Dr. Chris Rasmussen

STEM Speaker, APRIL 8, 2016: "Findings from a National Study of Calculus Programs"


Chris Rasmussen, Ph.D., is a Professor of Mathematics Education and Associate Chair in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at San Diego State University. He received his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, and Mathematics Education, respectively. After receiving his undergraduate degree, he served as a Peace Corp Volunteer in Sierra Leone, West Africa.

Dr. Rasmussen's research investigates inquiry-oriented approaches to the learning and teaching of undergraduate mathematics, focusing on how mathematical ideas are developed through student exploration and teacher-student classroom discourse. His work in differential equations and linear algebra has led to methodological advances for coordinating individual and collective mathematical progress as well as instructional approaches that begin with students' informal or intuitive ideas to progressively build more formal mathematics and the role of the instructor in this process. He has also been at the forefront of a national study of successful Calculus 1 programs, which has identified a number of programmatic features that are common among the programs identified as being more successful than peer institutions.


Currently, Dr. Rasmussen is leading a national study of the Precalculus to Calculus 2 sequence with the goal of better understanding current departmental practices related to these courses. In addition, this work is examining the departmental and institutional change process and ways that professional organizations can support and help sustain such change.