Vilma Mesa

I am interested in understanding the role that resources play in developing teaching expertise in undergraduate mathematics. As a first step, I investigate instruction: the interactions between teachers, students, and mathematical content within particular environments. 

The main context for my work is community colleges. In a literature review of the relationship between instruction and success in community colleges, I found that current definitions of instruction and current measures of success limit the possibility of seeing instruction as an object of research.

I am also studying challenges faculty face when using inquiry based learning in undergraduate mathematics. I participated of the National Study of Calculus I: Characteristics of Successful Programs in College Calculus, leading  the team in charge of the case studies of the two-year colleges.

Currently I am serving as the evaluator of U-M's Math Department Sustainable Instructor Training for Inquiry-Based Learning, which seeks to train a large number of faculty and post-doctoral fellows in teaching lower-division coordinated courses (Linear Algebra and Multivariate Calculus) with IBL.

I have pursued investigations of students' retention in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics programs, in particular concerning instruction and curriculum. I have been involved in several evaluation projects with various departments and schools at the university of Michigan: the Douglass Houghton Scholars Program, the Inquiry Based Learning Project, and the Applied Honors Calculus sequence. 

I am serving in the advisory board for Common Vision, a project that seeks to gather five professional associations in the mathematical sciences, AMATYC, AMS, ASA, MAA, and SIAM, to collectively consider undergraduate mathematics curricula and ways to improve education in the mathematical sciences.


I teach graduate courses on math curriculum and math education research and on research methods in education.

Please visit our Math Education Specialization website for information about obtaining a PhD in mathematics Education.

TLC3 Interest Form

2014 ASHE Symposium Link

Contact Information:

School of Education,
Room 3119
University of Michigan
610 East University
Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-1259

Tel: (734) 647 0628
Fax: (734) 936 1606
Email: vmesa@umich.edu