Douglas McLeod


  • Ph.D., Mathematics and Mathematics Education, University of Wisconsin
  • M.A., Mathematics, University of Wisconsin
  • B.A., Mathematics, University of North Dakota


I grew up on a farm in North Dakota but never developed the talent to be a farmer. I started teaching mathematics at Texas Southern University in Houston in 1965 and then spent two years at Haile Selassie I University in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as a Peace Corps Volunteer. In 1972 I joined the Mathematics Department at San Diego State, and I have remained on the faculty ever since. However, for three years (1979-81, 2000-01) I was a "rotator" at the National Science Foundation's Research in Science Education program, and for seven years (1986-93) I served as Professor of Mathematics and Education at Washington State University, including two years as a department chair in the College of Education. I also served two years as Director of San Diego State's Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education (CRMSE) during 1996-98.

I started the process of retirement in 2002 and now teach part-time in SDSU's Faculty Early Retirement Program. I also work as a consultant on a variety of research and teacher education projects. Currently I divide my time between San Diego and Goleta, California, where my wife Susan is Professor and Director of the Writing Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Recent research projects have focused on issues of curriculum reform, beliefs, and affect in mathematics education. More information on these projects may be found in the following publications:

(with R. E. Stake, B. P. Schappelle, M. Mellissinos, & M. J. Gierl). Setting the Standards: NCTM's role in the reform of mathematics education. In S. A. Raizen & E. D. Britton (Eds.), Bold Ventures: U.S. Innovations in Science and Mathematics Education. Volume 3: Cases in Mathematics Education (pp. 13-132). Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1996.

(with S. A. Raizen & M. B. Rowe). Changing conceptions of reform. In S. A. Raizen & E. D. Britton (Eds.), Bold Ventures, Volume 1: Patterns among U.S. Innovations in Science and Mathematics Education (pp. 97-129). Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1997.

Affective issues in research on mathematical problem solving. In J. Leinonen (Ed.), Proceedings of the Research Association of Teaching Mathematics and Science (pp. 145-154). Roveniemi, Finland: University of Lapland, 1998.

Mathematical beliefs and curriculum reform. In E. Pehkonen & G. Toerner (Eds.), Mathematical Beliefs and Their Impact on Teaching and Learning (pp. 90-95). Duisburg, Germany: Gerhard Mercator University, 1999.

(with Karen D. King) Coming of age in academe: A review of Mathematics Education as a Research Domain: A Search for Identity, edited by Anna Sierpinska and Jeremy Kilpatrick. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 1999, 30 (2), 227-234.

From consensus to controversy: The story of the NCTM Standards. In G. M. A. Stanic & J. Kilpatrick (Eds.), A History of School Mathematics. Reston, VA: NCTM, in press.

(with S. H. McLeod) Beliefs and mathematics education: Implications for learning, teaching, and research. In G. Leder, E. Pehkonen, & G. Toerner (Eds.), Beliefs: A Hidden Variable in Mathematics Education? (pp. 115-123). Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2002.

From consensus to controversy: The story of the NCTM Standards. In G. M. A. Stanic & J. Kilpatrick (Eds.), A History of School Mathematics (Vol. 1, pp. 753-818). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2003.

If you have an interest in research on affective issues in mathematics education, I would be happy to provide more information about colleagues who are continuing to do research in that area. For an analysis of research on affect and related issues, the recent work of Marja-Liisa Malmivuori is far superior to my 1992 chapter in the Handbook of Research on Teaching and Learning Mathematics. You can find Malmivuori's report on the web at:

My current writing project is an expansion of my work on reform issues in mathematics education. My goal is to produce a book on the NCTM Standards projects.

Other Interests

I have always been interested in music, and I regularly sing bass for various choral groups. One of my favorite groups is Pacific Camerata, a fifteen-member ensemble sponsored by the Foundation for Early Music Performance of San Diego. Pacific Camerata specializes in choral music of the Renaissance.

 Douglas McLeod

Douglas B. McLeod
Professor Emeritus
of Mathematics 

E-Mail: [email protected]