June 27, 2008
Jeremy Kilpatrick, who is the MAA's Governor-at-Large for Teacher Education, has won the Felix Klein Medal for 2007. He will receive the award at the International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME 11), in Monterrey, Mexico, in early July.
MAA secretary Martha Siegel anticipates being at ICME and having a chance to shake Kilpatrick's hand to congratulate him. "I know you join me in celebrating his international fame," she said. "This is a very high honor and it is well deserved! We are very proud."
A professor of mathematics education at the University of Georgia, Kilpatrick is being recognized for his "more than forty years of sustained and distinguished lifetime achievement in mathematics education research and development," according to the citatation from the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI). Kilpatrick's contribution to mathematics education—he calls it a "field of theory and practice"—has centered on his ability to reconcile its varying and conflicting aspects.
A characteristic feature of Jeremy Kilpatrick, says the ICMI award citation, is that he "has always embraced a very cosmopolitan perspective on mathematics education." He has worked in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Italy, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and Thailand.
Kilpatrick has written about problem solving, the history of research in mathematics education, teachers' proficiency, curriculum change and its history, and assessment. He co-edited the following: Soviet Studies in the Psychology and Teaching of Mathematics (1969-1975); the Proceedings of the Fourth International Congress on Mathematical Education (1983); the International Handbook of Mathematics Education (1996); the Second International Handbook of Mathematics Education (2003); the ICMI study Mathematics Education as a Research Domain (1998); Adding It Up (2001); A Research Companion to Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (2003); A History of School Mathematics (2003); and Meaning in Mathematics Education (2005). Kilpatrick also served as editor of the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education (1982-1988).
Kilpatrick's service to mathematics education has included terms on the Executive Committee of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction. From 1991-1998 he was an ICMI Vice President. He was a charter member of the U.S. Mathematical Sciences Education Board (1985-1986), on which he now serves again. He has served on committees and boards of the MAA, AERA, the College Board, the Educational Testing Service, the NCTM, NAEP, the National Academy of Education, the National Research Council, and the National Science Foundation.
Kilpatrick earned an A.B. in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1956, then an M.A. in education in 1960 while teaching mathematics in a junior high school. At Stanford University, he worked with Ed Begle and George Pólya during the years 1962-1967 as a Research Assistant in the School Mathematics Study Group. After earning an M.S. in mathematics (1962), a Ph.D. in mathematics education (1967), and teaching (1967-1975) at Teachers College, Columbia University, Kilpatrick joined the University of Georgia, in Athens, as a Professor of Mathematics Education, in 1975.
The Felix Klein medal, named for the famous mathematician and first president of ICMI (1908-1920), honors a lifetime of achievement in mathematics education research. It has been handed out every two years, starting in 2003. Awardees receive a medal and certificate and are invited to speak at ICME.