Vilma Mesa

Associate Professor

Vilma  Mesa, School of Education

Vilma Mesa is Associate Professor of Education and Faculty Associate at the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at School of Education and Associate Professor of Mathematics, College of Literature Sciences, and Arts. 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 instruction and of textbooks and collaborated in evaluation projects on the impact of innovative mathematics teaching practices for students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. She served as Associate Editor for the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education from 2000-2004 and is currently serving as associate editor for Educational Studies in Mathematics and in the editorial board for the International Journal for Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education, Revista EMA and Revista Pensamiento Numérico Avanzado. She was the 2010 recipient of Evan G. Pattishall and Helen Geib Pattishall Faculty Enhancement Award for Junior Faculty at the University of Michigan. She has been principal investigator in several NSF and IES funded projects. She is a Fulbright Scholar. She was a research associate at “una empress docente” a research center in Mathematics Education at the University of Los Andes, in Bogotá, Colombia where she co-authored university textbooks for pre-calculus for engineering and probability and statistics for social science majors. She has published over 40 articles in mathematics education. Prior to her career in education, Mesa was a system programmer for the ministry of finances in Colombia and for the district of Bogota, and systems advisor for a large firm in Colombia. 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.

Mesa teaches courses in the following program(s):
Mathematics Education
Secondary Teacher Education
Secondary Teacher Education (Secondary MAC)


Selected Publications

Burn, H., White, N. J., & Mesa, V. (in press). Improving calculus I in community colleges: It takes a [multidisciplinary] village. Community College Journal of Research & Practice.

Mesa, V. (in press). Mathematics education at public two-year colleges. In J. Cai (Ed.), First compendium for research in mathematics education. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Mesa, V., Burn, H., & White, N. (in press). Good teaching of Calculus I. In D. M. Bressoud, V. Mesa, & C. L. Rasmussen (Eds.), Insights and recommendations from the MAA National Study of College Calculus. Washington, DC.

Lande, E., & Mesa, V. (2016). Instructional decision-making and agency of community college mathematics faculty. ZDM The International Journal on Mathematics Education, 48(1), 199-212. doi:10.1007/s11858-015-0736-x

Bressoud, D., Mesa, V., Rassmussen, C. (Eds.)(2015). Insights and recommendations from the MAA National Study of College Calculus. Washington, DC: Mathematical Association of America.

Gueudet, G., Buteau, C., Mesa, V., & Misfeldt, M. (2014). Technologies, resources, and instruments in university mathematics education. Research in Mathematics Education. 16(2), 139-155. doi: 10.1080/14794802.2014.918349

White, N. J., & Mesa, V. (2014). Describing cognitive orientation of calculus I tasks across different types of coursework. ZDM Mathematics Education, 46(4), 675-690. doi: 10.1007/s1185801405889

Mesa, V., Wladis, C., & Watkins, L. (2014). Research problems in community college mathematics education: Testing the boundaries of K-12 research. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education 45, 173-193.

Mesa, V., Celis, S., & Lande, E. (2014). Teaching approaches of community college mathematics faculty: Do they relate to classroom practices? American Educational Research Journal 52, 117-151.

Mesa, V. (2012). Achievement goal orientation of community college mathematics students and the misalignment of instructors' perceptions. Community College Review, 40(1), 46-74. DOI: 10.1177/0091552111435663



9/15/2016 - ongoing Transitioning Learners to Calculus in Community Colleges (TLC3): Advancing Strategies for Success in STEM
Granting Agency: National Science Foundation

5/15/2016 - ongoing Algebra Instruction at Community Colleges: An Exploration of its Relationship with Student Success (AI@CC)
Granting Agency: Maricopa County Community College District

9/15/2016 - ongoing UTMOST: Undergraduate Teaching in Mathematics with Open Software and Textbooks
Granting Agency: National Science Foundation

9/1/2011 - 8/31/2013 Learning to Teach College Mathematics with Inquiry-Based Learning
Granting Agency: Educational Advancement Foundation

1/20/2012 - 6/30/2013 Characteristics of Successful Programs in College Calculus
Granting Agency: Mathematical Association of America

2/6/2010 - 1/6/2013 Making Room for Student Thinking: Using automated feedback, video-based professional development, and evidence-based practice recommendations to improve mathematical discussions
Granting Agency: U.S. Department of Education

2/6/2008 - 1/6/2013 CAREER: Teaching Mathematics Well in Community Colleges: Understanding the Impact of Reform-Based Instructional Resources
Granting Agency: National Science Foundation

2/1/2001 - 2/1/2002 Research on the uses of curriculum materials in high-school algebra
Granting Agency: U-M Center for Research on Learning and Teaching

Courses & Syllabi

Term Catalogue Course Description Syllabus
Winter 2012 EDUC 783. Mathematics Curriculum: Research and Development EDUC 783. Mathematics Curriculum: Research and Development

Winter 2014 EDUC 783. Mathematics Curriculum: Research and Development EDUC 783.

Winter 2014 EDUC 792. Methods in Educational Research: Qualitative EDUC 792.


Room 3119

Curriculum Vitae

Personal Website