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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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7 Things About Randolph Philipp

This professor is focused on developing better mathematics education curriculum.
By SDSU News Team

Name: Randolph Philipp
Title/Department: Professor of mathematics education in the School of Teacher Education and director of the Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education

1. How long have you worked at SDSU?

August, 2015 marked my 25th anniversary at SDSU.

2. What is a recent accomplishment you are proud of?

I was recently elected as president of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, which is an important national organization serving people who work to support prospective and practicing mathematics teachers. I feel I am ready to provide leadership to this organization.

3. What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

Randolph Philipp

My grandmother told me once, “When you give a gift, and the gift is received in the same spirit with which it was given, then everything is beautiful.”  One way I view work is that we determine what gifts we want to give, then we develop those gifts, and finally, we find ways to learn how to give those gifts. One of the most challenging aspects of preparing teachers is to help them give the gifts they have to give!

4. What is your favorite thing about your job?

I continuously redefine my job through new teaching opportunities, working with new graduate students, new research opportunities and through new service opportunities.

5. What about your field or position do you think would surprise people the most?

As a professor, people seem to think that my job involves only teaching and so I have summers off. I work every summer, every winter and almost every weekend, because I also do research, I write, I do professional development, and I serve locally and nationally. But I love what I do, so I am happy to do it!

Within my profession, people don’t really understand what a mathematics educator is. I know a lot of mathematics, but I don’t research mathematics. Instead, I research how people think about mathematics, how people learn mathematics, and how they teach mathematics.

6. What is the most interesting or surprising thing about you?

I can do handstand pushups while reciting the first 50 digits of pi.

7. If you could only rescue one thing from your burning office, what would it be?

A painting I have behind my desk, because it is on loan from my son.