Origin Story

The Mathematical Thinkers Like Me project builds on the work of the Virtual Math Team (VMT) project of The Math Forum. 

In Arthur Powell’s and Muteb Alqahtani’s work with VMT, we noticed that groups that worked to get good at collaborating also made visible more math. When the EF+Math Program was announced and recommended to us, we looked into the research around executive functions and realized that the collaborative focus in the online context provided a motivated, meaningful context for developing executive functions (EF). In general, we noticed that EF interventions tend to have little impact or fade quickly in their effects unless embedded in sustained work and areas of interest. We felt that we had something special to offer and to develop further because of the way in which online, group-worthy tasks have the potential to integrate, in one context, all three ‘vertices’ of the EF+Math initiative: Executive Functions, Conceptual Understanding, and Equity. 

In fact, we believe that these vertices are all interdependent and each require the other in order to fully develop in the math classroom. Below is our original proposal that spells out that idea, put together in collaboration with our other research partners: 

Arthur Powell, who does research on technology in math education and culturally responsive math education at Rutgers University, Newark
Miriam Rosenberg-Lee, who does research on neuroscience, EF, and math at Rutgers University, Newark
Luis Rivera, who does research on equity and implicit bias at Rutgers University, Newark
Michael Jacobson, who does research into complex systems and challenge-based learning at the University of Sydney
Ann Renninger, who does research on interest in student learning at Swarthmore College