Zalman Usiskin Inspires Advocacy for Mathematics
Posted by Lisa Carmona | Vice President, preK-5 Portfolio | McGraw-Hill Education, School
I’m delighted that Zalman Usiskin’s impact on mathematics research, teaching, and learning will be commemorated at a Symposium and dinner in his honor. http://ucsmp.uchicago.edu/usiskin-symposium/
Zal has devoted his career and life to the improvement of mathematics education, and his accomplishments are truly worthy of celebration! It’s especially fitting that this event coincides with an international conference on digital mathematics curriculum http://csmc-intlconf.uchicago.edu/ because Zal has embraced education technology throughout his career.
Mathematics education has been changed for the better because of Zal’s influence. He shares his passion for mathematics, assessment, and educational policy through his articulate writing and speaking. I’ve never missed an opportunity to hear him speak—his sharp observations and eloquent arguments are packed with humor and insight. His enthusiasm is inspiring and infectious!
I have had the pleasure of working with Zal on mathematics projects between the University of Chicago and McGraw-Hill Education, including Everyday Mathematics and UCSMP. Beyond our professional collaborations, Zal has had a tremendous influence on me personally. My father is a retired math teacher, and I can remember sitting with him in front of a computer to watch Zal’s recorded talks, pausing to laugh and debate.
I believe that Zal’s unique value to education goes beyond his expertise around mathematics technology, curriculum, and research. Zal has taught me that it’s not enough to build my knowledge and form opinions about mathematics. He inspires advocacy. He challenges each one of us to drive for continuous improvement, examine our assumptions, and strive to give students a deeper understanding of mathematics. I intend to honor Zal’s intentions by doing what I can to improve mathematics teaching and learning.