Biography

Sybilla Beckmann is Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Mathematics at the University of Georgia. She has a PhD in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania and taught at Yale University as a J. W. Gibbs Instructor of Mathematics. Beckmann has done research in Arithmetic Geometry, but her current main interests are mathematical cognition, the mathematical education of teachers, and mathematics content for PreK through Grade 8. Beckmann developed several mathematics content courses for prospective elementary school teachers at the University of Georgia and wrote a book for such courses, Mathematics for Elementary Teachers, published by Pearson Education, now in a fourth edition. She is interested in helping college faculty learn to teach mathematics content courses for elementary and middle grades teachers and she works with graduate students and postdoctoral fellows toward that end as director of the Mathematicians Educating Future Teachers (MEFT) program in the University of Georgia Mathematics Department. Beckmann was a member of the writing team of NCTM’s Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics, a member of Committee on Early Childhood Mathematics of the National Research Council and co-author of its report, Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood: Paths Toward Excellence and Equity, and a member of the writing team for the Mathematical Education of Teachers II. She has worked on the development of several state mathematics standards and was a member of the mathematics writing team for the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. Several years ago Beckmann taught an average 6th grade mathematics class every day at a local public school in order to better understand school mathematics teaching. Beckmann has won several awards for contributions to education, including the Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professorship, which is the highest teaching honor at the University of Georgia, the Regents’ Teaching Award from the University System of Georgia, the Louise Hay Award for Contributions to Mathematics Education awarded by the Association for Women in Mathematics, and the Mary P Dolciani Award from the Mathematical Association of America. Jointly with colleague Andrew Izsák, Beckmann is currently studying future teachers’ cognition around interrelated multiplicative topics that include division, fractions, proportional relationships, and linear functions.