About us

Dr. Ricardo Nemirovsky is the project’s director and principal investigator.

The InforMath research project seeks avenues for transforming cultural perceptions of mathematics in ways that broaden learners’ access to the discipline.

Partner Description

Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education

At the Center for Research in Mathematiques & Science Education (CRMSE), we are dedicated to advancing mathematics and science education at local, state, and national levels. We are an interdisciplinary community of scholars at San Diego State University engaged in research, curriculum development and dissemination, publications, presentations, and leadership roles in the community.

What Makes CRMSE Unique

Balboa Park Cultural Partnership

The Balboa Park Cultural Partnership is a nonprofit organization through which 28 arts, science and cultural institutions in Balboa Park, San Diego, collaborate to achieve greater organizational efficiency, innovation and excellence. The Partnership’s member institutions vary in size and type and include museums, performing arts groups and theatres, cultural centers, gardens and the San Diego Zoo.

The Partnership was formed in 2003 to provide a means for members to identify and achieve collective goals and to speak with one voice on issues of mutual benefit and importance. The Board of Directors is composed of executive directors of member institutions. Park staff, trustees and volunteers participate in the development and implementation of Partnership programs — Balboa Park Sustainability, Collective Business Operations, Learning Institute, Balboa Park Governance and Balboa Park 2015 Centennial Celebration Planning.

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

“The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center seeks to inspire lifelong learning by furthering the public understanding and enjoyment of science and technology.”
—Our Mission Statement

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center features more than 100 interactive science exhibits in eight galleries, as well as major traveling exhibitions. Visit us, and you can create colored shadows, touch a tornado, examine the vibration of guitar strings and get your hands on a variety of intriguing scientific phenomena.

The Fleet is also home to the world’s first IMAX Dome Theater, presenting the biggest films on the planet. Its unique configuration wraps the audience in images and provides the illusion of being suspended in space. In 2008, the Fleet completed phase one of a two-phase project, refurbishing the theater’s interior, upgrading the sound system and replacing the original screen with a new seamless screen. In February 2012, phase two was completed, adding a state-of-the-art digital projection system to the theater. The Eugene Heikoff and Marilyn Jacobs Heikoff Dome Theater now shows both IMAX films and planetarium shows on the NanoSeamTM screen, offering audiences an immersive viewing experience available nowhere else in Southern California. Heikoff Giant Dome Theater show topics take audiences from outer space to under water and every place in between, and are generally suitable for all ages. The theater also plays host to planetarium shows, including the monthly Sky Tonight show, which is led by an astronomer and followed by outdoor telescope viewing, courtesy of the San Diego Astronomy Association.

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is open daily at 10:00 a.m. and is open in the evenings during summer and on weekends. We’re open on holidays, too—check our website or call (619) 238-1233 for holiday hours. Since our opening in 1973, the Fleet has been one of San Diego’s most-visited museums. We are located in beautiful Balboa Park, home to many of the city’s museums, as well as attractive gardens, intriguing architecture and picturesque fountains. Visit for more information about Balboa Park.

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center offers:

Mingei International Museum

Art of the World. Art of the People.

Mingei International Museum preserves and exhibits folk art, craft and design from all eras and cultures of the world. Mingei celebrates human creativity, and the belief that everyday object and materials that often serve a useful purpose can also be objects of beauty. Art can happen anywhere… in any culture, in any place, created by any person.

The Museum’s collection now comprises more than 26,000 objects of folk art, craft and design from 141 countries. A non-profit institution funded by admission, individuals, and community support, the Museum offers inspiring exhibitions and diverse educational programs to more than 100,000 visitors a year. Institutional support for Min­gei International Museum is provided in part by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

The Museum of Photographic Arts

The mission of the Museum of Photographic Arts is to inspire, educate and engage the broadest possible audience through the presentation, collection and preservation of photography, film and video.

The Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA), founded in 1983, possesses an international reputation of excellence through its presentation of high quality exhibitions, lectures, publications and films. A museum without walls since 1972, MOPA became what it is today when the City of San Diego donated a 7,000-square-foot, custom-designed space in the Casa de Balboa Building in Balboa Park.

