Cathy Kessel


Cathy Kessel is a U.S. researcher in mathematics education[1] and consultant, past-president of Association for Women in Mathematics, winner of the Association for Women in Mathematics Louise Hay Award, and a blogger on Mathematics and Education.[2] She served as an editor for Illustrative Mathematics from the end of 2015 through July 15, 2017.[3]


Kessel received her Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Colorado Boulder, specializing in mathematical logic, and taught for three years after earning her Ph.D. She taught for a total of 13 years as a graduate and postgraduate until the 1990s when she made the switch to research in education.[4] She began auditing courses and working on research projects at the School of Education at the University of California at Berkeley. This led to a career that included editing reports, books, articles, and curriculum and standards documents. She was the president of the Association for Women in Mathematics from 2007 to 2009 and worked as a mathematics education consultant through 2015 and again after she left Illustrative Mathematics in 2017.


Kessel has participated in multiple projects pertaining to mathematics education, including the following.[5]

  • Editor and indexer, Liping Ma, Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics, first edition, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999; anniversary edition, Routledge, 2010
  • Additional writer, Principles and Standards of School Mathematics, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2000
  • Editor, Mathematical Education of Teachers, Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences, 2001
  • Consultant, Research for Better Schools guide to TIMSS public release videos, 2005
  • Writer, Learning Across Boundaries: U.S.–Japan Collaboration in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 2007[6]
  • Editor, Critical Issues in Mathematics Education workshop booklet, Teaching Teachers Mathematics: Research, Ideas, Projects, Evaluation, Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, 2009
  • Editor, Mathematical Education of Teachers II, Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences, 2012[7]
  • Writer, Mathematics Curriculum, Teacher Professionalism, and Supporting Policies in Korea and the United States: Summary of a Workshop, 2015, National Academy of Sciences[8]

Articles, reports, and book chaptersEdit

Gender and educationEdit

  • M. Linn and C. Kessel. (2001). Test bias. In Judith Worrell (editor in chief), Encyclopedia of women and gender (pp. 1129–1140). Academic Press.
  • M. Linn and C. Kessel. (2002). Gender differences in cognition and educational performance. In Lynn Nadel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of cognitive science (pp. 261–267). New York: Macmillan.
  • M. Linn and C. Kessel. (2005). Gender and assessment. In Carol Goodheart & Judith Worell (Eds.), Handbook of girls’ and women’s psychological health: Gender and well-being across the life span. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • C. Kessel. (2006). Perceptions and research: Mathematics, gender, and the SAT. Focus, 26(9), 14–15.
  • C. Kessel. (2007). Op ed. Bay Area Businesswoman News, February.
  • Many co-authors. (2007). Women mathematicians in the academic ranks: A call to action. Report of the 2006 BIRS workshop on women and mathematics.[9]
  • C. Kessel and D. Nelson. (2011). Statistical Trends in Women’s Participation in Science: Commentary on Valla and Ceci (2011). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6(2), 147–149.
  • C. Kessel. (2011). Women. Encyclopedia of Mathematics and Society, edited by Sarah Greenwald and Jill Thompson. Croton-on-Hudson, NY: Golson Media.
  • C. Kessel. (2014). Understanding underrepresentation: Women in mathematics and other fields. Mathematical Intelligencer, 0.1007/s00283-013-9441-1. Online 20 March. In print, Volume 36, Issue 4 (2014), 10–18.[10]
  • C. Kessel. (2015). Women in mathematics: Change, inertia, stratification, segregation. In Willie Pearson Jr., Lisa M. Frehill, and Connie L. McNeely (editors), Advancing Women in Science: An International Perspective (pp. 171–186, 198–199). Springer International Publishing Switzerland.[11]

Mathematics educationEdit

  • A. Arcavi, C. Kessel, L. Meira, and J. Smith. (1998). Teaching mathematical problem solving: A microanalysis of an emergent classroom community. Alan Schoenfeld, Ed Dubinsky, and James Kaput (Eds.), Research in Collegiate Mathematics Education III (pp. 1–70). Providence, RI: American Mathematical Society.
  • C. Kessel. (1999). Testing: . . . 2, 3, 4, . . . , 11, 12, 12+; G–, G+: CAP, CAT, CTBS, . . . , ITBS, . . . ; ACT, SAT; GRE, LSAT, MCAT; NTE. MER Newsletter 11(3), 8–11.[12]
  • C. Kessel. (2001). What’s in a name? MER Newsletter 13(3), 4–5, 10–11.
  • M. Chiu, C. Kessel, J. Moschkovich, and A. Muñoz-Nuñez. (2001). Learning to graph linear functions: A case study of conceptual change. Cognition and Instruction, 19(2), 215–251.[13]
  • C. Kessel. (2013). A mathematical perspective on educational research. In Y. Li & J. N. Moschkovich (Eds.), Mathematical proficiency and beliefs in learning and teaching (pp. 237–256). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.


In 2017, she was selected as a fellow of the Association for Women in Mathematics in the inaugural class.[15]


  1. ^ "Kessel, Cathy". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  2. ^ "Mathematics and Education". Mathematics and Education. Retrieved 2016-11-05.
  3. ^ Illustrative Mathematics
  4. ^ Kessel, Cathy. "Why I Quit My Job" (PDF).
  5. ^ "About this blogger". Mathematics and Education. 2010-03-09. Retrieved 2016-11-05.
  6. ^ "Learning Across Boundaries PDF" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-17.
  7. ^ "MET2". Archived from the original on 2016-10-26. Retrieved 2016-11-05.
  8. ^ Medicine, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and (2015-10-07). Mathematics Curriculum, Teacher Professionalism, and Supporting Policies in Korea and the United States: Summary of a Workshop. doi:10.17226/21753. ISBN 978-0-309-37436-1.
  9. ^ "Women Mathematicians in the Academic Ranks: A Call to Action" (PDF).
  10. ^ Kessel, Cathy (2014-03-20). "Understanding Underrepresentation: Women in Mathematics and Other Fields". The Mathematical Intelligencer. 36 (4): 10–18. doi:10.1007/s00283-013-9441-1. ISSN 0343-6993. S2CID 123713550.
  11. ^ Press, Berkeley Electronic. "SelectedWorks - Cathy Kessel". Retrieved 2016-11-05.
  12. ^ Kessel, Cathy. "Testing..." (PDF).
  13. ^ Chiu; Kessel, Cathy; Moschkovich, Judit; Muñoz-Nuñez, Agustin (2001-01-01). "Learning to Graph Linear Functions: A Case Study of Conceptual Change". Cognition and Instruction. 19 (2): 215–252. doi:10.1207/S1532690XCI1902_03. JSTOR 3233817. S2CID 16064683.
  14. ^ "Louise Hay Award-2017 Winner:Cathy Kessel". Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  15. ^ "2018 Inaugural Class of AWM Fellows". Association for Women in Mathematics. Retrieved 9 January 2021.