Deborah J. Hughes Hallett is a mathematician who works as a professor of mathematics at the University of Arizona. Her expertise is in the undergraduate teaching of mathematics. She has also taught as Professor of the Practice in the Teaching of Mathematics at Harvard University, and continues to hold an affiliation with Harvard as Adjunct Professor of Public Policy in the John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Hughes Hallett earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Cambridge in 1966, and a master's degree from Harvard in 1976. She worked as a preceptor and senior preceptor at Harvard from 1975 to 1991, as an instructor at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey from 1981 to 1984, and as a faculty member at Harvard from 1986 to 1998. She served as Professor of the Practice in the Teaching of Mathematics at Harvard from 1991 to 1998. She moved to Arizona in 1998, and took on her adjunct position at the Kennedy School in 2001.
Her work is on strategies to improve the teaching of mathematics, and she is interested in promoting international cooperation between mathematicians. With Andrew M. Gleason at Harvard she was a founder of the Calculus Consortium for Higher Education, a project for the reform of undergraduate teaching in calculus and started a foundation to promote innovative curriculum and pedagogy. Through the consortium, she is an author of a successful and influential sequence of high school and college mathematics textbooks.
She has served on committees for the National Academy of Sciences and organized three international conferences on the teaching of mathematics. She was an invited speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 1994. She won the Louise Hay Award for Contributions to Mathematics Education of the Association for Women in Mathematics in 1998, was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1998 and is the author or coauthor of seven books, which have been translated into several languages. She is a two-time winner of the ICTCM Award, in 1998 for her internet-based course "Information, Data and Decisions" and in 2000 for "Computer Texts for Business Mathematics". In October 2021, the American Mathematical Society named her as the recipient of the 2022 Award for Impact on the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics. Her work has also been recognized by prizes from Harvard University and the University of Arizona.
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