Vilma Mesa is Professor of Education and Faculty Associate at the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at School of Education and 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.
Mathematics Curriculum: Research and Development
School mathematics curriculum, both intended and implemented; sources, history and improvement models; emphasis on the U.S. and grades k-12; also postsecondary curriculum, international perspectives, historical analyses. Relationships between curriculum development and research; curriculum policy; theoretical orientations to curriculum; disciplinary foundations of mathematics and their connections with school curriculum; implementation of curriculum.
Methods in Educational Research: Qualitative
Prerequisites: Doctoral standing or permission of instructor.
"Improving calculus I in community colleges: It takes a [multidisciplinary] village."
Burn, H., White, N. J., & Mesa, V. (in press). Community College Journal of Research & Practice.
"Mathematics education at public two-year colleges."
Mesa, V. (in press). In J. Cai (Ed.) First compendium for research in mathematics education. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
"Good teaching of Calculus I."
Mesa, V., Burn, H., & White, N. (in press). In D. M. Bressoud, V. Mesa, & C. L. Rasmussen (Eds.) Insights and recommendations from the MAA National Study of College Calculus. Washington, DC.
"Instructional decision-making and agency of community college mathematics faculty."
Lande, E., & Mesa, V. (2016). ZDM The International Journal on Mathematics Education, 48(1), 199-212. doi:10.1007/s11858-015-0736-x
"Insights and recommendations from the MAA National Study of College Calculus."
Bressoud, D., Mesa, V., Rassmussen, C. (Eds.)(2015). Washington, DC: Mathematical Association of America.
"Technologies, resources, and instruments in university mathematics education."
Gueudet, G., Buteau, C., Mesa, V., & Misfeldt, M. (2014). Research in Mathematics Education. 16(2), 139-155. doi: 10.1080/14794802.2014.918349
"Describing cognitive orientation of calculus I tasks across different types of coursework."
White, N. J., & Mesa, V. (2014) ZDM Mathematics Education, 46(4), 675-690. doi: 10.1007/s1185801405889
"Research problems in community college mathematics education: Testing the boundaries of K-12 research"
Mesa, V., Wladis, C., & Watkins, L. (2014). Journal for Research in Mathematics Education 45, 173-193.
"Teaching approaches of community college mathematics faculty: Do they relate to classroom practices?"
Mesa, V., Celis, S., & Lande, E. (2014). American Educational Research Journal 52, 117-151.
"Achievement goal orientation of community college mathematics students and the misalignment of instructors' perceptions."
Mesa, V. (2012) Community College Review, 40(1), 46-74. DOI: 10.1177/0091552111435663