## Faculty

**Kristen Amman** studies student perceptions of their learning experiences across the undergraduate mathematics curriculum. Her current work investigates student experiences relearning content they have seen before in contexts such as retaken Calculus courses or mathematics content courses for future teachers. She earned her Ph.D. from Rutgers University and has participated in several women-led mentorship events at the annual Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education (RUME) conference.

**Amy Been Bennett** received her PhD in Teaching and Teacher Education and master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Arizona. Her current research focuses on university instructors’ pedagogy in mathematics courses taught with an active learning approach. In this research, she explores the role that physical learning spaces and other institutional factors play in teacher decision-making and transitions toward evidence-based practices at the college level. For the past several years, Amy has also conducted research on mathematical modeling at the K-12 level. This research explores how teachers can connect to students’ cultures, families, and local communities through authentic mathematical modeling tasks. Her current role as a postdoctoral faculty fellow supports the mathematics education research efforts of the Mathematics Department and the Center for Science, Mathematics, and Computer Education.

**Josh Brummer** is an Assistant Professor of Practices at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research interests include graduate student professional development, active learning, and learning assistants in the classroom.

**Allan Donsig** conducts research in undergraduate mathematics education and in operator algebras. He is invested in systemic change to improve first year and second year collegiate mathematics experiences. He has published chapters with the SEMINAL project on how to support professional development for post-secondary instructors, particularly graduate students; and how to coordinate courses and, in particular, to help mathematics departments wanting to increase student success.

**Rachel Funk** is a research scientist for the Center for Science, Mathematics, and Computer Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In her role she coordinates the NSF-Funded S-STEM Project STEM CONNECT. Her main research interest focuses on student partnerships in STEM as a mechanism to support the experiences of low income and underrepresented students. She is also interested in understanding the experiences of STEM instructors to support targeted professional development efforts.

**Michelle Homp**
is an Associate Professor of Practice who earned her PhD from the University
of Nebraska-Lincoln, specializing in applied mathematics. Currently, she
develops and teaches graduate mathematics courses tailored for practicing
teachers at elementary, middle, and high school levels. With extensive
experience in online education, Michelle also oversees the coordination of
the online Master of Arts for Teachers (MAT) degree program and the
Nebraska Math & Science Summer Institutes
Additionally, she serves as the faculty convener for
Contemporary
Mathematics, UNL's general education mathematics course, with a focus on promoting
equitable access and inclusive instruction.

**Yvonne Lai** is an expert in the field of mathematical knowledge for teaching. Her current research program seeks to improve the education of secondary mathematics teachers and early mathematics majors by bridging disciplinary perspectives from mathematics and education. In her work, she identifies and prepares teachers in the mathematical knowledge for teaching necessary for equitable instruction. Her current projects include research and development on teaching prospective secondary mathematics teachers (through the MODULES^{2} project), investigating the role of collaborative problem solving in learning concepts of function (as part of a partnership of Algebra Project, Young People’s Project, ETS, UNL, and SIUE), and articulating conditions that minoritized undergraduate students experience in math major courses (with Amy Bennett, through an inaugural College of Arts & Sciences Strategic Priorities grant). She was the founding chair of the MAA's Special Interest Group on Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching, the 2024 MAA Lecturer on Teaching and Learning at the Joint Mathematics Meetings, and a 2024 plenary speaker for the Annual Conference on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education. She brings a mathematics background to her work in mathematics education, specializing in hyperbolic geometry and geometric group theory prior to her interest in equitable instruction, mathematical knowledge for teaching, and practices of proof and reasoning.

** Wendy Smith** is the Director of the Center for Science, Mathematics, and Computer Education, which supports STEM/DBER faculty in conducting educational research, evaluation and outreach. She earned her PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2008, studying mathematics teacher change. Her research interests include K-16 mathematics education, rural education, teacher change, teacher professional development, teacher leadership, action research, and estimating teacher professional development effects on student achievement. She began her career as a middle level mathematics teacher in the Lincoln Public Schools. Her bachelor's and master's degrees are in mathematics, also from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Among other roles and responsibilities, she serves as the chief advisor for teachers earning their Master of Arts for Teachers (MAT) degree from the Department of Mathematics.

### Emeriti Faculty

**Jim Lewis** is interested in mathematics education at the K-12 and collegiate levels with special interest in the mathematical education of teachers. Jim is particularly interested in involving mathematicians in the work of educating preservice and inservice mathematics teachers. He has been the lead PI for nearly $20 million of NSF grants, 2000-2015, including Math in the Middle NebraskaMATH, and NebraskaNOYCE, and is the Director of the Center for Science, Mathematics, and Computer Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is also the lead PI for over $5 million in grants from private foundations. He was a co-PI for the Nebraska Math and Science Initiative, and for Math Matters, an 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* (2001) as well as the 2012 update, *The Mathematical Education Of Teachers 2*, 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*. Jim was the recipient of three major awards in 2015: the Gung & Hu Award for lifetime service from the Mathematical Association of America; the Impact Award from the American Mathematical Society; and the Rotary Club #14 Don Miller Math Education Award. Jim is currently serving as the Deputy Assistant Director for the National Science Foundation's Education and Human Resources Directorate.

**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.

## Current Graduate Students

Johan Cristobal

Advised by: Yvonne Lai

Colby Lamb

Advised by: Yvonne Lai

Sam MacDonald (NSF GRFP)

Advised by: Yvonne Lai

Cleve Young (NSF GRFP)

Advised by: Yvonne Lai

## Graduates

Our group began advising doctoral students in 2016.

Rachel Funk (PhD 2023)

Advised by: Yvonne Lai and Wendy Smith

Brittany Johnson

Advised by: Wendy Smith and Nathan Wakefield

Karina Uhing (PhD 2020)

Advised by: Nathan Wakefield and Yvonne Lai

Erica Miller (PhD 2018)

Advised by: Yvonne Lai

## Undergraduate Honors Theses in Mathematics Education

Cleve Young (B.S. 2023)

Advised by: Yvonne Lai

Elizabeth Tyler (B.S. 2019)

Advised by: Nathan Wakefield and Ted Hamann

Chris Beeman (B.S. 2017)

Advised by: Nathan Wakefield and Wendy Smith