Focus on Mathematics is a Mathematics and Science Partnership built on three traditions, each with decades of history:
The project is directed by Glenn Stevens, Professor of Mathematics at BU and Al Cuoco, Distinguished Scholar at Education Development Center. Drs. Stevens and Cuoco also work closely with representatives from partner organizations, the Massachusetts school districts of Arlington, Cambridge, Framingham, Lawrence, and Watertown and mathematicians from multiple Massachusetts based universities.
The partnership starts from three basic assumptions:
We have been building and are maintaining a community of mathematicians, teachers, and educators, all working together to help our students and teachers understand mathematics in ways that are faithful to the ways in which professional mathematicians and scientists think about the discipline. The NSF review panel recognized the importance of this approach, saying that:
“Building a lasting mathematical community of mathematicians, educators, and teachers is a unique, novel, and splendid feature of this program, and it can sow the seeds of a new mathematical culture in the country.”
Building a community from different cultures, especially from cultures with such different traditions, is never easy. But the partnership is founded on the belief that such a community is the only mechanism for breaking the cycle of frustration, disillusionment, and eventual abandonment of mathematics that plagues such a large subset of our society.