Faculty

Steve Dunbar is interested in issues of mathematical education at the high school and collegiate level. He is the Director of the American Mathematics Competitions program of the Mathematical Association of America which sponsors middle school and high school mathematical competitions leading to the selection and training of the USA delegation to the annual International Mathematical Olympiad. In addition, he has interests in documenting trends in collegiate mathematics course enrollments and using mathematical software to teach and learn mathematics. He also has research interests in nonlinear differential equations, and applied dynamical systems, particularly those which arise in mathematical biology. In conjunction with his work with differential equation models and systems of mathematical biology, he is also interested in stochastic processes, the numerical and computer-aided solution of differential equations, and mathematical modeling.

Yvonne Lai's research focuses on making common the effective instruction of mathematical reasoning at all levels, and in particular, identifying the mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT) necessary for such instruction. In her work on MKT, she builds on the work of Ball and colleagues (e.g., Ball, Thames, and Phelps (2008)). She brings a mathematics background to her work in mathematics education, specializing in hyperbolic geometry and geometric group theory prior to her interest in mathematical knowledge for teaching and practices of proof and reasoning. Her current projects include studies of mathematics methods courses and their use of items assessing mathematical knowledge for teaching developed by the MET project (with Heather Howell and Yeon Kim); an examination of intersections between mathematics content and mathematics methods courses that preserve the integrity of both mathematics as a discipline and teaching as a profession; a study of beginning mathematics K-12 teaching (with Lindsey Mann, Deborah Ball, Hyman Bass, Susanna Farmer, Joy Johnson, and Mark Thames); and an investigation of the structure of MKT (with Wendy Smith).

Jim Lewis is interested in mathematics education at the K-12 and collegiate level with special interest in the mathematical education of teachers. He is the lead PI for for the $5,000,000 NSF grant, Math in the Middle, and is Director of the Center for Science, Mathematics, and Computer Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Previously he was a co-PI for the Nebraska Math and Science Initiative and for Math Matters, a NSF grant to revise the mathematics education of future elementary school teachers at UNL. Nationally, he is a member of the National Research Council's MSEB (Mathematical Sciences Education Board) and chair of the MAA's Coordinating Council on Education. Lewis was chair of the Steering Committee that produced the CBMS report, The Mathematical Education of Teachers, co-chair of the NRC Committee that produced Educating Teachers of Science, Mathematics, and Technology: New Practices for the New Millennium, and a member of the AMS Task Force that produced Towards Excellence: Leading a Doctoral Mathematics Department in the 21st Century.

Nathan Wakefield is interested in Mathematics Education at the collegiate level.  He is Director of First Year Mathematics Programs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is especially interested in preparing future faculty.  He has presented and submitted work on mentoring graduate students using IBL and the Modified Moore Method.  In addition to his interest in mathematics education, he has also performed research in Arithmetic Dynamics, an amalgamation of Dynamical Systems and Number Theory.  In particular he, is interested in studying prime divisors within sequences of numbers formed through iterative processes.​