Meet the Director

Welcome to the Institute for Interdisciplinary STEM Education. I hope that you will join us in our effort to improve the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at all levels from kindergarten through college. We are a community of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and educators collaborating with businesses, research institutes, and school districts to serve the STEM needs of the coastal plains of Georgia and beyond. We offer support for developing grant proposals, outreach programs, and research proposals with a focus on interdisciplinary STEM education for rural and diverse populations.

Robert Mayes received his B.S. (1979) and M.S. (1981) in Mathematics with a secondary education focus from Emporia State University and his Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from Kansas State University (1989). He has taught mathematics on the high school, community college, and university levels. His first professorship was at West Virginia University (1989-93) where he specialized in satellite television professional development courses for secondary mathematics teachers. From 1993-2001 he assisted in developing and implementing an innovative Mathematics Education Ph.D. offered through the Mathematics Department at the University of Northern Colorado. While at UNC he was a Co-PI on COSMOS, a mathematics and science upward bound program and served as the Director of the Mathematics and Science Teaching Center (MAST).

In 2001 he returned to the WVU Mathematics Department to direct the Institute for Mathematics Learning (IML), whose mission is to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics in lower level undergraduate courses. He served as the coordinator and curriculum development leader for a technology enhanced applied algebra course, writing a text for the course called ACT in Algebra. He was a Co-PI on the NSF Center for Learning and Teaching ACCLAIM program and was the steward for the second doctoral cohort. He also served as the Vice-President for College on the West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics Executive Committee.

In the summer of 2006 he joined the University of Wyoming assuming the directorship of the Science and Mathematics Teaching Center (SMTC). The mission of the SMTC is to improve the learning and teaching of science and mathematics in Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain region. In this capacity he secured partnerships in multiple grants to support STEM education, including two active National Science Foundation projects: Pathways to Ecological Literacy and Mathematics Teacher Leadership Center.

As of August 2011 Robert Mayes has joined Georgia Southern University as a Professor of Education. His new role is to develop collaborative grant and research efforts across the university. His research focus is on the teaching and learning of problem solving, mathematical modeling, and quantitative reasoning in the sciences and social sciences.

Institute for Interdisciplinary STEM Education • PO Box 8090 Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-2549 • stem@georgiasouthern.edu