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Common Vision

About Common Vision

Freshman and sophomore mathematics and statistics courses function as gateways to many majors. They are crucial for preparing mathematically  and scientifically literate citizens. Yet each year approximately 50 percent of students fail to pass college algebra with a grade of `C' or better. Failure rates under traditional lecturing are 55% higher than the rates observed under more active approaches to instruction. Challenges like these are highlighted in reports such as “The Mathematical Sciences in 2025” (NRC) and “Engage to Excel” (PCAST), and have led to varied responses from subgroups within the mathematical sciences. It is time for collective action to coordinate existing and future efforts in such a way that everyone is pulling in the same general direction to leverage the collective power of the whole to accomplish our goal of improved student success, especially in the first two years of college.

The Common Vision project has brought together leaders from 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. Common Vision culminated in a two-and-a-half-day workshop for over fifty participants in May 2015 at the ASA headquarters in the Washington, DC, area. Participants represented the five aforementioned mathematical sciences associations, partner STEM disciplines, and industry.


The Common Vision Report can be read in full here.


Common Vision Workshop

Additional Resources:

Past Events

Leadership Team

Karen Saxe

Karen Saxe, principal investigator, is DeWitt Wallace Professor of Mathematics at Macalester College. She recently served as Second Vice President of the MAA (2014-16). She was the 2013-2014 AMS/AAAS Science and Technology Policy Congressional Fellow, working for Senator Al Franken on his education agenda. Prior to her year in the Senate, Saxe chaired Macalester’s Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science 2007-2013. She is editor of the MAA’s Anneli Lax New Mathematics Library book series.



John Bailer

John Bailer is University Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Statistics at Miami University. He is a vice president of the International Statistical Institute and formerly served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Statistical Association. He chaired the ASA Workgroup on master's degree programs while on the board. He was on the steering committee for the INGenIOuS (Investing in the Next Generation through Innovative and Outstanding Strategies) project, a collaboration among mathematics and statistics professional societies. This project considered programs and strategies for increasing the flow of mathematical sciences students into the workforce pipeline.


Linda Braddy

Linda Braddy served as the Deputy Executive Director of the MAA from 2012-2016 overseeing MAA programs, including Project NExT and the American Mathematics Competitions, the Meetings and Facilities Department, and public policy efforts. Prior to joining the MAA in 2012, she served as dean of the Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at Tarrant County College in Texas after serving as chair of the Department of Mathematics at East Central University in Oklahoma where she was a tenured Professor. She received her Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Oklahoma and her research area is undergraduate mathematics education.


Rob Farinelli

Rob Farinelli is currently a Professor of Mathematics and interim Vice-President of Academic Affairs at the College of Southern Maryland. He is a former President of AMATYC (2009-2011) and has been involved in numerous reform efforts at the state, regional, and national level. He has given several presentations on the mathematics that college students really need to know. He has participated on advisory boards for the Statway/Quantway project as well as the New Mathways Project. He has also been involved in the CBMS 2015 Survey of Undergraduate Mathematics programs.


Tara Holm

Tara Holm is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Cornell University and the Chair of the AMS Committee on Education. Holm is an expert in symplectic geometry and its interactions with algebraic geometry, topology and combinatorics. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Association for Women in Mathematics, and the Simons Foundation. In 2012, Holm was named a Fellow of the AMS. In 2014, Holm was an Oliver Smithies Lecturer and Visiting Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford, and a von Neumann Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. Holm was a Project NExT Fellow in 2005-06, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics, and is a member of the leadership team of Transforming Post-Secondary Education in Mathematics.

Vilma Mesa

Vilma Mesa is Associate Professor of Education at the University of Michigan. She investigates the role that resources play in developing teaching expertise in undergraduate mathematics, specifically at community colleges and in inquiry-based learning classrooms. She has conducted several analyses of textbooks and evaluation projects on the impact of innovative mathematics teaching practices for students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. She has a B.S. in computer sciences and a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, and a master’s and a Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of Georgia.


Uri Treisman

Uri Treisman is Professor of Mathematics and Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, and is the founder and executive director of its Charles A. Dana Center. From 2009-2011, Uri was a senior partner at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching where he co-led the development of the Statway and Quantway. He now leads the New Mathways Project. He is the 2014¬ -- and will be the 2015 -- Distinguished Fellow of the Education Commission of the States, where he works with senior state political leaders on policy development and implementation. Throughout his career Uri has served on commissions, task forces, NRC and professional society committees concerned with the improvement of American mathematics education. He is a member of the leadership team of Transforming Post-Secondary Education in Mathematics. For his research at the University of California at Berkeley on the factors that support high achievement among minority students in mathematics, he received the 1987 Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievement in American Higher Education. From 1992-1997, he was a MacArthur Fellow. In December 1999, the magazine Black Issues in Higher Education named him one of the outstanding leaders in higher education in the 20th century.

Peter R. Turner

Peter Turner, dean of the Clarkson University School of Arts and Sciences, is a fellow of SIAM. Fellowship honors SIAM members who have made outstanding contributions to the fields served by the organization. Turner was selected for his leadership in advancing applied mathematical education, including the creation of SIAM Undergraduate Research Online. Turner, also a Professor of Mathematics at Clarkson, has participated in and organized several outreach activities on behalf of SIAM, including the SIAM-NSF Modeling across the Curriculum initiative, SIAM partnership with the Museum of Mathematics, and SIAM participation in USA Science and Engineering Festivals. He also chaired the working group that produced the SIAM Report on undergraduate computational science and engineering education. Turner's research interests are in computer arithmetic, level-index system, functional analysis, optimization, numerical analysis, parallel processing, computer vision, and computer algebra.


Support for this MAA program is provided by the National Science Foundation (grant DUE-1446000).