Lisa Berger

Co-Director of Mathematics Teacher Education and Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Lisa Berger joined Stony Brook in 2007, with 14 years of experience teaching mathematics at the middle-school, high school, and college levels. After completing her bachelor's degree in mathematics education at the University of Arizona in 1992, she taught middle school mathematics for 2 years in Phoenix, Arizona, where she taught both bilingual Spanish-English and mainstream mathematics courses. She worked with other math faculty, in cooperation with the NSF funded Phoenix Urban Systemic Initiative, to establish an after school Algebra Club, a program which used manipulatives to introduce students to basic concepts in algebra.

During the 1994-1995 academic year Berger worked as the International Coordinator for Centro Maya de Idiomas, a Spanish language immersion school in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. She helped new international students to quickly integrate into the school community, translated conferences and written materials, and helped establish an English language instruction program in a rural elementary school.

Berger began teaching high school at Desert View High School in Tucson, Arizona in the fall of 1995, where she taught high school mathematics in both mainstream and bilingual classes. In Tucson Berger taught both traditional pre-algebra and algebra courses, integrated mathematics courses in the Interactive Mathematics Program, and a calculus course using the reform Consortium textbook. She has substantial experience integrating writing into mathematics classes and utilizing portfolio assessment in mathematics.

During the 1999-2000 academic year Berger worked as a visiting instructor at the University of Arizona, as part of her participation in an academic exchange program between the University and local school districts. In addition to teaching entry level courses and courses for pre-service teachers, she participated in the mathematics instruction colloquium and began graduate study in mathematics. Berger returned to school full-time as a graduate student in 2001, and she completed her PhD in mathematics at the University of Arizona in 2007. As a teaching assistant she taught and assisted several mathematics courses for pre-service elementary and secondary teachers, in addition to teaching freshman-sophomore algebra and calculus courses.

Berger's mathematics research is in arithmetic algebraic geometry, a field in which techniques of geometry are applied toward solving problems in modern number theory. A particularly appropriate field to share with pre-service teachers, algebraic geometry has, at its roots, the simply understood goal of finding solutions to polynomial equations. Berger's main thesis result involves an explicit construction of special cubic curves whose defining equations have many solutions. Her primary interests as an educator are in language, writing and discourse in mathematics, and equity in mathematics education.