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Member Profile

Al Cuoco


  • Higher Ed: Mathematics 


Al Cuoco is the lead author of CME Project, a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded high school curriculum published by Pearson. Recently, he served as part of a team that revised the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (CBMS) recommendations for teacher preparation and professional development.

Cuoco is carrying out several professional development streams of work devoted to the implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) Standards for Mathematical Practice. Through the MPI, he and his colleagues have launched a new course for teachers and facilitators, Developing Mathematical Practice in High School.

He co-directs Focus on Mathematics, a partnership among universities, school districts, and EDC that has established a community of mathematical practice involving mathematicians, teachers, and mathematics educators. The partnership evolved from his 25-year collaboration with Glenn Stevens on Boston University's PROMYS for Teachers, a professional development program for teachers based on an immersion experience in mathematics. He also co-directs the development of the course for secondary teachers in the Institute for Advanced Study program at the Park City Mathematics Institute.

Cuoco is a co-author of three books published by the American Mathematical Society: Famous Functions in Number Theory, Applications of Algebra and Geometry to the Work of Teaching, and Probability through Algebra. In 2013, Cuoco and colleague Joseph J. Rotman co-authored the book, Learning Modern Algebra: From Early Attempts to Prove Fermat's Last Theorem (published by the Mathematical Association of America-MAA). Other recent books include Mathematical Connections: A Companion for Teachers and Others (also published by the MAA), Reasoning and Sense Making in Algebra (co-authored with Karen Graham and Gwen Zimmermann, published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics). His favorite publication is a 1991 paper in the American Mathematical Monthly, described by his wife as "an attempt to explain a number system that no one understands with a picture that no one can see."

Recently, Cuoco was elected to the Board of Directors for Math for America-Boston and to the Advisory Board for the mathematics department at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Previous advisory roles included membership on the Massachusetts Board of Education's Mathematics and Science Advisory Council and participation in the team that provided background research to the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) Content Frameworks for high school mathematics. Cuoco also provided background research to the writers of the CCSSM and the PARCC Content Frameworks for high school mathematics.

Prior to joining EDC, Cuoco taught high school mathematics to a wide range of students in the Woburn, Massachusetts public schools from 1969 until 1993. He draws constantly on his experience both as a mathematician and a teacher in his work in curriculum development, professional development, and education policy.

A student of Ralph Greenberg, he holds a PhD in mathematics from Brandeis, with a thesis and publications in Iwasawa theory. 



Goldenberg, E.P., and Cuoco, A. The mathematical preparation of elementary school teachers. (In press.) In Li, Y. Lewis, W.J., Madden, J. (Eds.) Mathematics Matters in Education Series.

Winger, A., Young, M., Stovall, I., Cuoco, A., Badertscher, E., Gates, M., MacDowell, U., & Sword. S. (to appear). Mathequity Hours: Fostering Wholeness in a Mathematics Learning Community. In Gutierrez, R. & I. Goffney (Eds.), Annual Perspectives in Mathematics
Education: Rehumanizing Mathematics for Students who are Black, Indigenous, and/or Latin@/x. Reston, VA: NCTM.

Sword, S., Matsuura, R., Cuoco, A., Kang, J., & Gates, M. (to appear). Leaning on Mathematical Habits of Mind. Mathematics Teacher.

Cuoco, A. and W. McCallum. (in press) ``The Double Continuity of Algebra'' . Invited Lectures from ICME 13.

Cuoco, A. and W. McCallum. (2017) ``Curricular Coherence in Mathematics'' in Mathematics Matters in Education, Springer