PRIME Welcomes New Doctoral Students

  • Aug 29, 2016

The Program in Mathematics Education is delighted to welcome the following outstanding doctoral students to Michigan State University this fall.

David Bowers, Sunghwan Byun, Taren Going, Melissa Hale, William Humes, and Amit Sharma are starting their first year full-time in the doctoral program in Mathematics Education.


David Bowers PhotoDavid Bower’s research interests revolve around the problem solving skills of prospective and current teachers required at different grade levels, and investigating what skills will enable them to help encourage/develop problem solving skills in their own students. He is a former high school mathematics teacher from Columbus City Schools in Ohio. David completed his undergraduate degree in mathematics, master’s degree in education, and a second master’s degree in mathematics all at the Ohio State University.


Sunghwan Byun PhotoSunghwan Byun has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from Kyungpook National University in South Korea, and a master’s degree in mathematics education as well as his teaching certification from Oregon State University. He has been teaching high school mathematics in Phoenix for seven years, is a National Board Certified Teacher, and also has taught mathematics at Mesa Community College, as well as served as an AP (Advanced Placement) calculus reader. Sunghwan is interested in developing a framework of equity in calculus education that looks at what a teacher-leader working with diverse teachers can do to ensure the equity in mathematics education within the classroom, school, and district. He is also interested in how, and in what context, does the collaboration among instructors improve the equity in calculus programs in various educational institutions.


Taren Going PhotoTaren Going's research interests include inquiry-based and student-centered instruction, how to bring a broad, inclusive and motivating vision of math to diverse students, proof and reasoning in the middle school, and ambitious math teaching in the middle school. She has a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics as well as a master’s degree in secondary education from Utah State University. Taren has experience teaching middle school mathematics and science as well as high school mathematics. She brings a strong research background to MSU from her undergraduate and master’s degree work.


Melissa Hale PhotoMelissa Hale received her undergraduate degree in mathematics from Grand Valley State University, and taught high school mathematics in Muskegon for several years. Most recently, she has been a writer/editor of mathematics workbooks and correlated standards for a publisher in Grand Rapids.  Melissa's research interests are to explore inquiry-based curriculum development at the secondary level and work with districts, teachers, students, and policy-makers to implement such curriculum. She is interested in the programs and curricula that are currently being developed, how technology can be integrated into such curricula, and researching the effectiveness of various types of inquiry-based instruction in differing student populations. Melissa plans to be involved in future development of inquiry-based instruction, synthesizing both individualized and collaborative learning into a cohesive whole.


Bill Humes PhotoBill Humes has taken some coursework at MSU while he was still working full-time with the National Guard, and he will be concentrating on his doctoral studies full-time this fall. Bill has a background not only in high school mathematics and science teaching, but also as an ROTC instructor, active duty in the US Army, and most recently Public Affairs with the National Guard. His passion for mathematics education has brought him back to pursue the PhD. Bill’s research interests focus on educational methods for middle/high school, and techniques to best reach students. He wants to work with future teachers in the college classroom or consult in middle/high school districts. 


Amit Sharma PhotoAmit Sharma comes to PRIME from India, and brings a diverse background in education and the development and management of non-profit foundations. Amit has a bachelor’s degree in Statistics, Economics and Mathematics from the University of Lucknow in India, and a Master of Human Resource Management degree from the Institute of Management Technology in Ghaziabad. He has taught elementary and middle grades mathematics in India, developed “Mathstick”, a math instruction and engagement program at his non-profit foundation, and conducted multiple workshops for students, educators, and parents. Amit would like to examine the nature and factors of motivation for students in elementary and middle grades toward math. He is interested in assessing the strengths and limitations of technology facilitated ‘student centered instruction’ and ‘social learning’. He would like to find the implications of technology-facilitated instruction on motivation-centric learning of math, including professional development, and generate and translate research findings into effective strategies for learners, educators and policy makers.   

We are pleased to have such a strong group of incoming mathematics education doctoral students at MSU. Please join us in welcoming them to our mathematics education community.