The College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences recently announced the appointment of Dr. Blake Peterson as the new chair of the Department of Mathematics Education, effective immediately. He replaces Dr. Steven Williams, who has served as chair of the department for the past six years. Dr. Dan Siebert was reappointed as associate chair.
Peterson received his B.S. from Utah State University in 1986. He then traveled to Pullman, WA, where he received his M.S. and Ph.D. from Washington State University in 1990 and 1993, respectively. He then worked as a mathematics teacher and teaching assistant at Washington State University (WSU).
Following his work at WSU, he taught as an assistant professor of mathematics at Oregon State University before joining the BYU Department of Mathematics as an assistant professor in 1996. He moved to the Department of Mathematics Education when it was formed in 2000. His current research focuses on mathematics teacher education, working with math educators in Japan, researching mathematical dialogue between teachers and students, studying lessons with pre-service teachers, mentoring students, and researching number theory and its application to geometry.
Peterson has close ties with schools in Japan and took a sabbatical there in 2003. Scores for standardized math tests in Japan are among the top in the world, and Peterson is working with educators in Japan to determine the reasons for that success.
Siebert graduated with his B.S. and M.S. in mathematics from BYU in 1989 and 1993 (respectively) before he received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California-San Diego in 2000. His research interests include discourse and literacy in mathematics classrooms. His current research focuses on how students learn mathematical discourse and how a literacy perspective can be used to support mathematics teaching and learning.
Writer: Lynn Patten