ence is taught. That’s why he came to ing monks study the internal world of
nature of reality and about the human
be standing in a Buddhist monastery their minds. Scientists study the exter-
relationship to the world,” he said of
in India last month, teaching 50 gar- nal world around them. But their
the monks. “I’m starting to see how
net-robed monks about magnetism. methods have much in common.
the Buddhist emphasis on spiritual
Science for Monks is a program initi- “Studying Buddhism involves investiga- development, rather than on material
ated by the Dalai Lama, the exiled tions that are similar to science but wealth, could substantially help us
spiritual leader of Tibet. It exposes which focus on the inner spiritual here in the U.S. They have some wis-
monks who live in isolated eastern world rather than on the external dom that the world desperately needs
monasteries to western scientific material world,” he said. “Buddhism is right now.”
thought. Johnson has spent his fundamentally different than any West-
While enough food to eat and a
semester breaks from BHSU in India ern religion, all of which are based on
decent house to live in are important
with the Science for Monks program faith and the idea that you must
components of happiness, the latest
since 2004. believe something you can’t know.”
video game is not, Johnson said. “We
“The Dalai Lama began the science Buddha, Johnson said, was more like a just keep looking for happiness in our
workshops based on the twin ideas scientist than a spiritual leader, telling pickup trucks and our trophy homes.”
that Tibetan Buddhism can learn his followers to test before they
Johnson also enjoys the teaching chal-
much of value from Western science, believe.
lenge of bringing scientific concepts
and that the Western world can gain “Essentially, he said ‘try it yourself, and to monks who may not even speak
much from Tibetan Buddhism,” John- if it doesn’t work for you, do some- English. About one-third of the monks
son said. thing different,’ ” Johnson said. he taught spoke some English, but he
As part of the program, monks hear Johnson is not a Buddhist, nor does he used a translator, too.
lectures by top scientists worldwide, practice meditation, although he says As the associate director of the Center
but they also participate in inquiry- he might start, given the benefits that for the Advancement of Math and
Newsletter of The Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education 13

Science Education, Johnson is on a Amy Ellis is a 2004 graduate of and student understanding. They’ve
mission to improve math and science CRMSE’s Mathematics and Science found, for instance, that math instruc-
education in South Dakota and in the Education Doctoral (MSED) program. tion can be strengthened by tapping
wider world. She is now an assistant professor at into children’s informal knowledge, by
He has a doctorate in physics educa- the University of Wisconsin-Madison. teaching them to use the same prac-
tices as mathematicians, and by
tion, but apologizes for a “culture of Eric Knuth is a 1994 graduate of San engaging them in real-world problem-
science that is elitist” and a profes- Diego State University’s Master of solving instead of rote drills on
sion full of scientists who never Arts program in Mathematics. He abstract skills.
learned how to be good teachers. earned his Ph.D. in 1999 from the
“It’s extremely possible for normal University of Colorado-Boulder, and By making math more accessible to
people to understand science,” he is now an associate professor at the students of all ages and abilities, they
said. “And there are these big ideas University of Wisconsin-Madison. hope that more people will recognize
of science that people should mathematics as they do – as a lan-
Excerpts reprinted with permission of the
understand.” editor of Campus Connection: For Alumni guage for thought.
& Friends of the University of Wisconsin-
He uses new approaches to teaching Having established a solid foundation,
Madison School of Education, The University
physics in his college classrooms, and of Wisconsin-Madison, Winter 2007, pp2-5 the trailblazing cohort led by Carpen-
they work equally well with Buddhist ter, Romberg, and Fennema in recent
monks, he said. UW–Madison scholars years has been passing the torch at
UW-Madison to a new generation
Monasteries educate many monks maintain focus on effective of scholars.
who come to them as children, but teaching, learning
science education is lacking. Some
of the monks in the workshop had
the equivalent of a doctoral degree
Demystifying Math “We are continuing
in monastic studies and most had at Many people still see mathematics as on the shoulders
least some exposure to basic Western a difficult subject that only a select
science. group of students with special abilities of giants.”
can master. Learning math, they
This year, Johnson taught about the
believe, consists of memorizing facts
magnetic properties of materials, “The Mathematics Education area is
and mastering the application of com-
using some of the usual elementary in good hands,” says Eric Knuth, asso-
plicated concepts and procedures.
school science lessons involving ciate professor in the Department of
nails, magnets and metal filings. “That’s simply not true,” says Thomas Curriculum and Instruction, who
Last year, he taught a course on Carpenter, who has plenty of research leads a group that includes three
color addition and subtraction, to justify his succinct rebuttal. assistant professors – Amy Ellis, Victo-
which turned out to be a pivotal ria Hand, and Edd Taylor. Adapting a
A pioneering cohort of education
science topic for Buddhist monks. phrase used by Sir Isaac Newton,
researchers at UW-Madison – led by
Because vision and color perception Carpenter, Thomas Romberg, and Eliz- Knuth adds, “We are continuing on
are right at the interface between the abeth Fennema, all emeriti professors the shoulders of giants.”
internal and external worlds, the monks in the Department of Curriculum and
Like those giants, all four are engaged
were very interested to get to the heart Instruction – have shown, for instance,
in research aimed at adding to the
of a scientific understanding of it. that children of all abilities enter
body of knowledge of how diverse
The monks, Johnson said, took their school with an informal base of math-
populations of students learn and
science lesson about color to a high- ematical knowledge that enables them
understand mathematics. Likewise,
er level than most students. Maybe to learn more substantive material
they are dedicated to equipping cur-
even to a spiritual one. than traditionally taught.
rent and future teachers with the best
For additional information, go to: For more than 30 years, these practices, based on the latest knowl- researchers have put the learning of edge, for supporting all students in
Contact Mary Garrigan at 394-8410 or mathematics under the microscope in their development of mathematical search of ways to improve teaching understanding and reasoning.
Newsletter of The Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education 14

