Wednesday January 21, 2009

Leading Math Education

A University of Dayton mathematics professor has been selected to lead a national program to improve undergraduate math education, the foundation of STEM learning.

Aparna Higgins, professor of mathematics at the University of Dayton, has been named director of a national program that supports teaching and learning in the mathematical sciences.

Higgins has been appointed to a five-year term as director of Project NExT, (New Experiences in Teaching), a professional development program for new or recent math Ph.D.s interested in improving the teaching and learning of undergraduate mathematics. The appointment begins in August.

"I am excited about becoming director of Project NExT, a program that is making a tremendous contribution to undergraduate mathematics education. Since students in the sciences, technology and engineering are required to take mathematics courses, Project NExT helps to improve undergraduate education in all the STEM disciplines," Higgins said.

Project NExT addresses the full range of faculty responsibilities in teaching, research and service. Major funding for the program comes from the ExxonMobil Foundation, with additional funding from other grants and the sponsoring Mathematical Association of America.

"This national program is making a significant impact on mathematics education at the college and university level," said Joe Mashburn, chair of the UD mathematics department. "It's quite an honor to be named as director, and shows that the national association thinks highly of Aparna's abilities and her contributions to the field."

Each year, a new cohort of 70 to 85 Project NExT Fellows is selected. For these Fellows, the year of their Fellowship is their first or second year of full-time post-Ph.D. college or university teaching in mathematics.

InternalArticle UD mathematics professor Aparna Higgins has been named director of a national program that supports teaching and learning in the mathematical sciences.

Higgins has been appointed to a five-year term as director of Project NExT, short for New Experiences in Teaching. It's a professional development program for new or recent math Ph.D.s interested in improving the teaching and learning of undergraduate mathematics. The appointment begins in August.

"I am excited about becoming director of Project NExT, a program that is making a tremendous contribution to undergraduate mathematics education," Higgins said. "Since students in the sciences, technology and engineering are required to take mathematics courses, Project NExT helps to improve undergraduate education in all the STEM disciplines."

Project NExT addresses the full range of faculty responsibilities in teaching, research and service. Major funding for the program comes from the ExxonMobil Foundation, with additional funding from other grants and the sponsoring Mathematical Association of America.

"This national program is making a significant impact on mathematics education at the college and university level," said Joe Mashburn, chair of the UD mathematics department. "It's quite an honor to be named as director and shows that the national association thinks highly of Aparna's abilities and her contributions to the field."

Each year, a new cohort of 70 to 85 Project NExT Fellows is selected. For these Fellows, the year of their Fellowship is their first or second year of full-time post-Ph.D. college or university teaching in mathematics.

For more information, contact Meagan Pant, assistant director of media relations, at 937-229-3256 or mpant1@udayton.edu.