An Affair with Mathematics: High School Teachers and Mathematicians Get Together



  • We invite four math professors to deliver exciting and accessible talks that are related to high school math.

  • The speakers will discuss inspiring math materials, as well as effective pedagogical methods, which high school teachers and graduate students can utilize in their future career to stimulate students' interest and deepen their understanding of mathematics.

  • Suggested Audience: High school teachers, high school and college students who want to know some interesting and accessible math, graduate students who want to learn some teaching techniques.

  • Organizers: Ming Xiao (UCSD) and Danna Zhang (UCSD).

  • Guidance:

  • There will be four talks in the academic year 2021-2022. The talks will in general be held on Saturday mornings.

  • All talks will take place over Zoom (click the link to download if needed).

  • To participate the program, you will need to register via the Registration link: Registration.

  • After the registration, you will receive the Zoom link of the talks by email when the talks are approaching (normally one week before each talk day).

  • Questions and Inquiries: Please send any questions or comments to the email:

  • Speakers:

    In the academic year 2021-2022, we will have the following four speakers:

  • Guershon Harel (Professor of Mathematics, University of California, San Diego)

  • Professor Guershon Harel is a distinguish professor at the mathematics department at UCSD. His research focuses on the learning and teaching mathematics across the grades, including teacher preparation and teacher professional development. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Education, the State of California, and local school districts.

  • John D'Angelo (Professor of Mathematics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

  • Professor John D'Angelo taught Mathematics for 40 years at the University of Illinois. He authored 7 books on mathematics and more than 80 research papers. He won prizes for both his teaching and his research. He also did volunteer teaching for elementary school students. His book "Mathematical Thinking" (with Douglas B. West) was one of the first books in the so-called transition market, as it combined problem-solving skills with writing mathematical proofs.

  • Dusty Grundmeier (Associate Senior Lecturer, Harvard University)

  • Professor Dusty Grundmeier has taught mathematics for the last 10 years at the University of Michigan and Harvard. He especially enjoys teaching and mentoring students as they learn to write proofs. His most recent work focuses on STEM persistence and early access to undergraduate research opportunities.

  • Rina Zazkis (Professor, Simon Fraser University)

  • Professor Rina Zazkis is a Professor of Mathematics Education at the Faculty of Education and associate member in the Department of Mathematics at the Simon Fraser University, Canada. Her research is in the area of undergraduate mathematics education, with a general focus on mathematical content knowledge of teachers and the ways in which this knowledge is acquired, modified, and connected to teaching. In 2016 Zazkis was appointed as Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, a prestigious recognition of excellence in research and research training.

    Talk schedule and information:

    November, 13th, 10am, PT

    Guershon Harel

    Guiding Principles for Advancing Students' Mathematical Ways of Thinking


    January, 22nd, 10am, PT

    John D'Angelo

    Some Mathematical Gems


    March, 5th, 10am, PT

    Dusty Grundmeier

    Invitations to Mathematics: First-Day Classroom Activities for Building Community and Enthusiasm


    May, 14th, 10am, PT

    Rina Zazkis

    Advancing mathematical knowledge by connecting topics within mathematics


    The program is supported by NSF (DMS-2045104), UC San Diego Math, and in collaboration with UC San Diego Math project and CREATE program: