MATHTEACH Collaborative Hosts Dr. James Tanton

Dr. James Tanton wowed an audience of local math teachers during his recent workshop at Region One in Edinburg, TX. Mathematics teachers from across the Rio Grande Valley were in attendance to participate in Dr. Tantons’ workshop, “Exploding Dots! School Arithmetic and Algebra made Ridiculously Easy!”

Dr. Tanton was in town as part of the Texas Graduate Center’s MATHTEACH Collaborative, a partnership with local school districts who’ve sponsored math teachers into Harvard’s Math for Teaching graduate program.

Queen Martin, a Harvard graduate student and TGC Scholar said it was the best math training she’d been to all year, “It is the best math training I’ve ever had so far. He showed us math from a totally different perspective and was able to build it from the ground up.” Dr. Tanton’s workshop promises to make Arithmetic and Algebra “ridiculously easy” and Martin believes it does just that! “It was so easy that even intermediate grade levels can handle it and even more amazing that it can solve calculus problems...just by exploding the dots,” said Martin.

Dr. Tanton earned his PhD in mathematics from Princeton University. He taught at the New College, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and Merrimack College. In addition to being a college professor, Dr. Tanton taught high school at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, Massachusetts from 2002 to 2011.

He is now a visiting scholar at the Mathematical Association of America in Washington, DC. Tanton’s professional focus is on reforming the secondary mathematics curriculum to bring a sense of joy and discovery to the topic. To learn more about Dr. Tanton and his work visit and

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The Texas Graduate Center is a public-private initiative of the Texas Valley Communities Foundation