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Richard A. Edwards, Ph.D.

Richard A. Edwards
  • Academic Specialist
  • Mathematics
  • MSU Program in Mathematics Education (PRIME)
  • Holmes Hall, E-25D
  • 919 E. Shaw Lane
  • East Lansing, MI 48825
  • (517) 884-3931


  • LB 492 Senior Seminar
  • LB 327A History of Mathematics
  • LB 220 Calculus III
  • LB 119 Calculus II
  • LB 118 Calculus I
  • MTH 490 Directed Studies in Mathematics
  • MTH 301 Introduction to Higher Mathematics
  • MTH 103 College Algebra
  • STT 231 Statistics for Scientists
  • UGS 200H Experimental Mathematics


Dr. Edwards loves math, and he loves teaching math. He teaches a wide variety of undergraduate mathematics courses, as well as LB 492 (Senior Seminar) and LB 323A (Science in a Global Context). In his research, he studies the interactions between cultural forces, historical events, and mathematical developments. He enjoys teaching from primary historical documents, and telling "the stories behind the formulas" in our textbooks. Edwards is also a member of the faculty in the MSU Graduate Program in Mathematics Education, where he works with doctoral students who are interested in undergraduate mathematics education. In addition, he directs an education abroad program in which students study the history of mathematics in Florence, Paris, and London.


  • Ph.D., Mathematics Education, Michigan State University
  • Master of Arts, Mathematics, Cleveland State University
  • Bachelor of Science, Integrated Mathematics Education, Ashland University


  • 2022 Distinguished Teaching Award, Mathematical Association of America Michigan Section
  • 2020 Redesigning, Evaluating, and Assessing Creativity Tasks (REACT) Calculus Fellow - Creativity Research Group
  • 2018 Study Abroad Program Development Grant ($10,000) ACCENT International
  • 2012 University Distinguished Fellowship ($25,000 annually for four years) College of Natural Science - Michigan State University
  • 2010 Lewis Educational Research and Educational Collaborative Grant ($10,000) - NASA Glenn Research Center


My research is focused on instructor use of primary historical sources in undergraduate mathematics courses, as well as the history of mathematics more broadly. I am part of the multi-university project "TRansforming Instruction in Undergraduate Mathematics via Primary Historical Sources" to assist faculty who wish to teach with primary source projects. Recently I have begun exploring the potential of this teaching method to bridge discursive gaps between instructors and students. My research into the history of mathematics is largely focused on early calculus developments on the Italian peninsula during the 16th and 17th centuries.

  • TRansforming Instruction in Undergraduate Mathematics via Primary Historical Sources (TRIUMPHS). Principle Investigator: Kathleen Clark (Florida State University). Site tester/curriculum designer. Designing and testing mathematics curriculum based on primary historical sources and collecting student data.
  • Quantitative Literacy Project, Michigan State University. Principle Investigator: Dr. Vince Melfi. Research Assistant/Curriculum Designer. Leading an interdisciplinary team of graduate students to design, write, and implement two new quantitative literacy courses for non-STEM majors at a large research institution.
  • Connected Mathematics Project (Third Edition). Michigan State University. Authors: G. Lappan, E.D. Phillips, J.T. Fey & S.N. Friel. Developmental Assistant. Revising and developing middle school mathematics textbooks, designing appropriate assessments, creating educational videos for Pearson Educational Corporation.  
  • Preparing to Teach Algebra (PTA) Project. Michigan State University. Principal Investigator: Dr. Sharon Senk. Research Assistant. Data analysis, data coding, development of theoretical framework, transcription of interviews for a large-scale assessment of algebra teacher preparation across multiple colleges and universities.


  • Edwards, A., & Komosinski, B. (2022). Tetration: Iterative Enjoyment. The College Mathematics Journal, 53(3), 209-219.
  • Edwards, R.A. (2021). Stained Glass, Windmills, and the Edge of the Universe: An Exploration of Green’s Theorem. TRansforming Instruction in Undergraduate Mathematics via Primary Historical Sources. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.ursinus.edu/triumphs_calculus/18/
  • Edwards, R.A. and Savoie, M. (January, 2020). A Mathematical History Tour: Reflections on a Study Abroad Program. Convergence, Retrieved from https://www.maa.org/press/periodicals/convergence/a-mathematical-history-tour-reflections-on-a-study-abroad-program.
  • Edwards, R.A. , Satyam, V., Melfi, V. (2019). Yes, but is it rigorous?” Similarities Between a Quantitative Literacy Course and Transitions to Formal Mathematics in Kiraali, G., Piercey, V., and Tunstall, L. (Eds.) Shifting Contexts, Stable Core: Advancing Quantitative Literacy in Higher Education (pp. 115-127). Mathematical Association of America.
  • Edwards, R. A. (2016). Permutations, Combinations, and Circular Seating Arrangements. Mathematics Teacher, 110(3), 232-236.
  • Edwards, R.A., Krause, A., Wassink, B., & Piercey, V. (2016). Quantitative Literacy at Michigan State University, 3: Designing General Education Mathematics Courses. Numeracy, 9(2), 6.


Personal website

Curriculum vitae