Department of Mathematics & Science Education

SMSG: A Personal Perspective


Jim Wilson


O. Acronyms:

SMSG: School Mathematics Study Group

CEEB: College Entrance Examination Board

AMS: American Mathematics Society

MAA: Mathematical Association of America

NCTM: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

NSF: National Science Foundation

NDEA: National Defense Education Act


I. The context

The 1950s

- Post-WW II

- Cold War International Perspective

- 1950s education

- 1950s Mathematics Curriculum

The CEEB Report


Report of the Commission on Mathematics, CEEB, 1959


II. Chronology

1954 -- NDEA

1956 -- first draft, CEEB Report (1959)

Proposal to NSF from AMS for SMSG. To prepare example curriculum materials . . .

1957 -- Sputnik

1958 -- First SMST Writing teams -- Yale

University of Maryland teams (Grades 7 and 8)

1958-59 Field trials of

First Course in Algebra


Intermediate Mathematics

Matrix Algebra

U of MD 7th and 8th grade

1959 SMSG and UMd writing teams -- Boulder


1959-60 Tryouts of 7 thru 12 material

1960 SMSG writing teams -- Stanford

1960-61 Sample textbooks available Grades 7 -12

Summer writing teams at Stanford

E. G. Begle moves from Yale to Stanford

National Longitudinal Study of Mathematical Abilities planned


Programmed Learning course in Algebra


1962-65 SMSG Grades 4-6

1964-66 SMSG Grades K-3

1962-67 Many other courses

Spanish Language translations

1967-72 SMSG Second Round

1962-1967 NLSMA

1967-1972 NLSMA Reports (40 volumes)

SMSG Archives and Records