Howe Inducted as Texas A&M Distinguished Professor
He saw something at Texas A&M that convinced him to pack his bags and leave his position at Yale to join the faculty in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture. For Dr. Roger Howe, the chance to make a difference in math education was worth it.
“This was a very interesting opportunity to make a difference. It was a challenge. It was something very different from what I’ve been doing and it was very appealing to me.”
Howe was inducted May 8 as a University Distinguished Professor, the highest faculty honor at Texas A&M.
“University Distinguished Professors earn our highest faculty honor by impacting the world with their scholarship and landmark advances in understanding,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Carol A. Fierke. “These faculty represent the high caliber and global significance of research underway at Texas A&M University.”
Howe’s first experience at Texas A&M was his involvement with The Institute for Advanced Study as a Faculty Fellow in 2014. He served in that post for two years before Dr. Doug Palmer asked him to join TLAC as a full-time faculty member.
“The idea of being able to have an individual with such a distinguished career in the area of mathematics and have such a strong interest in using his mathematical expertise to work on the development of teacher training programs that can facilitate childrens’ enhanced knowledge and skill in mathematics seemed perfect,” explained Palmer, former dean of the College of Education and Human Development.
Howe’s research deals with applications of symmetry in mathematics and physics. His work has changed the course of research in the field of representation theory, leading to major breakthroughs.
Aside from research, Howe is also dedicated to improving mathematics education of teachers, calling it a cornerstone of improving mathematics education across all levels.
His goal is changing the way our pre-service teachers are taught by taking a closer look at the actual mathematical structure. He says, by helping them better understand the material, they can help their own students better understand math.
“We’re hoping to prepare teachers that can explain why things work. If we’re successful at that, we’re not only teaching them math for the test, we’re preparing them to go on to the next step,” Howe explained.
Howe joins 101 other faculty recognized with the Distinguished Professor distinction and five others from the college.
Howe also holds a faculty emeritus appointment at Yale University and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Earlier this year, he was named to the first group of Permanent Members of The Hagler Institute for Advanced Study.
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