MOPA became one of the first museum facilities in the United States exclusively designed to collect and present the finest examples of photographic art, spanning the history of photography from the 19th century to the present day. The museum’s permanent collection offers a rich photographic heritage, both as an expressive medium and a documentary record. The collection’s 7,000-plus images include works by Margaret Bourke-White, Alfred Stieglitz and Ruth Bernhard, among 850 other photographers.

Research Team

Ricardo Nemirovsky

Ricardo Nemirovsky, Professor at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics of San Diego State University
I have led educational projects in Argentina, Mexico, and USA. My teaching includes courses on theories of learning, projective geometry, complex functions, and educational technology. I conduct research and theory development on the interplay between embodied cognition, affects, and mathematics learning. Part of my work focuses on the synergy between art and mathematics. I have been working with several museums in mathematics-oriented projects that combine research, development, and museum staff professional development. In addition to research papers, I have co-authored curricular units and designed multiple devices for students’ use.

Ricardo is the Principal Investigator of the InforMath Project

Molly Kelton

Molly Kelton is a postdoctoral researcher at San Diego State University for the Informal Mathematics Collaborative
I have loved mathematics and its connections to other disciplines since my days as an undergraduate Mathematics major. I have a PhD in Mathematics Education, as well as BA and MS degrees in Mathematics. I have studied and conducted original research in mathematical biology and statistical epidemiology. While completing my PhD in Mathematics Education, I became fascinated by how people use their bodies to engage in mathematical thinking and learning in and across formal and informal learning environments. I have co-authored several publications and given numerous conference presentations on embodied mathematics learning and interactive mathematics exhibitions. I have also helped develop and implement museum-based public programs and professional development workshops related to mathematics.

Molly is a co-Principal Investigator for the InforMath Project.

Paul Siboroski

Paul Siboroski, Exhibits Director at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

With a BA in Graphic Design and an MA in Art History from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Paul Siboroski has served as Director of Exhibits at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center for over thirteen years. In addition he has held positions at the Anniston Museum of Natural History in Anniston, Alabama and the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale, Florida totaling over twenty years of experience in the informal science education field. As co PI on the InforMath project Mr. Siboroski works with the other senior personnel and seminar participants in the design activities and oversees all design and production of participant projects. He also assists in overall project planning and the development and management of all project documentation and dissemination.

As Exhibits Director at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego, Mr. Siboroski is responsible for oversight, development, implementation, and maintenance of all permanent and temporary exhibitions. Mr. Siboroski also oversees staff responsible for maintenance, installation, and interpretation of the Fleet’s collection of hands-on interactive science exhibits, floor demos and related programming. He is also responsible for strategic long range planning, grant development, design and project management related to. Mr. Siboroski is committed to the informal education field and opportunity to partner and share with other organizations.

Paul is a co-Principal Investigator of the InforMath Project

Bohdan Rhodehamel

Bohdan Rhodehamel, Mathematics educator at the Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education (SDSU), Southwestern College, and Woodbury University

I have taught courses ranging from arithmetic to trigonometry and teacher education. I have worked on research projects investigating how people learn ratio and linear and quadratic functions, the tangibility of teaching and learning mathematics, and informal mathematics learning in museums. More recently my work has focused on the design, development, fabrication, and study of mathematical teaching and learning tools that more overtly require bodily interaction. This includes the development of learning activities that seek to integrate mathematics and the arts.

Bohdan is a member of the SDSU research team for InforMath

Cierra Rawlings

Cierra Rawlings, Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education (SDSU)
Cierra is a member of the SDSU research team for InforMath

Patti Saraniero

Patti Saraniero, Ed.D. is principal of Moxie Research, a program-evaluation and consulting practice that collaborates with arts, cultural and education organizations

I work on large- and small-scale projects to identify and address questions in arts, culture, and education that lead to effective programs and experiences. I ran the education programs at La Jolla Playhouse and the Old Globe Theatre and worked as a stage manager off-Broadway and at a number of regional theatres around the country. I teach in the Non-Profit Leadership and Management graduate program at University of San Diego and in the graduate theatre program at University of California San Diego. I currently serve as board president of the San Diego Cooperative Charter Schools.

