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Shiv Karunakaran Shiv Karunakaran

Assistant Professor in the Program in Mathematics Education (PRIME) and the Department of Mathematics

D320 Wells Hall, (517) 353-5025


Shiv Smith Karunakaran is an assistant professor of mathematics education. His research involves the study of how post-secondary students of mathematics and professional mathematicians learn and do mathematics. More specifically, he works in the area of the teaching, learning, and doing of mathematical proof and argumentation. He will primarily research the teaching (pedagogical strategies, curriculum development, and TA training) and learning of proof (the process of proving, student comprehension of various proof strategies such as mathematical induction) within the context of MTH 299, the introduction to proof course. Also, Shiv and his collaborators are currently working on developing and validating measures of neuro-cognitive load experienced as individuals prove mathematical statements.

Lisa Keller Lisa Keller

Academic Specialist and Assistant Director, PRIME

C112 Wells, (517) 432-5472


Lisa Keller is a specialist in the Program in Mathematics Education. She is involved in recruiting and advising mathematics education doctoral students, and for a number of years supervised the mathematics content courses for prospective elementary teachers. She has an extensive background in teaching early undergraduate mathematics courses and content/methods courses for prospective elementary teachers.

Joe Krajcik Joe Krajcik

Director of CREATE for STEM Institute

115 Erickson, (517) 432-0816


Joseph Krajcik is director of the CREATE for STEM Institute and a faculty member in science education. A former high school chemistry and physical science teacher, Krajcik spent 21 years at the University of Michigan before coming to MSU in 2011. During his career, he has focused on working with science teachers to reform science teaching practices to promote students’ engagement in and learning of science. He was principal investigator on a National Science Foundation project that aims to design, develop and test the next generation of middle school curriculum materials to engage students in obtaining deep understandings of science content and practices. He is currently serving as head of the Physical Science Design Team to develop the Next Generation Science Standards. Krajcik, along with Professor Angela Calabrese Barton from MSU, serves as co-editor of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching. Krajcik has authored and co-authored curriculum materials, books, software and over 100 manuscripts, and makes frequent presentations at international, national and regional conferences. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has served as president of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), from which he received the Distinguished Contributions to Science Education Through Research Award in 2010.

Glenda Lappan, Professor Emerita Glenda Lappan, Professor Emerita

University Distinguished Professor in the Program in Mathematics Education (PRIME)


Glenda Lappan, retired in May 2014, is a University Distinguished Professor in the Program in Mathematics Education. Her research and development interests are in the connected areas of students’ learning of mathematics and mathematics teachers’ professional growth and change at the middle and secondary levels. She is also a co-author of the Connected Mathematics Project and Co-director for the Center for the Study of Mathematics Curriculum (CSMC).

Vincent Melfi Vincent Melfi
Associate Professor in the Department of Statistics and Probability
C421 Wells, (517) 432-3384


Vince Melfi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Statistics and Probability.  His research interests include quantitative literacy, statistics education, and adaptive designs in clinical trials. He is a co-investigator on the Realizing the Vision: Quantitative Literacy project.

Raven McCrory, Emerita Raven McCrory, Emerita

Associate Professor in the Department of Teacher Education



Raven McCrory, retired in August 2015, was an associate professor of teacher education with interests in teacher knowledge and teacher learning, particularly in mathematics and technology. Her research involved studying the mathematical education of teachers and exploring the knowledge needed for teaching K-12 mathematics. She was also interested in understanding the impact of textbooks on opportunities to learn; how teachers use resources including textbooks and digital technologies in their teaching; and how people teach and learn online.

Elizabeth Phillips Elizabeth Phillips
Senior Academic Specialist in the Program in Mathematics Education (PRIME)

C717 Wells, (517) 353-3835


Betty Phillips is a senior academic specialist in the Program in Mathematics Education. She is interested in curriculum design and development using design-based research methodologies and the role of curriculum in the teaching and learning processes. She is an author of the Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) which is a problem-centered mathematics curriculum for middle school teachers and students. Its overarching goal is to help students and teachers develop mathematical knowledge, understanding, and skill along with an awareness of and appreciation for the rich connections among mathematical strands and between mathematics and other disciplines. Current research projects related to CMP are the Arc of Learning, Student Work as a Context for Student Learning, and Formative Assessment.  She is also a Principle Investigator for two recent National Science Foundation Research grants that investigate the efforts to promote middle school mathematics learning and engagement with digital curriculum resources.  

Ralph Putnam, Emeritus Ralph Putnam, Emeritus

Emeritus Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education (CEPSE) & the Program in Mathematics Education (PRIME)


Ralph Putnam is an emeritus associate professor of educational psychology. He also served as the Graduate Director of the Mathematics Education doctoral program, and Director of PRIME. His research focuses on the cognitively oriented study of classroom teaching and learning and role of technology in learning. His recent research has examined the teaching and learning of mathematics in elementary school classrooms, especially the knowledge and beliefs of teachers as they teach mathematics for understanding and the different ways that students learn about mathematics from various kinds of instruction. Ralph retired in Summer 2022.

Sharon Senk, Emerita Sharon Senk, Emerita
Professor Emerita in the Department of Mathematics & the Program in Mathematics Education (PRIME)


Sharon Senk is a Professor Emerita in the Mathematics Department and the Program in Mathematics Education, retired in Spring 2015, but continued to work part time through Spring 2018. Her primary research interests are the learning and teaching of secondary school mathematics, the nature of assessment in high school mathematics classrooms, and the mathematical preparation of elementary and secondary teachers. She currently is the Principal Investigator (PI) of a Collaborative Research Project with Yukiko Maeda and Jill Newton at Purdue University called Preparing to Teach Algebra: A Study of Teacher Education. She also serves as Co-PI of the Teacher Education Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M) and as a Consultant on Evaluation to the Secondary Component of the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project (UCSMP).

Yvonne Slanger-Grant Yvonne Slanger-Grant

Academic Outreach Specialist in the Program in Mathematics Education (PRIME)

C719 Wells Hall, (517) 432-0056


Yvonne Slanger-Grant is an Academic Outreach Specialist. She is the professional development coordinator for and assists with all of the activities of the Connected Mathematics Project (CMP). Yvonne has held various roles in education including middle school mathematics teacher, elementary teacher, instructional coach, professional development consultant, developer and field test teacher of Connected Mathematics, and more. Yvonne has assisted school districts and systemic initiatives in many states with the implementation of standards-based curricula. Yvonne’s efforts in education have always focused on enhancing mathematics learning and teaching.