Katherine Cook

“Best math teacher I’ve ever had! Hope I can have her or someone like her for other math courses.”

“Katherine has a gift for making complex material more understandable.”

“Today was the first time I actually got to know the ability and excitement that some of [my students] are capable… Thank you so much for all of your guidance and helping me to think about math differently.”

 

Throughout my work with students from kindergarten to adults and every age in between, I have seen in people a capacity to love mathematics. With the right instruction and desire, every person can have the chance to develop their own meaningful relationship to math. Wherever you hope this relationship will take you, I’m here to help. Just imagine how it would feel to love mathematics where you are.

Background

  • Co-Director of Math for Love
  • Designer and teacher of Math Teacher Circles
  • Designed and taught enrichment courses in science and math in and around Seattle, including at the The Robinson Center of The University of Washington.
  • Regular contributor to the New York Times puzzle blog Numberplay.
  • Works with schools on professional development for teachers in mathematics.
  • Masters in Mathematics from the University of Washington
  • Taught college math courses at the UW, including the calculus sequence, business calculus, and pre-calculus.
  • Math Fellow in Seattle elementary schools under the GK-12 program (2007-09)
  • Ran the tutoring center at the Evergreen State College and created tutor training programs to ensure our tutors were the best possible.
  • Created and taught an introductory algebra class at Evergreen State College for returning students, i.e. older students with math phobias.
  • Assisted faculty at Evergreen in the development of class material.
  • Veteran outdoor adventurer, trekked the distance from Canada to Mexico twice, once on foot and once on bicycle. Hiking the Pacific Northwest Trail from July – October, 2013. Read the blog here.

My Mathematical Autobiography

Mine was an unusual path in mathematics. I didn’t get involved with math until college, and then I started with the most basic class offered (fractions and decimals). After time at a community college, I transferred to The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, where I began work on a degree in physics and astronomy. Along the way I was seduced by, and subsequently fell in love with, the beauty of mathematics. In four years, I devoured the mathematics curriculum, taking everything Evergreen had to offer, and then teaching my own classes, and designing lessons for my professors. Though I love of physics to this day, I left the physical sciences in pursuit of mathematics. That pursuit is what carried me to the University of Washington, where I earned a Masters degree in math in 2008.

While I taught many college-level courses at the University of Washington, I also spent two years on curriculum development in grades K through 5. It was during this time that my sense of the missed opportunities in this age group really crystallized. Too often, kids learn a distaste for the subject without ever having the chance to see what there is to love in mathematics. For too many, the understanding of math isn’t particularly enduring, while their dislike of the subject is. I hope that by having a different experience of math outside of the classroom, students of any age can begin to change their experience of the subject and find delight in mathematics.

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