News Release

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Trisha Thomas
Illustrative Mathematics

Kristin Umland Honored by the American Mathematical Society for Her Contributions and Dedication to the Improvement of K-12 Mathematics Education

May 8, 2017 – Illustrative Mathematics is pleased to announce that Kristin Umland, Vice President for Content Development, has received the 2017 American Mathematical Society (AMS) Award for Impact on the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics. The award is given each year to a mathematician who has made significant contributions of lasting value to mathematics education. Dr. Umland’s contributions include her role in the development of the nonprofit organization Illustrative Mathematics.

"Kristin Umland has worked with energy, vision, and commitment on improving mathematics education at the precollege level," said Tara Holm of Cornell University, who served as chair of the Impact Award selection committee. "She brings high-level mathematical knowledge together with deep understanding of the needs of school mathematics teachers. Her work at Illustrative Mathematics makes quality materials available to millions of teachers and also serves as an effective means for professional development. We are happy to recognize her outstanding work with the AMS Impact Award."

Prior to joining Illustrative Mathematics full time in 2016, Dr. Umland was on the faculty of the Mathematics and Statistics Department at the University of New Mexico. While there, she made significant improvements in the mathematics courses for both elementary and secondary pre-service teachers, adding rigor as well as more-relevant material. In 2011, her support of the national K-12 mathematics community in the transition to the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSS-M) led to her to collaborate with William McCallum of the University of Arizona, the leader of the CCSS-M writing team, to launch Illustrative Mathematics, a nonprofit organization created by mathematicians, mathematics educators, and teachers, that illustrates how CCSS-M can be effectively implemented.

“When I shared my vision for Illustrative Mathematics with Kristin back in 2010, I discovered that she was already thinking along the same lines about a community to support CCSS-M implementation,” said Dr. McCallum. “Kristin’s ability to strike the balance between mathematical integrity and the needs of students and teachers is unparalleled. Her work for Illustrative Mathematics has been both foundational and transformative. We would not be where we are today without her.” Today, the Illustrative Mathematics website receives an average of one million visitors viewing tasks per month.

As Vice President for Content Development, Dr. Umland has been instrumental in overseeing the development of more than 1,200 highly vetted tasks illustrating CCSS-M by a group of 100 editors and 550 reviewers. She is also the lead author of Open Up Resources Middle School Curriculum authored by Illustrative Mathematics, an Open Educational Resource math curriculum that will be released in July. Throughout her career, Dr. Umland has contributed deep mathematical knowledge and immeasurable support to K-12 educators as they work to prepare students for academic and college and career success, making her one of the outstanding mathematics educators working in the nation today.

Original article from the AMS can be found here.