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Gerald A. Goldin

Distinguished Professor
Learning & Teaching
GSE Room 235

Gerald Goldin, Ph.D. received his B.A. in 1964 magna cum laude in chemistry and physics from Harvard University, his Ph.D. in 1969 in theoretical physics from Princeton University, and studied the learning of mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). He coordinated the program in Mathematics Education at Penn, and in Science Education at Northern Illinois University, before joining the Rutgers University faculty in 1984. He is currently affiliated with three departments as Distinguished Professor of Mathematics Education, Mathematics, and Physics. With over 200 scholarly publications, his research spans these three fields.

He has served as Director of Rutgers’ Center for Mathematics, Science, and Computer Education, and as University Director for Science and Mathematics Partnerships. He organized and directed New Jersey’s Statewide Systemic Initiative in Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education. Subsequently he served as Director of MetroMath: The Center for Mathematics in America’s Cities. These activities reflect his commitment to achieving both excellence and equity in STEM education.

In the domain of mathematics education, Prof. Goldin’s research has focused on the characterization of internal and external systems of representation, especially their role in mathematical learning and problem solving. His leadership of the Working Group on Representations of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME) culminated in the publication of two special issues of the Journal of Mathematical Behavior in 1998. He chaired the Research Survey Team on Representations for the 2008 International Congress on Mathematics Education (ICME), where he presented an invited plenary lecture. He was an early advocate of the importance of the affective domain in mathematical learning, arguing that it plays an essential representational role in reasoning and problem solving. A special issue of the Mediterranean Journal for Research in Mathematics Education (vol. 9, no. 1, 2010) was dedicated as a tribute to his work.

In the domain of mathematical physics, Prof. Goldin was an early co-discoverer (with colleagues at Los Alamos National Laboratory) of the possibility of “anyon” statistics (interpolating Bose and Fermi exchange statistics of quantum particles) in two space dimensions. He is known as well for his work on local current algebras and their representations, measures on infinite-dimensional configuration spaces, quantum vortex configurations, nonlinear electrodynamics, and nonlinear variations of quantum mechanics – particularly, the discovery of the “Doebner-Goldin equation” and related nonlinear gauge transformations. He is presently working on problems in nonlinear and conformal-invariant electrodynamics, in relativistic quantum field theory, and in statistical physics.

His current research in education focuses on affect and engagement in mathematical learning and problem solving. He works internationally on several research projects and conference series, ranging from a project based in Norway on artificial intelligence simulation of human mathematics learning, to efforts to strengthen STEM education in Benin, Africa. His inspiration for work in education arises not only from his educational background, but from his concern for educational equity. His vision is to inspire the teaching of mathematics in ways that fulfill students’ fundamental needs for connection, empowerment, inspiration, and beauty. His teaching philosophy is to help students develop deep conceptual understanding, and to engage them actively in doing mathematics.

Prof. Goldin is also the co-author of two illustrated children’s books, published in Scotland.

• Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics, Princeton University (1969)
• M.A. in Physics, Princeton University (1966)
• B.A. in Chemistry and Physics, Harvard University (1964)
• Permanent Member, Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS)
• Associate of the Rutgers Center for Mathematics, Science, and Computer Education
• American Educational Research Association, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, American Mathematical Society, International Association for Mathematical Physics, Association for Women in Mathematics

  • Expertise & Research Interest

    Cognition, affect, and motivation in mathematical learning, teaching, and problem solving

    Systems of representation in the psychology of mathematics education

    Quantum theory, current algebras, and exotic exchange statistics of quantum particles

    Group theoretical methods and symmetries in physics, especially infinite-dimensional groups

    Nonlinear field equations of electromagnetism

  • Research Work With Students

    Mathematics education, including systems of internal and external representation, affect, engagement, and motivation in mathematics classrooms.

    Theoretical and mathematical physics, including foundations of quantum physics,nonlinear elctrodynamics and quantum mechanics, current algebra and group representations

    Mathematical learning and problem solving, theoretical physics.

    Professor Goldin presently collaborates with Ph.D. students interested in studying affect, motivation, and engagement in mathematics learning and teaching.

  • Recent & Selected Publications

    Goldin, G. A. (2019). Exploring a conative perspective on mathematical engagement. In S. A. Chamberlin & B. Sriraman (Eds): Affect in Mathematical Modeling (pp. 111-129). Springer.

    G. A. Goldin and D. H. Sharp (2019). Diffeomorphism group representations in relativistic quantum field theory. In P. Kielanowski, A. Odzijewicz, and E. Prevato (Eds.), Geometric Methods in Physics XXXVI: Workshop and Summer School, Bialowieza, Poland, 2017 (pp. 47-56).  Birkhäuser.

    Middleton, J., Jansen, M., & Goldin, G. A. (2017). The complexities of mathematical engagement: Motivation, affect, and social interactions. In J. Cai (Ed.), Compendium for Research in Mathematics Education. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

    G. A. Goldin (2016). Some comments on indistinguishable particles and interpretation of the quantum-mechanical wave function. In P. Kielanowski, S. T. Ali, P. Bieliavsky, A. Odzijewicz, M. Schlichenmaier, & T. Voronov (Eds.), Geometric Methods in Physics: XXXIV Workshop, Bialowieza, Poland, June 28 – July 4, 2015 (pp. 35-43). Birkhäuser/

    G. A. Goldin (2014). Perspectives on emotion in mathematical engagement, learning, and problem solving. In R. , pp. 391-414.

    G. A. Goldin, Y. M. Epstein, R. Y. Schorr, & L. B. Warner (2011), Beliefs and engagement structures: Behind the affective dimension of mathematical learning. ZDM Mathematics Education, DOI 10.1007/s11858-011-0348-z.

  • Honors & Awards

    National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, Physics (1964-1968)

    Chapel of the Four Chaplains Community Service Award (1971)

    Exemplary Project Award, New Jersey Dept. of Higher Education(1986)

    Outstanding Research Award, Rutgers Graduate School of Education Alumni Association (1992)

    Technology Education Association of New Jersey Leadership Award (1995)

    Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst (DAAD) Fellowship (1996)

    Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize, Physics (1998)

    Leverhulme Visiting Professorship (2004-2005)

    Diploma of Honour, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Republic of Benin (2009)

    Distinguished Faculty Lecture Award, Rutgers University GSE Alumni Association (2011)

    Distinguished Leader in Education, Rutgers University GSE Commencement (2011)

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