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

Dr. Sarah Lubienski is a Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and the Principal Investigator for the Postdoctoral Research Training Program in Mathematics Education.  Dr. Lubienski's research focuses on mathematics achievement, instruction, equity and reform.  She has expertise in both quantitative and qualitative methods, with her most recent work using multi-level modeling with NAEP and ECLS-K data to examine large-scale trends related to the mathematics education of students who differ by social class, race/ethnicity, and gender.  Her research has been funded by IES, NCES, NSF and the Fulbright Program. 

Dr. Arthur Baroody is Professor Emeritus of Early Childhood Mathematics Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.  His research focuses on the teaching and learning of basic number, counting, and arithmetic skills and concepts, with a particular focus on young children and those with learning difficulties.  Dr. Baroody recently served as the Principal Investigator for a 4-year, Goal 3 IES sponsored research project.  The aim of the project was evaluating the efficacy of the educational software developed by his previous 3-year IES Goal 2 grant. The software is designed to help primary-level children discover patterns and relations that facilitate their mastery of basic arithmetic facts.

Dr. Joseph Robinson-Cimpian is an Associate Professor of Quantitative and Evaluative Research Methodologies in the Department of Educational Psychology.  He received his Ph.D. in Economics of Education from Stanford University.  His research interests include studying the effects of policies and practices on educational equity, particularly equity concerning language, gender, and sexual orientation:  in doing so, he employs cutting-edge rigorous, quasi-experimental research designs.  His research has been funded by the Spencer Foundation, the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST), and the AERA Grants Board.  Dr. Robinson teaches several courses on statistics and research design, including a course on quasi-experimental design, covering topics such as regression discontinuity, interrupted time series, and propensity score matching.

Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Carolyn Anderson, Professor in the Departments of Educational Psychology, Psychology, and Statistics

Dr. Richard Anderson, Professor Emeritus of Educational Psychology

Dr. Hua Hua Chang, Professor of Educational Psychology

Dr. Gloriana González, Associate Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Dr. Jennifer Greene, Professor of Educational Psychology

Dr. Rochelle Gutiérrez, Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and the Department of Latino/Latina Studies

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

Dr. Barbara Hug, Clinical Associate Professor, Science Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction

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

Dr. Michelle Perry, Professor of Educational Psychology

Dr. Katherine Ryan, Professor Emerita of Educational Psychology

Dr. Jinming Zhang, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology