Current Students

Darien Allan: email

I completed my M.Sc. in Secondary Mathematics Education at SFU in December 2009.  My professors and peers created a learning environment that was stimulating and challenging.  I enrolled in the PhD program because I enjoy that environment and because I feel it is necessary in order to continue improving my practice.  My master’s research involved identifying cognitive, social, and emotional factors behind secondary students’ avoidance behaviour in mathematics.  I am interested in broadening my understanding in mathematics and mathematics education so that I can use it to improve my teaching practice.S


Lyla Alsalim: email

After I got my B.A., I was really excited about transitioning from student to teacher. Despite loving everything about teaching, teaching mathematics was not as easy as I thought it would be. In Saudi Arabia, teaching mathematics is based on a traditionalist outlook and the teacher’s role is to pass on the knowledge from the textbook. My experience as a mathematics teacher encouraged me to come to Canada to pursue a Master’s degree followed by a Ph.D. in Education. Completing the Ph.D. program in mathematics education will give me a wonderful opportunity to pursue my lifelong goal as a mathematics teacher to discover new methods and practices to enhance the love of mathematics among teachers and students.S


Melania Alvarez-Adem: email

Currently I work as Education Coordinator for the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences. In the past I worked in the private industry doing reliability analysis, simulation and mathematical modeling. I was a consultant for the Vice president office at Stanford University. I worked for 10 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a researcher in the Quantitative Assessment Project.


Oana Chiru: email

I began my graduate studies at SFU in 2011, and my educational journey has so far followed its natural course: gods were toppled, certainties obliterated, and myths unceremoniously discarded. Refreshed, renewed, and armed with new found questions, I look forward to pursuing my interest in the Triple Grail of mathematics education: making the classroom a place of engagement, curiosity and enjoyment of beautiful ideas. The best thing about being a graduate student at SFU is collaborating with like-minded people who appreciate mathematics and love teaching it. That, and the library.


Elysia Dubland: email

I am passionate about both mathematics and teaching.  I am currently a public school teacher in Surrey.  I enrolled in the M.Sc. program in Mathematics Education at SFU primarily with the goal of becoming a better mathematics teacher.  Through the coursework I was challenged to critically reflect on my own practices, and as a result, I implemented many changes and improvements to my teaching.  My thesis work involves looking at the effects on students when mathematics homework is promoted to them as a form of self-assessment in an autonomous environment.  I am greatly enjoying engaging with this research by working with my students and reading the literature.  I am extremely happy with my decision to enroll in the masters program at SFU, as it has been the best professional development I have done.


Judy Larsen: email

My interest in the field of mathematics education has grown progressively since my first encounters of tutoring calculus during my undergraduate studies. I am now an associate professor at the University of the Fraser Valley teaching mathematics in the Upgrading and University Preparation department, and I continue to enjoy learning about how adults learn mathematics. My master’s thesis, Experiencing a Flipped Mathematics Class, provided me with an opportunity to explore student autonomy in the context of a flipped classroom. This research experience was extremely reifying for me as a teacher, and it inspired me to pursue further research opportunities within the PhD program.


Minnie Liu: email

Mathematics has always been my passion.  However, sharing my passion of mathematics to secondary school students proves to be more difficult than I have imagined.  This led me to SFU.  After I completed my MSc in 2011, I joined the PhD program.  Both the MSc and PhD programs challenge me to critically reflect on my practice and the various theories of learning and teaching mathematics.  Currently, I am interested in promoting students’ mathematical literacy skills through the use of tasks and activities.  I focus on the various approaches students take to solve these tasks, and their behaviours during these activities.


Natasa Sirotic: email

I began my PhD studies in Sep 2006 with a desire to find out what are the instructional practices in a mathematics classroom that will cause children to think well. I completed M.Sc. degree in Secondary Mathematics Education at SFU (2004) with the thesis “Prospective Secondary Mathematics Teachers’ Understanding of Irrationality”. I teach mathematics at Southpointe Academy in Tsawwassen. My responsibilities include facilitating a continuous professional development of the practicing teachers at the school, both in mathematical content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. In my graduate work I intend to research the “lesson study” model of teacher development as a vehicle for developing effective, content specific instructional practices.


Max Sterelyukhin: email

Learning and teaching mathematics has been my main focus for the past 9 years, as an undergraduate student, teaching assistant, student teacher, practicing teacher, and education graduate student. I have enjoyed the process immensely thus far: from learning the basics of teaching, including classroom management to analysing the research literature and using it in my practice. The more I engage with the research, the more excited I get about the possibilities and the depth to which this thing we call math teaching can be taken. I’m thankful for the opportunities to learn from my peers and professors in the program, as this has been the best professional development I’ve ever undertaken.


More Students

For a complete list of graduate students enrolled in the Mathematics Education Doctoral Program at SFU please  click here.

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