Patti is the project evaluator for InforMath

Kristen Mihalko

Kristen Mihalko, Program & Communication Manager for the Balboa Park Learning Institute, a program of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership

Kristen has four years of experience in program and curriculum development and facilitation and one year of experience with communications and social media in non-profits. After graduating from college in 2009, she moved back to San Diego and began volunteering at the San Diego Zoo in the Education Department. Soon after, she began working as the Children’s Activities Coordinator with the YWCA of San Diego County and implemented programs such as therapy art and music through strategic partnerships with outside organizations. She then moved on to the Armed Services YMCA San Diego as a Program Leader where she quickly moved up in responsibility by becoming the PR Liaison for the Family and Youth Enrichment Department and then being promoted to Program Coordinator. Kristen is an advocate for career development and personal growth and is excited to use the skills she has learned along the way as well as continuing to learn and grow at the BPCP. Kristen holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in Family Resources with a certificate in Women’s Studies and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Communications from National University.

Kristen serves as an administrator for the InforMath project.

Stephania Villar

Stephania Villar, Social Media Coordinator for the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership

Stephania is a huge advocate of community outreach and engagement and joins the Partnership to assist with Maker Faire, Explorer, and other BPCP events and programs. Having earned a BA in History from Pitzer College and an MA in Public History from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she has previously worked for the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the San Diego Air & Space Museum, and Coronado Historical Association and is also an active member of Rising Arts Leaders. She’s a big lover of stories, food, travel, and “the Internets”.

Stephania serves as the social media coordinator for the InforMath project.

Project Participants

Johanna Benson

Johanna Benson, Education and Outreach Manager at Mingei International Museum

Johanna began her work in museums at the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego in 2000, after which she completed her BA in Art History from San Francisco State University in 2004, followed by three years at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York City. As Mingei International Museum’s Education and Outreach Manager, a position she has held since 2009, Johanna oversees all educational programs for students and teachers, families and adults. This includes all exhibition-related programs and workshops, museum tours, supervising and training the Museum’s volunteer docents, curriculum development, school and community outreach programs and developing content for in-gallery educational interpretation. In addition, Johanna is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree at the University of San Diego in Nonprofit Leadership and Management.

Johanna is one of Mingei International Museum’s participants in the InforMath project

Lucera Gallegos

Lucera Gallegos, Outreach Coordinator at Mingei International Museum

I design and implement arts based lessons for a variety of academic and informal learning spaces for Mingei International Museum’s School and Family Programs. Since 2009, I have created and implemented a variety of exhibition inspired projects into dozens of San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) and Escondido Unified School District (EUSD) classrooms reaching hundreds of students annually. As Outreach Coordinator, I oversee the Museum’s community involvement from local cultural festivals, workshops for Girl Scouts, student art exhibitions and our monthly Family Sunday event. I work closely with Mingei’s docents to develop strategic and engaging questioning strategies during school tours and the Graphic design team to create fun and purposeful Treasure Hunts for our young audiences. As an art educator I view art as the vehicle to inspire learning in many subject areas and love to explore those avenues of discovery with students.

Lucera is one of Mingei International Museum’s participants in the InforMath project

Ashanti Davis

Ashanti Davis, Tinkering Studio Coordinator at Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

Ashanti joined the Fleet Science Center in 2014 as a Tinkering Studio Coordinator, where she has had an opportunity to explore STEAM and innovation with visitors of all ages. She has a background in Arts, Design, and Media, receiving her BA in Creative Arts and Communications: Art, Design, and Media with Combined Studies in 2009 from Richmond the American International University, London, England. In addition to her studies she has worked in both the local arts nonprofit sector and the commercial retail. She developed and is responsible for the implementation of the Tinkering Studio’s fee-based programs, which include the Tinkerers’ Club, launching mid-2014, Introduction to 3D Printing and CAD Drawing and STEAM Shops launching mid-2015, and Maker Hour launching summer 2016. In the 2015-2016 year of the Informath Grant, Ashanti curated Taping Shape, an abstract sculptural installation of Art, Science and Math which opened January 2016 as an exhibition developed collaboratively for the Fleet Science Center.

