Dr. Sheldon P. Gordon

Areas of Expertise:

  • Mathematics Education
  • Calculus Reform

Dr. Sheldon Gordon is a nationally recognized professor of mathematics. He has taught at Farmingdale State since 1997. He received a BS in Mathematics from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, and both a Master of Science and a PhD in Math from McGill University

Dr. Gordon summarizes his approach to mathematics education. “Historically, mathematics was linked exclusively to the physical sciences.  We now see comparable, and in some cases even greater, use of mathematics in non-traditional areas such as economics, business, the biological sciences, and so on.  Consequently, we can no longer hope to cover every mathematical skill or topic that every student may someday need in any conceivable course.  Instead, we have to provide a solid core of mathematical topics, linked to a wider variety of applications, and give the students the ability to think mathematically so they can adapt what they have learned in different and unanticipated ways.”

Dr. Gordon is a recipient of the 2005 SUNY Research Foundation award for Research and Scholarship. He is the 1996 recipient of Annenberg Foundation/Corporation for Public Broadcasting competition award for best innovative project using technology in algebra through precalculus , for his book Functioning in the Real World. In addition, he received the Mathematical Association of America Award for Outstanding Teaching Contributions to Mathematics Education.

Since 1989, he has been a member of the Harvard Calculus Consortium, a project which has affected the teaching of calculus in virtually every college and high school in the country.

Dr. Gordon is currently leading a project on behalf of the Mathematical Association of America, the American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, with a combined membership of 150,000 professional mathematics educators, to refocus the courses below calculus.  These courses are taken by well over 1,000,000 students each year.

He is the recipient of over 20 grant awards totaling approximately $2,000,000.  He directs or co-directs grants for the National Science Foundation designed to:

  • Reform Math Modeling/PreCalculus 
  • Develop a special precalculus-level course that includes innovative laboratory component taught by biology faculty that uses the same mathematical topic developed in math classes.
  • To rethink the teaching math classes below calculus level.
  • To rethink all mathematics and related quantitative offerings in light of the latest technologies.
  • Develop strategic plans for the MAA to improve the mathematical transitions of all students from high school to college and from one college to another.

He is the author or co-author of more than a dozen books. His most recent books are A Fresh Start for Collegiate Mathematics: Rethinking the Courses below Calculus (co-editor, published by the Mathematical Association of America, January 2006) and Functioning in the Real World: A PreCalculus Experience, 2nd Ed. (principal author), Math Modeling/ PreCalculus Reform Project, Addison-Wesley, 2004.  Many of these books have been translated into Chinese, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. 

He has written over 150 articles that have been published in publications such as MAA Notes, AMATYC Review and PRIMUS. At least eight additional articles will be published in 2006.


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