Julia Truman

Year Graduated: 2017
Mathematics Education PhD

Thesis: Mathematical Reasoning Among Adults on the Autism Spectrum: Case Studies with Mathematically Experienced Participants

Please tell us how you first discovered your program.
Discussion with Guershon Harel at UCSD

Who is a faculty member you have enjoyed working with and why?
Dr. Rina Zazkis, because she's very good at knowing the right amount to push you in order to make progress on your research, and is always straightforward and open in offering feedback and advice. 

What inspires you to learn and continue your education?
I entered the PhD program in mathematics education because I enjoy mathematics and I wish to continue to share my knowledge of and enthusiasm about mathematics with others as well as develop more effective ways to do this. My teaching assistant work has already introduced me to teaching mathematics to others. I am very glad when they understand the concepts they are trying to learn, and even more so when they start to enjoy mathematics and wish to continue learning more about it. In fact, this is the aspect of my previous graduate program (in pure mathematics) which I enjoyed the most, which is what led me to consider a program focused on mathematics education.

My starting view of mathematics education was that it should improve students’ logical reasoning and problem-solving skills, as well as developing a sense of when others’ reasoning is valid or flawed, in addition to teaching the explicit skills for the course, though I am expecting some changes and refinements in this through the program. I seek to prepare students for using mathematics in STEM fields, in addition to simply having mathematical literacy in daily life, and encourage them to follow any interest and ability in mathematics regardless of any contrary cultural or societal assumptions. In the graduate program, I would like to further understand the best way to accomplish these goals.