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About Us

About Our Mission

  • Develop mathematics concepts within realistic decision contexts relevant to middle school or high school students.
  • Demonstrate that mathematics is a tool for exploring options and determining the preferred solution and not simply a process for getting the correct answer.
  • Design and disseminate mathematics curriculum that develops and reinforces the higher-order thinking and skills described in the Common Core Mathematical Practices, MP1-MP8.

About ChelstKenneth Chelst, Ph.D.


Kenneth R. Chelst is a professor of operations research in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan where he has received more than a dozen teaching awards. He completed his Ph.D. in operations research at MIT in 1975. His original area of interest was the development and application of mathematical models to improve the performance of police, fire and emergency medical systems.  Dr. Chelst has also developed optimal location models that are routinely used by all automotive retailers to determine the optimal configuration of new car dealership networks in the US and Western Europe. Dr. Chelst is also the Director of the Engineering Management Master’s Program (EMMP) offered to the next generation of technical leaders of Ford. In 1999, he led a team at Ford Motor Company that was an Edelman Prize Finalist for “Rightsizing and Management of Prototype Vehicle Testing at Ford Motor Company.” The projected savings was in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Dr. Chelst’s current research interest is the application of decision and risk analysis to problems in engineering management. Dr. Chelst is a member of the INFORMS Roundtable and meets two times a year with executives from diverse companies including, IBM, Intel, Disney, Marriott, Mayo Clinic, Boeing, McDonald’s, Kroger, and Chevron. It is this breadth of  knowledge that has driven Dr. Chelst’s passion for placing the development of mathematical concepts in authentic real world contexts. His Email: kchelst@wayne.edu>

About EdwardsTom Edwards, Ph.D.


Thomas G. Edwards is the Associate Dean for research in the College of Education at Wayne State University in Detroit. He completed his Ph.D. in mathematics education at the Ohio State University in 1994. His original area of interest was the process by which teacher’s change their instructional practices in response to current calls for reform in mathematics education. He has been involved with the Detroit Public Schools Urban Systemic Initiative/Program, serving as an evaluator of mathematics programs. Dr. Edwards’ current interests lie in the application of graphing technologies in mathematics teaching and the development of mathematical concepts in real world contexts. Prior to obtaining his Ph.D., he taught for more than 20 years in Buffalo’s public high schools. His Email: t.g.edwards@wayne.edu>

About KocaS. Asli Ozgun-Koca, Ph.D.

Project Director

S. Asli Ozgun-Koca is an associate professor of secondary mathematics education at Wayne State University in the Teacher Education division of the College of Education.

Her research interests include the effective use of technology in mathematics education and professional development of mathematics teachers.

Her Email: aokoca@wayne.edu

About LewisJennifer Lewis, Ph.D.

Project Director, MEDeATe

Jennifer Lewis taught elementary and middle school for ten years before earning a doctorate in teacher education and mathematics education from the University of Michigan.

She is currently an assistant professor of mathematics education at Wayne State University and her research focuses on preparing teachers to do ambitious mathematics instruction in high-poverty urban settings, and on teach evaluation.

Her Email: jmlewis@wayne.edu

About ChelstDeborah Ferry

Senior Consultant

Deborah Ferry holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching degree in mathematics from Oakland University. She has served as project director and principal investigator on several grant projects including Lessons Studied Lessons Learned and Improving Proportional Reasoning Instruction through eNgineering Tasks. She is currently serving as the principal investigator of EMATHS through Lesson Sketch Story Circles, a Michigan Department of Education Mathematics and Science Partnership Competitive Grant program. Deborah uses her vast experiences as a mathematics instructor, mathematics consultant, gifted  and talented coordinator, professional developer, presenter and program developer to share insights about teaching, learning, and assessment at the local, state, and national level. Her primary interest is providing quality educational experiences for all students whatever their cultural backgrounds, personal interests, or talents. She has over 40 years of experience working with students, parents, teachers, and administrators.

About MahdokhtMahdokht Kalantari

Director of Social Media

Mahdokht Kalantari is a doctoral student in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Wayne State University. She is currently doing research on Marketing Campaigns for Professional Networks in Social Media.

She is also interested in consumer behavior in decision making processes and has taught a graduate level course in Decision Making and Risk Analysis at Wayne State University. With regards to our middle school programs, she develops and oversees our social media initiatives. She also manages our middle school online communities on Facebook.

Her Email: es3775@wayne.edu