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2012 Selden Prize Winner

2012 Selden Prize for Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education Winner

August 6, 2012

The Mathematical Association of America has selected Lara Alcock (Loughborough University) as the 2012 winner of the Annie and John Selden Prize for Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education. Full citations and biographical information for each winner are available below.

In November 2004, the MAA Board of Governors approved the Mathematical Association of America's Annie and John Selden Prize for Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education honoring a researcher who has established a significant record of published research in undergraduate mathematics education and who has been in the field at most ten years. The prize is designed to be an encouragement to such researchers and at most one is awarded every other year. The researcher will receive $500 and a certificate of recognition from the MAA.

Read more about the award.

Awards were presented during the MAA Prize Session on Friday, August 3, 2012, at the 2012 MAA MathFest in Madison, Wisconsin.

Lara Alcock (Loughborough University)

Dr. Alcock is a Senior Lecturer in the Mathematics Education Centre at Loughborough University in the UK. She received her Ph.D. in 2001 from the University of Warwick. Her first published paper in collegiate mathematics education was in 2002: ?Definitions: dealing with categories mathematically,? published in For the Learning of Mathematics, a highly regarded international journal. One of the conditions for the award is that the first publication in collegiate mathematics education be within the past ten years, so she meets this requirement.

Dr. Alcock was nominated by a mathematics education professor who emphasized her distinctive contributions to the field. Since her first publication, she has had 11 papers in eminent journals such as Educational Studies in Mathematics, Journal of Mathematical Behavior and Research in Collegiate Mathematics Education; a further two are currently in press, and several of these are co-authored with other leading Mathematics Educator including Adrian Simpson, Keith Weber and Matthew Inglis. As well as this core of papers in top journals, Dr. Alcock has published 6 research papers in other journals, 3 book chapters, and 18 papers in conference proceedings. She has also presented work at 16 conferences, and in February 2012 gave a plenary presentation at the 15th Annual Conference on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education.

Dr. Alcock has done considerable work in translating research in undergraduate mathematics education for different audiences. With the support of the UK?s Higher Education Academy, she has produced a book and a DVD designed to allow mathematicians to engage with research-based ideas. In 2013, Oxford University Press will publish her book How to Study for a Mathematics Degree, which aims to use insights from research to inform and support students as they make the transition to advanced mathematics.

Dr. Alcock?s selection for this award was based on her strong research program and her work in implementing this program. Her work is theoretically-based, product-oriented, and pedagogically sound. She has a deep understanding of mathematical content that is evident in all her writing.

Biographical Note

Lara Alcock is a Senior Lecturer in the Mathematics Education Centre at Loughborough University in the UK. She was awarded a B.Sc. with first class honors and an M.Sc. with distinction, both in mathematics, by the university of Warwick, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education by the same institution. Prior to her current position, she worked across mathematics and education departments at Rutgers University and the University of Essex. Her current research is on mathematicians? and undergraduate students? construction and comprehension of definitions, theorems and proofs.

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