Mathematics Education Research Group

Summary of Research

The Mathematics Education research group is a small but growing research area in the Mathematics Department at The University of Alabama. Our faculty specializes in research in undergraduate mathematics education (RUME), with most of our faculty conducting research primarily using quantitative or mixed methods. We work closely with the K-12 mathematics education researchers in the College of Education and in the last 10 years have had approximately 6 grants and 15 research papers generated from within this group.

Faculty Members

Jim Gleason

Professor Gleason’s research is driven by his desire to improve the mathematical education of students and the ability to measure related constructs in order to better understand what teaching and learning techniques are effective.

Learn more about his research on Dr. Gleason’s personal website.

Find Dr. Gleason’s contact information in the department directory.

Martha Makowski

Professor Makowski’s research interests include the ways in which the curriculum and instruction of mathematics classes restrict students’ ability to achieve their career goals, particularly at the postsecondary level. She has used both quantitative and qualitative methods to explore these questions at the middle school and postsecondary level. She also does work related to gender in mathematics, examining whether socialization of boys and girls impacts the ways in which they do mathematics in their later school ways.

Find Dr. Makowski’s contact information in the department directory.

Affiliated faculty in the College of Education

Seminars for Mathematics Education

The mathematics education seminar, which draws faculty and students from both the College of Education and the Department of Mathematics, meets approximately twice a month.

Professional Organizations and Conferences

The field of mathematics education has a wide array of professional organizations and conferences. The audience and focus on research varies between the organizations. In our descriptions, we make distinctions between research focused and educator focused.

Mathematics Education Specific Conferences

Postsecondary Mathematics Focus

  • Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education (SIGMAA on RUME) – A special interest group of the MAA, SIGMAA on RUME is an annual research conference held in February. Presentations and working groups focus on issues particular to studying mathematics education at the postsecondary level. The RUME listserve provides a healthy combination of discipline specific discussion about topics impacting the community, job postings, and upcoming opportunities.
  • American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) – A professional organization for mathematics educators who teach at the developmental level or teach courses that are traditionally offered the first two years of college (e.g., Trigonometry, Calculus). The annual conference, held in November, is primarily focused on teaching related issues and sessions, but there is also a research specific evening session at which high-impact community college mathematics education researchers often present.
  • Joint Math Meetings (JMM) – Although primarily a conference for mathematics researchers, JMM also has mathematics education related sessions. The annual conference is usually held in early to mid January.

Focus at All Mathematics Levels

  • Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) – A national organization dedicated to educators working in colleges and universities who teach and mentor preservice mathematics teachers. The annual conference is held in February.
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) – A national organization dedicated to mathematics education at all levels. The national conference, held in the fall of each year, brings together mathematics educators from all over the country and is proceeded by a research specific conference on mathematics education.
  • Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME) – Both a national (PME-NA) and international (IGPME) research focused organization focused on the ways mathematics is learned and taught. International conferences are held every other year. National conferences are held on the opposite, alternating years.

General Education Conferences

American Educational Research Association (AERA) – The annual AERA national conference, usually held in April, brings together educational researchers in all disciplines. The organization has a thriving mathematics education special interest group (SIG-RME). The SIG-RME communications and newsletter reflect the most current issues and trends in the mathematics education research community.

Recent Collaborative Grants

A-PLUS in Math – A six-year NSF funded grant to help build a network of practitioner leaders in secondary mathematics.