About Me

[T]he art of teaching has little to do with the traffic of knowledge, its fundamental purpose must be to foster the art of learning. -Ernst von Glasersfeld

My name is Irma Stevens and I am an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics & Applied Mathematical Sciences at the University of Rhode Island. I was recently a postdoctoral researcher for the GRIP Lab at the University of Michigan. I received my PhD in Mathematics Education at the University of Georgia. I was born in Belgium and moved at a young age to Charlotte, NC where I eventually earned my B.S. in Mathematics with a minor in Bioinformatics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. While there, my interest in student thinking and mathematics education was sparked through my involvement with the university’s tutoring program. I moved to Athens, GA to attend the University of Georgia, received my M.A. in Mathematics, and under the direction of Professor Kevin Moore, pursued my research interests in students’ quantitative and covariational reasoning, specifically in regards to preservice teachers’ symbolization and interpretation of formulas. As a researcher at the GRIP Lab, led by Professor Patricio Herbst, I worked with U.S. high school mathematics teachers and university instructors to understand the rationality of their instructional practices. Outside of academics, I enjoy running and eating chocolate.

CV: Last updated September 2022

Research Gate

Contact Information


102J Lippitt Hall

Kingston, RI, 02881


irma.stevens @ uri.edu

Upcoming Presentations


Active Learning of Covariational Reasoning in an Undergraduate Precalculus Course

  • AMS Special Session on Promoting Equity Through Active Learning in Undergraduate Mathematics: Precalculus I

  • Friday, January 6, 2023 from 2:00 to 2:45, Boston, MA


(Research Report) “It's a different mindset here”: Facilitation challenges in a practice-based professional development. Gil Shwarts, Irma Stevens, Pat Herbst, Amanda Brown


(Ideas for Research) The Value of Covariational Reasoning in Introductory STEM courses. Irma Stevens

  • Saturday, October 15, 2022, 12:15-12:30pm, Virtual

Recent Presentations


(Burst Session) Using Magnitude Bars to Support Students' Representations of Dynamic Objects. Irma Stevens

  • Friday, September 30, 11:30am-12:00pm PST, LA Convention Center, 502B


(Poster) Supporting the construction of variables in an inverse function context through targeted questions. - Irma Stevens and Patricio Herbst (October 14-17 2021)

  • Friday, October 15, 5:00-6:00pm, Liberty Ballroom A

(Poster) Supporting the construction of variables in an inverse function context through targeted questions. - Andrew Spiteri, Irma Stevens, and Patricio Herbst (October 14-17 2021)

  • Friday, October 15, 5:00-6:00pm, Liberty Ballroom A

(Poster) Understanding student behaviour as evidence of student conceptions and instructional norms. - Irma Stevens and Nicolas Boileau (October 14-17 2021)

  • Saturday, October 16, 4:30-5:30pm, Liberty Ballroom A

PME-NA 2020/2021

(Brief Report) “Solving versus Relating”: Pre-service teachers’ conflicting images of formulas and dynamic contexts - Irma Stevens (May-June 2021)

  • Friday, May 27, 2021, 9:20-11:50, virtual session (video available upon request)

(Research Report) Introducing inverse function to high school students: Relating convention and reasoning - Irma Stevens, Inah Ko, Teo Paoletti, Nicolas Boileau, & Patricio Herbst (May-June 2021)

  • Friday, May 28, 2021, 8:55-10:55, virtual session (video available upon request)

AMTE 2021

Multiple Ways of Understanding Geometric Formulas via Covariational Reasoning - Irma E. Stevens

MI-AMTE 2020

Supporting Discussions About Teachers’ Practical Knowledge via StoryCircles. - Stevens, I. E., Herbst, P., Bardelli, E., & Milewski, A.

RUME 2020

(Poster) Elementary School Geometry to University Level Calculus: Building Upon Learning Trajectories Rooted in Covariational Reasoning with Area Contexts to Support Covariational Reasoning Related to Implicit Differentiation - Irma E. Stevens

JMM 2020

Invited Talk: The role of multiplicative objects in a formula - Irma E. Stevens

State of the undergraduate Geometry courses for secondary Teachers: Curriculum, instructional practices, and student achievement- Patricio G Herbst, Irma E. Stevens, Amanda M. Milewski, Michael G. Ion, Inah Ko

Funded Projects

Previously Funded Projects

(NSF Career) Advancing Secondary Mathematics Teachers' Quantitative Reasoning- PI, Kevin C. Moore (2014-2020)

Advancing Reasoning Website

Generalization Across Multiple Mathematical Areas (GAMMA)- PI, Amy Ellis in collaboration with Elise Lockwood (co-principal investigator), Erik Tillema (co-principal investigator), and Kevin Moore (co-principal investigator) (2015-2018)