Howe Receives Inaugural Award for Excellence in Mathematics Education

Written by: CEHD Communications Staff
Post date: April 28, 2015

The College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University has named Dr. Roger E. Howe as the first recipient of the Award for Excellence in Mathematics Education. He was given the honor in recognition of his more than forty years of sustained and distinguished lifetime achievement in mathematics research, his work impact on mathematics education and in promoting interdisciplinary collaboration in mathematics education.

Howe's mathematical work has been predominantly concerned with representation theory, which is a general tool for deriving consequences of symmetry. Representation theory has applications in nearly all areas of mathematics, and also in the physical sciences. Howe first introduced the concept of the reductive dual pair - often referred to as a "Howe pair" - in a preprint during the 1970s, followed by a formal paper in 1989. Today, Howe continues to work on representation theory, including applications to harmonic analysis, automorphic forms, and invariant theory.

As an educator, Howe has championed national initiatives to advance mathematics education by engaging mathematicians and contributing to issues in mathematics curriculum and teacher education. He served on the Study Committee for the report Adding It Up of the National Academy of Sciences on the state of U.S. mathematics education, and on the Steering Committee for the first Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (CBMS) report on The Mathematical Education of Teachers. He was a member and chair of the Committee on Education of the American Mathematical Society, served on the steering committee of the Park City Mathematics Institute, has served on several committees for the College Board, and currently is on the Education Advisory Committee of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI). He has been an item reviewer for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). He served for six years on the U.S. National Commission on Mathematics Instruction (USNC/MI), and is currently in his second term on the Executive Committee of the International Commission on Mathematics Instruction (ICMI). Howe's writing on mathematics education seeks to illuminate and clarify the ideas underlying key stages of mathematical learning.

Howe received his doctorate in 1969 from the University of California, Berkeley. He taught at the State University of New York in Stony Brook from 1969-74. During that time, he also belonged to the Institute for Advanced Study and served as a research associate at the University of Bonn in Germany. Howe has been Professor of Mathematics at Yale University since 1974, and served as chair of the Mathematics Department 1992 - 1995. He was the inaugural Frederick Phineas Rose Professor (1997 - 2002), and is currently the William Kenan Jr. Professor of Mathematics. Howe is currently also a faculty fellow at Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study.

Howe belongs to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, and was a fellow of the Japan Society for the Advancement of Science and the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2006, Howe received the American Mathematical Society Award for Distinguished Public Service for his "multifaceted contributions to mathematics and to mathematics education." He became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society in 2012.