513 Jeffery Hall, Queen's University, Kingston ON, K7L 3N6
(613) 533-2434

Welcome to Math 9-12

This site is currently under construction

The 2019-21 program. In January 2019 we embarked on a new joint research project with Christine Suurtamm at the University of Ottawa. Chris is an internationally known researcher in mathematics education with specialties in secondary curriculum and assessment. The two of us, together with our undergraduate and graduate students and post-docs will work in selected classrooms to observe the behaviour of both teachers and students working with our Math9-12 curriculum. This is a two-year program focused on grade 11 in 2019-20 and on grade 12 in 2020-21.

We will kick each of the two years off with a teacher’s workshop in the last week of August––a Grade 11 workshop in Ottawa (Aug 27-28, 2019) and a Grade 12 workshop in Toronto (August 2020). Teachers who are interested or who want to know more should get in touch with Peter Taylor.

Students who are interested in this work should get in touch with Peter Taylor. Positions are available for graduate work, both at the Master’s and the PhD level.

Funding for Math9-12 comes from the KNAER Mathematical Knowledge Network (MKN), an initiative of the Ontario Ministry, the Fields Institute, the Canadian Mathematical Society, Queen’s University and the University of Ottawa.

Peter has written a paper about this work called Teach the Mathematics of Mathematicians.

What We Offer

Our curriculum. There are many ways in which the Math9-12 curriculum differs from that currently found in our schools but let me try to summarize two main aspects of the difference.

A different objective.

Our aim is not specifically to understand the behaviour of polynomials or the formula for sin(A+B) but to gain experience in the analysis of complex systems. Years of teaching first-year courses at Queen’s have made it clear that this is the main source of difficulty for most of our students. This is likely the case, not only in math, but in all their subjects, but it turns out that mathematics, with its emphasis on the abstract study of structure, is an ideal subject to give students experience in working with complex systems.

Creative Lessons.

We referred above to the abstract nature of mathematical study, but our pedagogical approach is very much hands on. Some of our projects interact with physical systems (even music) but along with that, the use of technology to design and build animations and simulations is a major component of our curriculum. The students will work in a Jupyter Notebook environment using the Python programming language.


Math 9-12 Projects

For many years now we have been developing “enrichment activities” for high school working with “motivated” students in a mixture of grades. The focus has been to develop those mathematical thinking skills that are weak in most of our first-year students at Queen's. My recent work, and the objective of Math9-12, is to construct some new problems and refocus the best of the old problems to fit particular grade levels in the Ontario curriculum structure.

Thus we have taken the Ontario curriculum documents and slotted each problem in at the right technical level. Working with teachers and graduate students we took these into various classrooms. This was enlightening and we are now ready to document the student and teacher experience in a more formal manner.

Grade 9 Activities

  • Missteaks
  • Advertising
  • Lineup

Grade 10 Activities

  • Neutrinos
  • Grain Elevators
  • Transformations
  • Red ball, blue ball

Grade 11 Activities

  • Parabola and translating line
  • Alligator Egg
  • Parabola and rotating line
  • Parabola and circle
  • Roofing
  • Two towns
  • Money Machine
  • Water tank
  • Tire
  • Timmy's Coffee and Milk
  • Trains
  • Pascal's triangle
  • Interest rates
  • Annuities, present value
  • Acting like theodolite
  • Circle and spring
  • Tides
  • Music - the magic of 12

Grade 12 Activities

  • Exponential dice
  • Rolling wheel
  • Inverse quartic
  • Jacqueline and the beanstalk
  • Forage and Fly
  • Optimal driving speed
  • 3D graphs
  • The parent game
  • Sinetrack


Dr. Peter Taylor

Queen's University, Director

Peter is a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Queen’s University, cross-appointed to the Department of Biology and the Faculty of Education. His area of research is theoretical evolutionary ecology, particular the evolution of cooperative behaviour. He is a 3M Fellow, a Fellow of the Fields Institute and is past Chair of the Education Committee of the Canadian Mathematical Society. He has done extensive curriculum writing with the Ontario Ministry of Education and as preparation for this, he taught two semesters in high school.

