Irma Stevens

Research Associate


Room 2404
610 E. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1259

Irma Stevens is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Michigan School of Education. As a researcher at the GRIP Lab, led by Professor Patricio Herbst, Stevens works with Michigan high school mathematics teachers and a nationwide community of university instructors teaching Geometry courses for future teachers. Stevens works with high school teachers and university instructors to understand the rationality of their instructional practices, performs data analysis, and shares research findings with other scholars through journal articles and conference presentations.

Stevens’s research interests center broadly on two research questions: (1) How do teachers’ understandings of students’ mathematical thinking impact their decision making in instructional situations, and (2) How can discussing and reflecting on one another’s rationality in decision making be used to support teachers? 

Stevens’s work with the Grip Lab has allowed her to pursue these research interests by collaborating with university instructors in discussions around the organization of their classes and with high school mathematics teachers via iterative cycles of three phases of storyboarding various mathematics lessons: scripting, visualizing, and arguing. Leveraging additional research she and other lab members have done around students’ conceptions based on analysis of artifacts from recorded mathematics lessons, she and other Grip Lab members have been working to incorporate artifacts of student work in both online and in-person cycles of StoryCircles.

Stevens’s work is informed by her research on students’ meanings for formulas via covariational reasoning and her own mathematics and pedagogy teaching at the secondary and post-secondary level. 

She completed her PhD in Mathematics Education and her MA in Mathematics at the University of Georgia and her BS in Mathematics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is a member of NCTM, MAA, AMTE, and AERA, and has published articles in Educational Studies in Mathematics, The Journal of Mathematical Behavior, and The Mathematics Teacher.

Selected Publications

Moore, K. C., Stevens, I. E., Paoletti, T., Hobson, N. L. F., & Liang, B. (2019). The Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 56, 100692.

Tricks may inhibit students’ reasoning.

Paoletti, T., Stevens, I. E., & Moore, K. C. (2017). Mathematics Teacher. 110(6), 447–453.

Inverse function: Pre-service teachers' techniques and meanings.

Paoletti, T., Stevens, I. E., Hobson, N. L. F., Moore, K. C., & LaForest, K. R. (2017). Educational Studies in Mathematics, 97, 93–109. doi:10.1007/s10649-017-9787-y.


GRIP is a research group founded in 2001 by Pat Herbst, and initially dedicated to the study of geometry, reasoning, and instructional practices. The GRIP lab has been the training grounds for several doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in mathematics education.