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.

I provide support for instructors in U-M's Math Department who are using Inquiry-Base Learning in their courses.

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 currently serving as Associate Editor for Educational Studies in Mathematics. In addition I am serving in the Mathematical Association of America's Committee on Curriculum Renewal Across the First Two Years, and in the Steering Committee of Initiative for Mathematics Learning by Inquiry.
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.

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