New faces, same focus algebra. The seeds of algebraic reason- able situation enhances students’ abil-
ing need to be planted and nurtured in ities to generalize.
Effective mathematics instruction, the elementary and middle school
explains Eric Knuth, involves three In a five-year, longitudinal study funded
grades, they say.
by an NSF Career grant, Knuth has been
“We want stu- examining how middle school students
“A lack of success dents to move
beyond solving
acquire and develop third understanding
of what constitutes evidence and justifi-
in algebra means one problem,” cation and how such understandings
Ellis says.
losing opportunities can be refined and extended. Tradition-
ally, students first encounter – and
In studies funded
for advanced by the National struggle with – justification and proofs
Science Founda- in high school geometry.
studies...” tion (NSF), Knuth Knuth and Ellis also have been work-
—Eric Knuth and Ellis are
ing with Charles Kalish, professor of
looking at the
educational psychology, to study the
key components: understanding how development of key practices used by
relationships between student reason-
children learn, preparing teachers mathematicians and scientists – gener-
ing inside and outside of math.
who can tap into and build upon that alization, modeling, and proof/justifi-
cation – that are seldom emphasized by Understanding how children develop
knowledge, and having a curriculum their reasoning abilities, especially
that supports these efforts. Like the traditional instruction.
those related to mathematics, can
pioneers who preceded them, Knuth Algebra marks the first time that stu- lead to instructional practices that
and his mathematics education col- dents are encouraged to generalize support and foster their development.
leagues are engaged in all three parts. patterns, relations, and functions, says
Like Carpenter and others, Knuth and Ellis, adding “it’s fairly common for Influencing practice
Amy Ellis – who joined the faculty in them to struggle with this.” “The research has
1999 and 2004, respectively – are to impact more
interested in promoting the develop- than just the aca-
ment of algebraic reasoning. Math “We want demic commu-
researchers describe algebra – which nity,” says Knuth.
introduces students to the use of
students to move
He and his col-
symbolic representations as the gate- beyond solving leagues under-
keeper between the concrete calcula-
tions of arithmetic and higher levels one problem...” scored the
importance of
of mathematics. —Amy Ellis working directly
“A lack of success in algebra means with classroom
losing opportunities for advanced teachers and con-
studies,” Knuth explains. Ellis notes Ellis, whose work on generalization is necting their research to the prepara-
that algebra – which involves “the funded by a three-year NSF Research tion of new teachers. The bridge
study of structures and systems on Learning and Education (RoLE) between research and classroom
generalized beyond specific compu- grant, describes generalization as “a instruction includes curriculum devel-
tations and relations” – plays a vital sophisticated mathematical activity that opment and effective teacher educa-
role in access to college and careers involves extending the range of reason- tion and professional development.
in the sciences and engineering, ing beyond one specific problem.”
“The kind of research we do has us
which are associated with higher
She has found that the development of engaged in the local schools,” ex-
earning power. the abilities to make generalizations plains Ellis. In addition to advancing
They regard the development of alge- and to construct arguments to justify the research, this benefits the school
braic reasoning as far too important mathematical claims seem to go hand community and helps teachers
to wait until eighth or ninth grade, in hand. She also has seen that address current needs.
when many students first encounter grounding abstract lessons in measur-
Newsletter of The Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education 15

Celebrations !
Congratulations to our new Rebekka Darner and husband Angelo
announced the birth of their daughter,
CRMSE moms and dads! Karina Iren Soto-Darner, born on
Candace Cabral and her husband Joe November 14, 2006 at 10:34 p.m. She
celebrated the birth of their second weighed 11 pounds and 5 ounces and
son Leo, a brother for Nico, on April was 21 inches long. Karina was named
18, 2006,. Candy delivered a healthy after her magnificent great aunt, Karen
little boy, Leo Kalani Cabral-Omana, Darner (who is also called Karina by
7 pounds 7 ounces, 19 inches long. her college friends). Her middle name,
Kalani means “the chiefly one,” or Iren (pronounced ee-REN), came from
“from the heavens.” her loving great grandmother, Irene
Isaac Lawrence Thompson

A warm welome to sir Isaac Lawrence
Thompson, born April 6, 2007, third
child of Nephi and Gina Thompson.
At birth, Isaac weighed 9 pounds, 5
ounces and was almost 22 inches
long. His brothers, Joseph and Caleb
are delighted to be big brothers!

Angelo, Bekky, and Karina Soto-Darner

Leo and Nico Cabral-Omana

Karen Payne Aguilar gave birth to
Logan Carlos Aguilar who arrived
September 15, 2006 at 5:52 am. And
now for the numbers...Logan was 7
lbs., 4 oz., and 20” long.

Karina Soto-Darner’s cute baby legs
make a stealth visit to CRMSE
Logan Carlos Aguilar