Ashanti is one of Reuben H. Fleet Science Center’s participants in the InforMath project

Ashley Atwell

Ashley Atwell, Senior Science Educator at Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

As an undergraduate, and as someone equally interested in both science and education, I majored in both Biology and Secondary Education. I became involved in after-school science clubs, summer day and sleep-away camps, ecological field research, and genomics laboratory work. I continued my interest in ecological, behavioral, and evolutionary sciences in graduate school for my Masters. While working on my thesis, I also stayed involved in education by TAing freshman introductory biology courses and creating and implementing an after-school science club for middle school students. I currently teach workshops, outreaches, camps, and after-school science clubs for the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center.

Ashley is one of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center participants in the InforMath project

Akiko Hicks

Akiko Hicks, Tinkering Studio Coordinator at Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

Akiko joined the Reuben Fleet Science Center as a volunteer gallery facilitator in 2012 and began working as a Tinkering Studio Coordinator in 2015. Akiko has a background in Computer Science, receiving BS in Math/Computer Science from UCLA and working as a programmer before retiring to become a full-time mom. Akiko is interested in learning by problem solving and enjoys communicating science related topics to the general public.

Akiko is one of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center participants in the InforMath project

Chantal Lane

Chantal Lane, Youth Programs Manager at Museum of Photographic Arts

Chantal Lane serves as the Youth Programs Manager at the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in San Diego, California. She oversees the Museum’s K-12 and family programming, which focuses on photography and lens-based art and uses visual literacy as a broad platform. She has been involved in the Arts Education community in San Diego since 2003, working with MOPA, The California Center for the Arts, The New Children’s Museum, and UCSD. Throughout her career, she has developed arts education programs and courses responding to audiences from Pre-kindergarten through adult. Chantal received her BA in Professional Photography with an emphasis in Motion Picture Production from Brooks Institute of Photography in 2001.

Chantal is one of the Museum of Photographic Arts participants in the InforMath project

Kevin Linde

Kevin Linde, Museum of Photographic Arts
Kevin is one of the Museum of Photographic Arts participants in the InforMath project


Judit Hersko, M.F.A.

Associate Professor, San Marcos State University, School of Arts

Judit Hersko is an installation artist who received her Master of Fine Arts degree from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 1989. Since then her work has been featured in numerous (over 45) exhibitions in the United States and Europe. In 1991, she was a visiting artist at the Women’s Museum in Bonn, Germany and in 1997 she represented her native Hungary at the Venice Biennale. Her work has been shown in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Spain, and in many cities around the United States including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and San Diego. In 1995, she received an Artslink Collaborative Grant and in 1998/99 she won a California Arts Council Visual Arts Fellowship in Sculpture. In 2005 and 2006 she was invited as a fellow to the Lucas Artists Residency Program at Montalvo. She has several pieces in museum collections, for example, at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Ludwig Museum in Budapest. Her work has been the subject of many publications including articles in Sculpture Magazine and Art in America. She is an Associate Professor in the School of Arts at California State University San Marcos where she initiated the art and science project in 2004. Her collaborations with scientists have resulted in exhibitions that visualize science and climate change through art such as “Shifting Baselines” that was selected for the exhibition “Weather Report: Art and Climate Change” curated by Lucy Lippard at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (fall 2007). “Shifting Baselines” was also named one of the top 10 exhibitions of the year 2006 in the San Diego area by Union Tribune art critic Robert Pincus. Hersko travelled to Antarctica as the recipient of the National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists and Writers Grant (2008/09).

Kathleen Heid

Distinguished Professor of Mathematics Education, Penn State

Dr. Heid is co-PI of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Mathematics Teaching and Learning, one of the first Centers for Learning and Teaching funded by the National Science Foundation. She is Editor of the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education. Dr. Heid has served on the Board of Governors for the Mathematical Association of America and on the Board of Directors for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. She was co-director, with Dr. Rose Mary Zbiek, of the NSF-funded CAS-Intensive Mathematics curriculum project. She has co-edited, with Dr. Glendon Blume, internationally authored volumes on Research on Technology and the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics. Dr. Heid’s research interests center on the mathematical understandings needed by secondary mathematics teachers, on mathematical thinking, on the impact of technology on the teaching and learning of mathematics, and on the creation and investigation of technology-intensive mathematics curricula.

