Department of Mathematics & Science Education


Jim Wilson

James W. Wilson

I will try to introduce myself as a long time faculty member in the Department of Mathematics Education. The key dates in my career at Georgia are given in the resume on my Web Site at Http:// or Http://, along with supporting information about other matters in this statement. My first appointment at UGa was in 1968 and tenure was in 1971.

Instruction. I am proud to say I am a teacher. My teaching has an impact on students that extends beyond the class enrollments and beyond the walls of the university. It makes a difference in their further studies and in their own teaching. I believe for the past several years, an at least since 1992, I may be the only faculty member in the department who would have enrolled every graduate student -- and many undergraduates -- in at least one class during a degree program.

The courses I have taught in recent years include EMAT 4680/6680 Technology in Secondary School Mathematics, EMAT 4690/6690 Technology Enhanced Instruction in Secondary School Mathematics, EMAT 4700/6700 Advanced Explorations with Technology in Mathematics Instruction, and EMT 4600/6600 Mathematics Problem Solving. In addition I have directed many enrollments in independent study, led EMAT 8990 seminars, supervised Ed.S. applied projects, and directed doctoral dissertations. I make a concerted effort to be accessible to students and take very seriously my responsibilities for advisement of students at all levels. From now until retirement, I anticpate continued work with EMAT 4680/6680, EMAT 4690/6690, EMAT 4700/6700, and EMT 4600/6600. Each of these courses will become increasingly available via distance education over Internet access.

Innovation. I have experimented with and implement many uses of technology, and that experimentation is on-going. The Internet Web Page at Http:// contains many examples of these innovations. These include use of the Web Page for implementing courses that I teach (e.g. see EMAT 6680 or EMAT 6600), use of the Web Page in directed study (e.g. see EMAT 6950), making available papers I have written (e.g. see Papers), making available matter from my students (e.g. Samples), making available papers from others, implementing projects (e.g. EMAT Multicultural Web Site, CPTM, or CPTM Situations Project), making available personal information (e.g. this statement, the resume, etc.)

Aside from the Internet access, I have developed the EMAT 4680/6680, EMAT 469)/669), and EMAT 470)/670) around extensive use of technology tools for mathematics exploration, learning, and teaching. I have incorporated technology tools into the EMAT 4600/6600 course. The collections of problems in EMAT 4600/6600 are presented on the Web Site so as to always be available to students and to take advantage of the hypertext format to link to hints, solutions, other problems, or applications.

The Web Site has extended my impact to mathematics education beyond my classes. The site receives extensive contact from throughout the world, in the range of 30,000 "hits" per week. My site is linked by other major sites such as the Math Forum, which adds to the number of contacts received.

I expect that the continued exploration with technology and internet access will be an interest and activity for me in the next few years. The technology is now becoming available to implement true interactive distance education to extend our outreach into the field. Experimentation is needed to make sure we do it well and do it in useful ways.

The Georgia Research Alliance. In 1991, I was asked by Dean Buccino to take leadership in our input to the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) through collaboration with the Georgia Center for Advanced Telecommunications Technology (GCATT) at Georgia Tech. Over the next three years this led to our UGA team receiving funding from GRA for approximately $2.3M. This was matched with extensive funding from the UGA Foundation, from the UGA operational budget, and from external projects. The Learning and Performance Support Laboratory (LPSL) was organized and I served as its acting director until an Eminent Scholar for Technology Enhanced Learning was appointed in 1995. I wrote the proposal that led to the creation of the Eminent Scholar endowed chair. I continue to be involved in LPSL activities.

The GRA activities have benefited the Department of Mathematics Education in many ways. Much of our Ethernet and computer infrastructure was from GRA funds.

The GRA activities involved a lot of my time. The record is one of considerable impact and accomplishment. Yet, the record also shows that I received no workload assignment for the work with GRA, GCATT, and LPSL.

One major collaboration with LPSL in recent years, and continuing, is Project InterMath. Project InterMath was funded in 1999 for five years. It target research, development, and implementation of inservice mathematics teacher education for middle school teachers. The emphasis was on improving the content preparation of middle school mathematics teachers and developing their expertise to use technology in their own mathematics explorations as well as in their instruction. Unlike most NSF or other externally funded projects, InterMath continues to flourish 4 years after the NSF funding cycle. Through the hard work of LPSL staff and EMAT graduate students in continues to be available as a valuable resource for mathematics teacher and mathematics teacher educators.

Doctoral Program. I have been the major professor for 53 of the doctoral graduates of the Department of Mathematics Education (See List). The range of research activities for these doctoral students is quite diverse and underscores that I continue to have involvement and interest in research activities. I continue to have contact with all of my students and encourage them with their efforts at establishing scholarly productivity.

Research interests. I am particularly interested in mathematics visualization, visual reasoning in mathematics, and development of understanding in mathematics. In particular, I want to continue to explore the role and impact of technology tools in mathematics for creating and manipulating external representations that lead to students refining and using visual images and visual reasoning.

Other. My professional impact has extended to national and international involvement in a variety of ways. In recent years this has included twice being nominated for president of NCTM, being a member of the NCTM assessment standards writing team, being chair of the NCTM task force on technology, conducting workshops and making presentations in Thailand, Sweden, and Israel, being involved in research projects in Israel and Japan, and expanded contact with mathematics educators at many levels via the Internet. I has served as a consultant to funded projects from NSF to the University of Missouri, Hunter College, Georgia Tech, Clemson, and the University of North Florida and from FIPSE to Clemson and Hunter.