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Our Team

Our project consists of multiple research-practice partnerships between U.S. school districts and universities.


Researchers and practitioners develop tools, routines, and representations to support instructional improvement initiatives in middle-grades mathematics.

Hover your cursor over the map to see who's in our network.


Partner Districts


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School District Partners


University of Washington


Kara Jackson, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the University of Washington College of Education.  Her work as a mathematics educator is principally concerned with understanding how to improve mathematics teaching and learning – especially in the middle-grades – to support youth from historically underserved communities to participate substantially in and identify with academically rigorous mathematics.  Her research has most recently focused on specifying concrete forms of teaching practice that advance equity, and investigating how to re-organize educational contexts to support teachers to develop such forms of practice.



Anita Lenges, Ph.D., is an acting associate professor in the University of Washington Math Education Project. She currently works with k-12 math teachers, coaches and administrators to support engaging, rigorous, critical and reasoning-based mathematics teaching and learning. Having academically honest conversations with students and teachers is at the core of her work. Anita started her career as a high school math, physics and chemistry teacher in Kenya with the U.S. Peace Corps. She continued by teaching middle school in the Seattle area, and then entered teacher education in schools, at the University of Washington and The Evergreen State College.



Hannah Nieman, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral research scientist at the University of Washington. She studies mathematics educators' collective work toward meaningful aims for teachers' and students' learning and wellbeing. Her current research specifies how robust, generative communities of mathematics educators are fostered and sustained, and it focuses especially on the role of school leaders and facilitators as they design and enact professional learning systems. Hannah previously taught high school mathematics at an engineering-focused high school and has worked as an elementary and secondary mathematics teacher educator. She holds an M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Teaching, Learning, & Curriculum from the University of Washington and a B.S. in Industrial & Systems Engineering from Georgia Tech.



Starlie Chinen is a doctoral student in Curriculum & Instruction with a focus on mathematics at the University of Washington. She is a former middle and high school teacher and has worked as an elementary teacher educator. Her research takes a socio-political approach to understanding how secondary mathematics teachers conceptualize their work. She is also a research assistant on a research-practice partnership aiming to improve middle-grade mathematics in a local school district and develop tools, routines, and representations that educators can use to inform efforts to improve their practice.



Maria Hays is a doctoral student in Learning Sciences and Human Development at the University of Washington. Her main area of interest involves understanding how the design and implementation choices made by instructional designers and course instructors impact student learning and course outcomes. Maria is currently examining how completion and retention rates in online courses are impacted by collaborative learning activities that support community building. She has over twenty years of face-to-face and online teaching experience as both an ELA and information technology instructor, and holds a B.A. in English from SUNY and an M.A. in teaching from the University of Southern California.

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Elham Kazemi is a Professor in Mathematics Education at the University of Washington. Her research has focused on designing and studying professional learning experiences for elementary math teachers and teacher educators so that classroom practices improve in productive ways, especially for students from historically marginalized communities that have been in schooling. Central to this effort is understanding the complex work of eliciting and responding to children’s mathematical thinking. In classrooms, she attends to discourse, students’ mathematical thinking, and students’ learning and identities. Professor Kazemi hopes that her work contributes to efforts to make schools sites of empowerment for teachers and students.

Vanderbilt University



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Paul Cobb, Ed.D., is a research professor at Vanderbilt University. His research interests include improving the quality of mathematics teaching and student learning on a large scale and working on issues of equity in students’ access to significant mathematical ideas. 

Cara Haines, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral researcher at Vanderbilt University. Her research is primarily concerned with mathematics teachers’ learning, including foci on issues of equity and the role of institutional settings. Previously, Cara worked as a mathematics teacher at a public high school and taught methods courses for elementary and secondary prospective teachers at the University of Missouri.

Jan Morrison, M.Ed. is a Project Coordinator in Vanderbilt University’s Department of Teaching and Learning. Jan has previously worked on the Enhanced Language and Literacy Success project, several meta-analyses at the Peabody Research Institute such as the Antecedents of Antisocial Behavior, School Outcomes and Substance Use and the Predictors of School Readiness, and the Effects of Music Instruction on Cognition and School Success at the W. O. Smith Music School. She hold a B.A. in English from Belmont University and an M.Ed. in Human Development Counseling from Vanderbilt University.



Sevim Sevgi, Ph.D., is a visiting assistant professor at the Vanderbilt University Peabody College of Teaching. She is assistant professor at Erciyes University, Turkey. Her work as a mathematics educator is principally concerned with understanding how to improve mathematics teaching and learning especially in middle grades. Her research interests include improving the quality of teaching, teachers learning and student learning at scale.

University of California - Riverside


Thomas Smith, Ph.D., is dean and professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Riverside. His research focuses on how policy and organizational context influence instructional improvement and student achievement gains. He also serves Executive Director of the National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools (NCSU), a national research and development center formed to enhance the capacity of school districts to identify effective practices, design and test innovations that capture the core components of those practices, and then implement the innovations in ways that improve the learning opportunities for students.