Rogers Hall

Professor and Chair, Dept. of Teaching & Learning, Vanderbilt University

Rogers Hall’s research concerns the learning and teaching of mathematics, both as a school topic and as a resource for modeling and inference in scientific inquiry, studies of learning in and out of school, comparative studies of mathematical activity in school and work settings, and (most generally) the organization and development of representational practices in technical and scientific work. Hall completed his Ph.D. in Information and Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine, then taught for ten years at UC Berkeley before joining the Vanderbilt faculty. He has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences (Stanford University, 2007-2008), the UC Humanities Research Institute (2001), and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (1999). He has also been a NAE/Spencer Foundation and McDonnell foundation postdoctoral fellow (1996-1997). Selected publications include “Talk and conceptual change at work” (Mind, Culture and Activity, 19, 2012, with I. Horn), “Modalities of engagement in mathematical activity and learning (Journal of the Learning Sciences, 21, 2012, with R. Nemirovsky), “Conducting vide research in the learning sciences” (Journal of the Learning Sciences, 19, 2010, with S. Derry and colleagues), “How does cognition get distributed? Case studies of making concepts general in technical and scientific work” (In M. Banich & D. Caccamise (Eds.), Generalization of knowledge: Multidisciplinary perspectives, Psychology Press, 2010, with K. Wieckert and K. Wright), “Conceptual learning” (In T. Good (Ed.), 21st century education: A reference handbook, 2008, Sage, with J. Greeno), and “Expanding the disciplinary expertise of the middle school mathematics classroom” (Journal of the Learning Sciences, 17(3), 2008, with S. Jurow and J. Ma).

Jay Lemke

Senior Research Scientist
Adjunct Professor of Communication at the University of California, San Diego, in the Laboratory for Comparative Human Cognition

He was previously Professor at the University of Michigan, working in the Ph.D. programs in Science Education, Learning Technologies, and Literacy Language and Culture, and Professor and founding Executive Officer of the Ph.D. Program in Urban Education at the City University of New York. His research interests span all these fields and work in social theory and social semiotics, discourse analysis, video analysis, multimedia studies, games research, and most recently Design Research and the role of feeling in making meaning.

J. Shipley Newlin

Program Director, Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Mathematics, Science Museum of Minnesota

J. has 40 years experience in museum education and exhibit development. His career has included tenures at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia (1973-1983) and the New York Hall of Science (1984-1986). At the Science Museum, J. was the project director for the development of the Experiment Gallery and for the series of eleven acclaimed “Experiment Benches” funded by the National Science Foundation’s Informal Science Education program in the early ’90s. He has led the development of such projects as Atmospheric Explorations, Handling Calculus, Wild Music, and Math Moves! J. is a product of the “Great Books Program” at St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD and continues pursuing a broad interest in the history and philosophy of science, mathematics, literature, and music.

Mary Elizabeth de Freitas

Associate Professor, Adelphi University

Elizabeth de Freitas is an Associate Professor at Adelphi University in the Ruth S. Ammon School of Education, cross-appointed to the Adolescent Education Program and the Educational Technology Program. Her research spans the field of education and social inquiry, with particular focus on the role of theory and philosophy in research design and methodology. She has published extensively on cultural studies of mathematics and mathematics education, with recent interest in new materialist approaches to the study of teaching and learning. She is co-author of the book “Mathematics and the Body: Material Entanglements in the Classroom” (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and co-editor of the book “Opening the Research Text: Critical Insights and In(ter)ventions into Mathematics Education” (Springer Verlag, 2008). She is an Associate Editor of the journal “Educational Studies in Mathematics”. She has published over 50 articles and chapters on a range of educational topics such as teacher identity, narrative inquiry, museum pedagogies, classroom discourse, social semiotics, school architecture, critical pedagogy, curriculum studies and research methods. Recent publications include How Theories of Perception Deploy the Line: Reconfiguring Students’ Bodies through Topo-philosophy (Educational Theory, 2014), The Mathematical Event: Mapping the Axiomatic and Problematic in School Mathematics (Studies in Philosophy and Education, 2013), and The Classroom as Rhizome: New Strategies for Diagramming Knotted Interactions (Qualitative Inquiry, 2012).

Current Projects

Taping Shape Gallery

The Fleet Science Center was inspired by their topology work during InforMath Labs. Learn about their project involving math, topology, and TAPE!

ColLABorations Gallery

The ColLABoration Sessions allow for creative thinking and problem solving between two museums, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and Museum of Photographic Arts.