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Dr. Theresa Jorgensen

Associate Professor of Mathematics
Mathematics and Mathematics Education
College of Science

UT Arlington Faculty

Dr. Theresa Jorgensen graduated from the University of Nebrasks - Lincoln with a Ph.D. in Mathematics in 2000, specializing in applied functional analysis and partial differential equations. Her graduate work was sponsored by a National Physical Sciences Consortium Fellowship.  Following graduation, she completed a post doc at the National Security Agency, working as a cryptologic mathematician. Prior to beginning graduate work in mathematics, Dr. Jorgensen studied bone diseases in an endocrinology research lab at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, where she grew up.

Her breadth of experience in mathematics and its applications informs her current projects, which center on educating teachers of mathematics, and understanding the connections between the mathematics taught to preservice teachers at the postsecondary level and how that relates to their knowledge and understanding of the mathematics they will teach at the school level.

Dr. Jorgensen has been recognized for her contributions in the classroom at UT Arlington, receiving the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2005, the Honors College Distinguished Faculty Award in 2006, and a Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award in 2010.

Service Learning Class

MATH 5392/Inquiry-Based Mathematics Research Lesson Development

This is a two-week workshop-structured course. By the end of the course, each student will develop six school-level classroom lessons to be implemented in the 2013-14 school year which embed their mathematics research in the curriculum of the mathematics classroom of their partner GK-12 mentor teacher. Activities in the workshop will advance the components needed for participants to vertically connect K-12 and graduate-level mathematics, and to develop classroom lessons which foster active and engaged student learning.

 

Academic Outcomes

  • Students will be able to identify big ideas in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills in Mathematics for grades 5-12.
  • Students will be able to summarize key ideas and concepts on teaching mathematics through problem solving.
  • Students will be able to identify key ideas and techniques for facilitating productive mathematics discourse in the classroom.
  • Students will be able to link topics from research mathematics to school mathematics.
  • Students will be able to design classroom lessons linked to research mathematics in the format prescribed by the GK-12 lesson template.

Service Learning Project

Mathematically Aligned Vertical Strands Connecting Mathematics, Research, Pedagogy, and Outreach for GK-12 Fellows and Teachers

Partner: Arlington Independent School District

The goal of this project is to develop graduate students in mathematics into well-rounded communicators of mathematics who can explain mathematics to a person with any level of mathematical expertise.  We do this by partnering graduate students with experiences mathematics teachers from the Sam Houston cluster of schools in Arlington Independent School District, in particular, Sam Houston High School, its three feeder middle schools, and three of its feeder elementary schools. 

The graduate student, together with her mentor teacher, designs and implements six lessons in the teacher’s classroom in the following school year.  The lessons must fit seamlessly into the curriculum, and they must incorporate the graduate student’s own research in mathematics into the topic that is covered in the teacher’s classroom.  The graduate student spends 10 hours each week in the teacher’s classroom as a component of this partnership.

This project is funded by the National Science Foundation GK-12 Program.

This project benefits the graduate students who take part, in that they are better able to understand their own research, they gain intimate knowledge of the K-12 educational system from which their future students will come, and they have many opportunities to present the product of this work at conferences.  They also benefit by learning to communicate mathematics at various levels of sophistication.  The mentor teachers from AISD who participate receive mathematics professional development and are reinvigorated to teach their discipline.  They experience a change in what they know and believe about mathematics that will strongly impact their instructional decisions and actions.  And the K-12 students in the classrooms gain an insight for the usefulness and beauty of mathematics and acquire a disposition toward inquiry that will be life changing.