Postdoctoral Research Training Program in Mathematics Education, University of Illinois

Funded by the Institute of Education Sciences

In collaboration with the College of Education's Departments of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, this IES-funded program prepares early-career scholars to conduct rigorous mathematics education research.  Postdoctoral fellows gain a rich set of experiences and skills needed to conduct mixed-method and quantitative research that will improve U.S. mathematics teaching and learning with diverse populations.  Fellows work with a range of faculty who conduct classroom-based research and analyze large-scale mathematics data. The postdoctoral program at UIUC helps fill the national need for scholars who have a blend of expertise in mathematics education, rigorous research design, and data analysis.

Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Dr. Colleen Ganley received her doctorate in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology from Boston College in 2011.  As a postdoctoral fellow at Illinois from 2011-2013, Dr. Ganley worked on large-scale analyses of gender equity in mathematics education with Professors Joe Robinson-Cimpian and Sarah Lubienski.  After completing the postdoc, she became an Assistant Professor of Developmental Psychology at Florida State University.  Dr. Ganley’s research interests involve understanding the social, cognitive, and affective factors related to math learning and achievement with a specific interest in individual differences related to gender and income level.  She has investigated factors such as teacher biases, stereotype threat, math anxiety, working memory, and spatial skills as potential malleable factors that may be related to gender and income-level differences in mathematics achievement. 

Dr. Casey George-Jackson was an IES postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 2012-2015, where she worked with Professors Sarah Lubienski and Joe Robinson-Cimpian, conducting studies of educational equity and access.  Specficially, she investigated factors pertaining to differential rates of participation and persistence in the STEM fields, undergraduate students’ choice of major, differential tuition policies, and families' postsecondary financial awareness and readiness.  She has been involved in a number of research projects focused on broadening participation in STEM, including projects funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. Dr. George-Jackson has also served as the PI of the NSF-funded Math Alliance Research Study.  After completing her postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. George-Jackson became an Assistant Professor of Higher Education Administration at the University of Louisville.

Dr. Emily Miller completed her Ph.D. at the University of Delaware and joined the Illinois Postdoctoral Program in Mathematics Education Research in 2015.  As a postdoctoral fellow, Emily has worked with Dr. Sarah Lubienski and Dr. Joe Robinson-Cimpian on studies of mathematics instruction, reform and equity using national datasets, including the 1998-99 and 2010-11 cohorts of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS-K), as well as the High School Longitudinal Study.  Dr. Miller’s interests include gender disparities in the pursuit of higher-level mathematics and related fields, as well as the improvement of mathematics instruction and the professional development of mathematics teachers.   

Dr. David Purpura joined the Illinois Postdoctoral Program in Mathematics Education in 2010, after earning his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Florida State University.  During his postdoctoral studies, Dr. Purpura worked with Professor Art Baroody on understanding children’s early mathematics development--specifically examining how early mathematical and non-mathematical factors impact children's mathematics learning.  After completing two years with the Postdoctoral Program, Dr. Purpura joined the faculty in the department of Human Development and Family Studies at Purdue University as an Assistant Professor in the Early Childhood Education and Exceptional Needs program.  Dr. Purpura is an IES What Works Clearinghouse certified reviewer and a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness.

Dr. Erin Reid received her doctorate in school psychology from Pennsylvania State University.  From 2010 to 2012, she served as a postdoctoral research associate, and later, as an IES Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Mathematics Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Dr. Reid worked with Professor Art Baroody’s research team to design and evaluate computer-assisted interventions targeting specific preschool math concepts.  After completing her Postdoctoral Fellowship, Dr. Reid went to the Erickson Institute in Chicago, where she became the Assistant Director for Research for the Early Math Collaborative.  Dr. Reid’s research interests include understanding and promoting mathematical development in young children; identifying and promoting skills, behaviors, and attitudes that contribute to academic success; and developing measures of skills, attitudes, beliefs, and practices related to effective mathematics learning, teaching and professional development. 

Core Faculty

Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Larry Hubert, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Professor Emeritus of Statistics and Educational Psychology

Dr. Christy Lleras, Associate Professor of Human and Community Development