Nick Nielsen

Nick completed a 4 year BSc in Physiology in 1989 and a BEd in 1993, both at UofT. In his first year of teaching for the TDSB he worked with Peter Harrison who, a few years later, became the District Coordinator for Mathematics. It was this association with Peter that fostered Nick’s interest in developing mathematics teaching materials and lead to curriculum writing as well as co-authoring mathematics textbooks. Teaching all the Maths as well as Chemistry and Physics in a small alternative high school for 25 years has inspired creativity with course design (including the interdisciplinary course, The Art of Math, he co-wrote with an Art Teacher colleague) and curriculum delivery.

David Stocks

David recently retired from a 20-year career as a math and science teacher at Kingston Collegiate Vocational Institute (KCVI). During his time teaching there, he was the Coordinator of the International Baccalaureate program and served as the Math Curriculum Consultant for the Limestone School Board. Over the years, David’s math classes have provided the testing ground for many innovative class projects and teaching experiences. In 1997, Peter Taylor and his PhD student, Nathalie Sinclair, spent an entire semester working in David’s grade 12 class to prepare for the rewriting of the Ontario Secondary Math Curriculum. Today, David lives in Kingston and is a keen tennis player, remaining active with the high school tennis program.

Mike Cabral

Queen's University, PhD Candidate

Mike studied mathematics and philosophy at Queen’s. He then taught English as a second language for two years in South Korea, before returning to Queen’s first for a Master’s degree and then a doctorate in mathematical biology that he will complete this summer. In the past couple of years Mike has been the instructor for our 3rd-year game theory course and for a section of our Linear Algebra course for Engineers. He is also a lead instructor in MathQuest, our summer program for high school girls interested in math. Mike has developed a keen interest in mathematics education and is looking forward to the challenges of the coming year.

Stefanie Knebel

Queen's University, PhD Student

Stefanie completed a BAH with a concentration in Psychology in 2011. She then spent a year as a lab coordinator for an early cognitive development lab and also assisted a professor in the department of psychiatry here at Queen's. Following her passion for research, she decided to return as a student to complete her MSc in Mathematics at Queen's and is now working on her doctorate in applied mathematics. For her work, she was awarded the Deans Award for Women in Science in 2018. She has a knack for programming, is interested in patterns of human behaviour, and enjoys exploring neat ways to visualize mathematical concepts.

Luke Steverango

Queen's University, MSc Student

Luke is currently a Masters student in evolutionary game theory working with Peter Taylor. He previously completed a BA (Honours) degree in Applied Mathematics at McGill University. His current research interest is in evolutionary graph theory and games on graphs. When not attending to his research, he is a member of the Queen’s Fencing team and also has been a baseball player since the age of 7.

Skyepaphora Griffith

Queen's University, MSc Student

Skye completed her BSc. Honours, majoring in Mathematics, at Trent University in 2018, and is now working towards an Msc. in Mathematics & Statistics at Queen’s University. Skye’s history of tutoring began in high school, but her passion for math education was truly brought to life via post-secondary teaching assistantship opportunities ranging from math tutorials to statistical coding workshops. She has also experimented with teaching abstract algebra as an enrichment topic for grade 7/8 students - strange but true! Some of her greatest aspirations are to illuminate the beauty of mathematics and encourage those who may not believe themselves to be mathematically inclined.

Neil MacVicar

Queen's University, MSc Student

Neil is a mathematics graduate student at Queen's. His encounter with university level mathematics was both turbulent and surprising. The turbulence was present because he was ill prepared, but he was even more surprised that he liked what he was learning. This was a stark contrast with the feelings he held for the subject before then. Neil hopes the research group's efforts will better equip high school students intellectually and also provide them with the enriching knowledge of what mathematics truly is.

