News Release

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Trisha Thomas
Illustrative Mathematics

Dr. Cathy Kessel Receives the Louise Hay Award from the Association for Women in Mathematics for Contributions in Mathematics Education

Phoenix, AZ – April 3, 2017 – Illustrative Mathematics is proud to announce that Senior Editor Cathy Kessel has received the Twenty-Seventh Annual Louise Hay Award from the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM). Established in 1991 and presented annually, the award recognizes women who have made outstanding contributions in mathematics education.

Cathy Kessel earned her Ph.D. in mathematics, specializing in mathematical logic, from the University of Colorado, Boulder and has taught mathematics at various institutions of higher education throughout the U.S. During the 1990s, she made the shift from being a mathematician to learning about research in mathematics education, auditing courses at the University of California at Berkeley, and observing and analyzing mathematics teaching and learning in the U.S. and Australia. These activities led to many publications with several education researcher co-authors, and to further work in mathematics education.

A standards, curriculum, or assessment document is often written by a group of writers from different backgrounds—mathematicians, mathematics education researchers, teachers, and other educators. In working with such groups of writers, Dr. Kessel has displayed the ability to edit what mathematicians write, making it readable by educators and the general public, and to edit what educators write, making it readable by mathematicians. Her talents have shaped discussions of mathematics education in the U.S., with works including the Progressions for the Common Core State Standards and The Mathematical Education of Teachers as well as descriptions of mathematics education in East Asia, such as Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics: Teachers’ Understanding of Fundamental Mathematics in China and the United States, Learning Across Boundaries: U.S.–Japan Collaboration in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, and Mathematics Curriculum, Teacher Professionalism, and Supporting Policies in Korea and the United States.

“For Cathy, mathematics is more than a career,” said Dr. William McCallum, Founder and President of Illustrative Mathematics. “She has dedicated years to making improvements in the field of mathematics education, and her impressive credentials prove her impact. We are honored to have an individual at Illustrative Mathematics who is as knowledgeable, versatile, and passionate as Cathy is. It’s rare to find a mathematics educator who is as equally talented a mathematician as a writer and editor. The field of mathematics should feel as honored to have her as a member of their community. This award is testament to that.”

Upon accepting the award, Dr. Kessel thanked her teachers and mentors. “Receiving this honor makes me very conscious of how many people have helped to improve my scholarship, writing, and editing, and deepen my knowledge of mathematics,” she said. Read Dr. Kessel’s full response, here.

As a Senior Editor at Illustrative Mathematics, Dr. Kessel serves as the lead copy editor for the middle school mathematics curriculum, providing feedback to writers on style and content.