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At heart I'm a mathematician. Of all intellectual pursuits, I have found mathematics to be the truest and the most faithful. It has unbelievably beautiful structure, it has order and chaos, and there's always a hard diamond at its core.

Since 1975, the main thrust of my research has been the evolutionary modeling of behaviour, principally following the huge body of work flowing from Bill Hamilton’s formulation of inclusive fitness. Over the past 10 years my interests have been in evolutionary game theory, both in biology and psychology.

But also dating back to 1975, I have a strong interest and commitment to mathematics education, particularly developing good activities for the curriculum at the high school and university level. In recent years I have found my time almost exclusively dedicated to this objective, partly because there are many young guys around who can do a much better job at hard science, and partly because the need for a stronger math curriculum seems larger than ever and that’s a project requiring experience and wisdom. I can hope that I have acquired some of that.

I should say a bit more about high school math. In the midst of millions of words of confusing rhetoric on what’s wrong with math education, my own view is that the problem is with the structure of the curriculum––that this has led to a network of topics and tasks that are little consequence and totally lack sophistication (my current favorite word for what is lacking). In short the material we currently work with is not math but is a pale technical shadow of real mathematical activity. And our students (all of them) and our teachers deserve better. My curriculum redesign project Math9-12 seeks to build sophisticated units to replace as many of the standard high school curriculum strands as possible. I am happy to hear from anyone who might like to pursue this work at the graduate level, either at the Master’s or PhD level.

In this math curriculum game, my long-time collaborators are Nathalie Sinclair (Simon Fraser), Walter Whiteley (York), Miroslav Lovric (McMaster), George Gadanidis (Western), Ann Kajander (Thunder Bay) and Ami Mamolo (UOIT). But over the past few years, the collaborators I have been completely dependent on are that wonderful collection of teachers in Kingston, Ottawa and Toronto who have turned their classroom over to me to try out some crazy new problem (which, happily enough, often turns out to be not so crazy after all).

http://www.queensu.ca/ http://www.mast.queensu.ca/ mailto:peter.taylor@queensu.ca