I have a joint appointment in the Departments of Mathematics and Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Texas at Arlington, just a short drive from Dallas, where I was born and raised. I studied math and electrical engineering at Duke University, obtained a master’s in electrical engineering (digital signal processing) from Georgia Tech, and completed my Ph.D. in math at the University of Wisconsin, where I developed my joint research interests in mathematical biology (specifically epidemiology and ecology) and mathematics education (specifically the learning and teaching of K-8 mathematics). I joined UTA in 1997, and in 1999 began my affiliation with MTBI, a research program in mathematical biology currently housed at Arizona State. I continue to work with undergraduate and graduate students in both places, as well as in Mexico, Central America and France (as the occasions arise).
My recent mathematical biology research studies issues such as the sylvatic transmission of Chagas’ disease in North America and the transmission of hospital-acquired rotavirus infections in children. I have also developed an interest in applications of modeling to sociological phenomena such as drug use, cooperative learning environments, and the growth of grassroots political movements. My recent work in mathematics education studies the learning and teaching of division of fractions, and the use of mathematics in the study of literature.