Chelsea Carlson

Queen's University, PhD Candidate

Chelsea is a PhD candidate in theoretical physics at Queen's University, studying nano-scale broadband light-matter interactions under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Hughes. She completed her undergraduate degree in Engineering Physics at Queen's University in 2015. Growing up in a small rural town in north-western Ontario, Chelsea has always wanted to improve the attitudes, methods, and opportunities within K-12 maths and physics education. She aspires to teach high school maths and physics, but more importantly to help change how the general population perceives these beautiful subjects though creative approaches to curriculum and outreach. The dog’s name is Kiri—she’s a 3-month old standard poodle.

Rebecca Carter

Queen's University, Undergraduate Student

Becca is currently completing a BSc in Mathematics at Queen’s University. When not studying, she has gained work experience in data analytics and mathematical modelling. Over the years, she has also worked as a canoe trip leader at a summer camp. From her experiences working with kids of all ages at camp, and tutoring students throughout the school year, she has developed a passion for education alongside her love of mathematics. She is very excited to be working with the research group this summer.

Yifan Duan

Queen's University, Undergraduate Student

Yifan is going into 3rd year for his BScH in biology and mathematics at Queen’s University. He is interested in interdisciplinary studies between different fields of STEM. The current debate of high school math curriculum in Ontario has sparked his interest in potential curriculum reform. He is currently working in a biology lab as a summer research student and he enjoys reading about math, science, and history in his spare time.

Victoria Wu

Queen's University, Undergraduate Student

Victoria is currently completing her Bachelor's degree in Computer Science. Her passions lie in the applications of computer science in many different fields, especially healthcare and education. Over the past few years, she has developed a love for teaching, and has gained experience as a teaching assistant, tutoring student in both mathematics and computer science courses. She is excited to be working with the group this summer, combining her knowledge of computer science with her love of teaching.

Advisory Board

Siobhain Broekhoven

Queen's University

Siobhain is a mathematics, physics and special education teacher with Algonquin Lakeshore CDSB. She is the Director of Math Quest, a summer program of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Queen’s University which is sponsored by the Canadian Mathematics Society and focuses on experiential learning. She loves all things math and has a history of volunteering for fun math events like Pi Day, the Math Olympics and Explore Mathemagics. She also has a history of being in a lot of math clubs when she was a kid (including KCVI school champion Euclid Math Contest) and would have loved to have been able to do math in the summer too. Yay Math9-12! While doing her physics undergrad at Queen’s she started playing with radio waves… because she loves hands-on fun with the wave equation. (While editing digital files, we must recognize the shape of the sound wave and the location of x-axis to cut all a < x < b and finally at the end “normalize” the file.) This photo is taken in Control Room 1 @ CFRC just after an interview. Siobhain is past president of the CFRC Radio Club, and volunteer programmer. She has produced many radio shows highlighting math education and current research as well as exceptional learners and social justice.

Robin Dawes

Queen's University

Robin is an Associate Professor in the School of Computing at Queen's University. He studies graph algorithms, fuzzy logic, computer education for very young learners and the educational uses of digital technology. His philosophy of teaching is founded on two principles. The first is that successful teaching is essentially an interaction rather than a transmission process. The second is that teaching without context is unsound.

George Gadanidis

Western University

George is a Professor of Math Education at Western University and is internationally known for his work incorporating ideas of coding into the mathematics curriculum. He works at the elementary school level (Grades 4-8) and spends 50-60 days each year in school classrooms, collaborating with teachers to design cool ways of engaging young children with big math ideas. His professional domain is wide-ranging covering mathematics, technology and the arts.

Miroslav Lovric

McMaster University

Miroslav is a professor of mathematics at McMaster University. He has taught mathematics courses to math and stats majors, as well as to life sciences, engineering and arts and science students.

Miroslav works on both mathematics and mathematics education research. With researchers and graduate students from McMaster Health Sciences he has been modelling the development of allergic asthma and severity of allergic reaction to peanuts in children. Using game-theoretic approach, he studies the growth of certain types of cancers. His math education research involves studying transition from secondary to tertiary mathematics, interdisciplinary approaches to teaching mathematics, and the use of computer programming to problem-solve in mathematics.

