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Keynote Speakers

Thursday Evening -- Dr. Robert Fathauer

Combining Mathematics and Art for Recreation, Esthetics, and Education


The intersection of mathematics and art has proven fertile ground for recreational mathematics, unique art, and mathematics education. Beginning with an interest in the art of M.C. Escher, Dr. Fathauer has been exploring this ground for two decades. He has used Penrose-like tilings as the basis for Escheresque designs that were made into puzzles.

Robert Fathauer received the Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Denver in 1982 with a double major in Physics and Mathematics. In 1987, he received a Ph.D. from Cornell University in Electrical Engineering. From 1987 to 1994 he worked as a research scientist and group leader at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. His interest in the work of M.C. Escher led him to design his own Escheresque tessellations and create art prints from them starting in the early 1990’s. In 1993 he started a business called Tessellations that specializes in puzzles and other products that combine mathematics and art. Over time, his artistic interests have expanded to include fractals and knots. He played the lead role in organizing exhibitions of mathematical art that have become regular features of the Bridges Conference and the Joint Mathematics Meetings. He has written articles on Escher-like tessellations, fractal tilings, and fractal knots, and his books include Designing and Drawing Tessellations and Fractal Trees. The iterated knot featured on the conference web-banner is a Robert Fahauer creation.

Friday Evening -- Dr. James W. Stigler

Changing the Culture of Teaching: Perspectives on Mathematics Teaching and How to Improve It


In this talk Professor Stigler will present data on community college developmental mathematics students.  He will focus on the role that teaching has in explaining their level of mathematical understanding and how to improve it.  He will draw on cross-cultural studies of teaching to provide context for his conclusions.

James W. Stigler is Professor of Psychology and Associate Dean for Research and Innovation at UCLA, and a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He was Director of the TIMSS video studies, and founder and CEO of LessonLab. He has authored numerous articles and books, including The Teaching Gap (with James Hiebert, Free Press, 1999/2009) and The Learning Gap (with Harold Stevenson, Simon & Schuster, 1992). He received his A.B. from Brown University, a Masters in Education from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Michigan. He has received numerous awards for his research, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the QuEST award from the American Federation of Teachers. Stigler is best known for his observational studies of mathematics and science teaching, and has pioneered the use of multimedia technology for the study of classroom instruction.

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