Marsha Ing, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Riverside. She studies measurement and assessment within the realm of science and mathematics teaching and learning. Her recent research includes using observational data from elementary mathematics classrooms to better understand the relationship between teacher practices and student outcomes. She teaches classes on research methods, statistics, and measurement and holds a M.A. and Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a B.A. in Educational Psychology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.


Zuhal Yilmaz, Ph.D., is a visiting assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Riverside. Her research focuses on statistics education, design-based research in mathematics education and mathematics teacher education. Her recent research focuses on socio-political role of mathematics in designing teaching and learning environment for statistics. Her prior work experience includes research assistant in DELTA project at NCSU, assistant professor of mathematics education in Turkey. She holds a MS in Mathematics Education from the North Carolina State University and Ph.D. from Middle East Technical University.

University of California - Irvine

June Ahn, Ph.D., is an associate professor at University of California-Irvine School of Education. He studies the design, implementation, and evaluation of learning technologies. His research spans a variety of topics including social media and games for learning, online learning, and blended learning. However, he has a particular interest in understanding the sociotechnical systems surrounding new learning technologies – or how social, cultural, and institutional factors intersect with the new possibilities afforded by technology. June's prior experiences include work as a middle school math teacher, high school computer science teacher, technology director at a K-8 school, and faculty member and Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) at University of Maryland, College Park.



Ha Nguyen is a doctoral student in digital learning and STEM at the School of Education, University of California, Irvine. Her research interests center around the collection, analysis, and visualization of data in ways that facilitate the sense-making of students and instructors to improve learning in STEM fields. 

New York University


Fabio Campos is a doctoral student in the Education, Communication and Technology program at NYU. He worked for more than 20 years as a teacher and program director, specializing in programs for low-income young adults. At Rio’s municipal government, Fabio directed the Schools of Tomorrow, a program for 155 schools spread throughout Rio’s most violent slums. Fabio holds a Master's in Education from Stanford University, a Social Entrepreneurship Specialization from Georgetown University, an MBA from Rio de Janeiro’s Federal University, and a BA of Social Communication from Rio de Janeiro’s Federal University.

Stanford University

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Hilda Borko is a professor of education in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University and member of the National Academy of Education. Her research explores teachers’ instructional practices, the process of learning to teach, the impact of teacher professional development programs on teachers and students, and educational research-practice partnerships. These research projects are in the areas of mathematics education and science education. Her publications include articles in Journal of Mathematical Behavior, ZDM Mathematics Education, Science Education, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Educational Researcher, American Educational Research Journal and other journals and edited volumes. 


Victoria Delaney is a doctoral student at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and master's student in the School of Computer Science. Prior to Stanford, she taught a combination of high school mathematics, statistics, and robotics in public schools for 7 years. Her research explores teaching and learning with contemporary mathematics. In particular, she is motivated by mathematics in artificial intelligence, mathematics in data science, and mathematical and/or computational tools that augment classroom learning.

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Boise State University


Michael isan assistant professor of mathematics education at Boise State University, where he teaches elementary math methods in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies. In his research, Michael seeks to understand how teachers go about meeting the many demands of implementing current visions of ambitious and equitable mathematics instruction. He also studies professional learning opportunities designed to support teachers in meeting these demands, with a particular focus on the facilitation of  professional learning. His current research examines productive struggle and the role of the teacher in ensuring that all students have opportunities to struggle productively in solving challenging and worthwhile mathematics problems.


Univ. of N. Carolina-Greensboro


Dr. Kochmanski is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education in the School of Education’s Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education. After teaching middle grades mathematics and working as a mathematics coach, he earned his doctorate in mathematics education from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Kochmanski’s current research focuses on mathematics coaching as a means of supporting mathematics teachers to improve their instructional practices. In particular, he aims to specify what mathematics coaches need to know and be able to do to support teachers’ learning. Doing so can clarify goals for supporting mathematics coaches’ learning.

Consultants & Collaborators

Laura Wentworth​, California Education Partners

Harold AsturiasStrategic Education Research Partnership

Phil DaroStrategic Education Research Partnership

Suzanne DonovanStrategic Education Research Partnership

Karen TranStrategic Education Research Partnership 

Sola TakahashiWestEd

Louis GomezCarnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

Alicia GrunowCarnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

District Partners

Jessica Slayton: Metro Nashville Public Schools

David WilliamsMetro Nashville Public Schools

Jim RyanSan Francisco Unified School District

Emma TreviñoSan Francisco Unified School District 

Lizzy Hull-Barnes, San Francisco Unified School District 

Moonhawk KimSan Francisco Unified School District 

Norma MingSan Francisco Unified School District 

Alisa Brown, San Francisco Unified School District

Past Contributors

Taylor Stafford: Research Assistant, University of Washington

Daniela DiGiacomo: Post-Doctoral Researcher, UC Riverside

Anna-Lena GruendlerResearch Assistant, UC Riverside

Erin HenrickCo-Principal Investigator, Vanderbilt University

Emily KernResearch Assistant, Vanderbilt University

Meaghan McMurranResearch Assistant, UC Riverside

Mi Sophia Lu: Learning Experience Designer, New York University

Claire Wong: Learning Experience Designer, New York University

Kyle Ong: Programmer, New York University

Special Thanks to our partners and funders

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