Miroslav is interested in connections between mathematics, art and architecture. He published papers, and lectures on the ways developments in mathematics reflect in art, about the concept of space, and about the interaction between architecture and geometry. He co-wrote an essay for an art exhibit at McMaster. A paper he enjoyed working on quite a bit is based on his research about symmetries of mosaics in Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain.

Judy Mendaglio

Judy Mendaglio is a retired secondary mathematics teacher and department head from the Peel District School Board. She is a Sessional Lecturer at Western University, teaching in their Master of Professional Education program.She has always been, and continues to be, very active in the math ed community. She is a long-serving member of the executive of the Ontario Association for Mathematics Education and the Credit Humber Association for Mathematics Promotion. She is a member of the Fields Institute's MathEd Forum Steering Committee as well as their Centre for Mathematics Education. She continues to be involved with writing support materials for classroom teachers and math ed leaders.

Judy has had the extreme good fortune to share her love of mathematics with students in elementary, secondary, college, and university. She is always looking for new and better ways to connect students, teachers, and parents with mathematics. In recent years, her focus has been on building student capacity to think mathematically and to develop language to describe their thinking.

Jamie Pyper

Queen's University

Jamie is Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at Queen’s University and Graduate Faculty Coordinator of the Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Group.

Jamie's journey in teaching, research, and service is encapsulated through a lens he calls the “MathPerceptionProject.” This emphasizes the interconnectedness of his teaching, research, and service, and the necessary collaboration of the many stakeholders to better understand, and then improve the teaching and learning of mathematics. Aspects of creativity, beauty and aesthetics, efficacy, and knowing-to, naturally collaborate in the expression of a space for thinking mathematically. An apt metaphor at the moment may be the kaleidoscope; subtle turns of the lens provides new, different, exciting, and possibly inspiring images through the blending, symmetry, refraction, and reflection, leading to new, different, exciting, and possibly inspiring perceptions of mathematics.

Nathalie Sinclair

Simon Fraser University

Nathalie is a Professor in the Faculty of Education, an associate member in the Department of Mathematics and the Canada Research Chair in Tangible Mathematics Learning at Simon Fraser University. She is also the editor of Digital Experiences in Mathematics Education. Her main areas of research stem from her interests in aesthetics and embodiment, with has found recent focus in the teaching and learning of geometry at the primary school level, particularly with dynamic geometry software. She is the author of Mathematics and Beauty: Aesthetic Approaches to Teaching Children (2006), co-author of Mathematics and the body: Material entanglements in the classroom (2014) published by Cambridge University Press and of Developing Essential Understanding of Geometry for Teaching Mathematics (2012), among other books.

Chris Suurtamm

Queen's Student

Chris Suurtamm is Vice-Dean Research and Professional Development at the University of Ottawa and is Full Professor of Mathematics Education. Her work examines the complexity of mathematics teacher practice, particularly as teachers facilitate mathematical inquiry and engage in formative assessment. She is the Director of the Pi Lab, a CFI infrastructure for the analysis of video data from mathematics classrooms. She has been the Lead Researcher on several large-scale projects that focus on teachers’ enactment of mathematics curriculum. Her early career work as a secondary mathematics teacher, Mathematics Department Head, and author of Grades 10, 11, and 12 mathematics textbooks also gives her a key understanding of the challenges and potentials of the upper secondary mathematics curriculum and classroom.

Walter Whiteley

York University

Walter Whiteley was an undergrad in Mathematics and Physics at Queen's University, Ph.D. student in Mathematics at MIT, an Instructor in Mathematics and Humanities at Champlain Regional College (CEGEP) for 20 years, and since 1994 Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at York University, and a member of the Graduate program in Education. As a practicing geometer, Walter practices spatial reasoning daily and applies spatial reasoning in Structural Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Biochemistry, Computational Geometry and Mathematics Education. He is strong believer that spatializing any problem adds insights into the concepts and solutions, and is essential to understanding and solving some key problems.

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513 Jeffery Hall, Queen's University Kingston Ontario, K7L 3N6