For more than forty years, Mike Shaughnessy's infectious passion for the teaching and learning of mathematics has inspired mathematics students and teachers. With integrity, and a sense of humor, he has engaged us all in thinking about critically important ideas in mathematics education through his dedicated teaching, research publications, and talks and presentations.
“Mike is a committed teacher educator and mentor,” wrote a friend and colleague. “He is hard working, generous, demanding of excellence, and focused in his efforts to influence the field and to promote scholarship that matters.”
His research is widely recognized for its contributions to students' understanding of chance and data as well as students' geometric thinking. His leadership and mentoring of the next generation of mathematics education scholars has made a lasting impact on the field, and his generosity to graduate students throughout the world has influenced four decades of scholars.
Shaughnessy was a member of the NCTM Board of Directors and served as president of NCTM from 2010-2012. He has authored or co-authored more than 70 publications, including the NCTM publications Navigating Probability Grades 9-12 (2004) and Statistical Questions from the Classroom (2005).
Of special note are his syntheses of research into how students think and learn about probability and statistics, which have appeared in the Handbook of Research on Mathematics Teaching and Learning (1992, 2007), International Handbook of Research in Mathematics Education (1996, 2003), and the International Handbook of Research on Statistics Education (forthcoming). According to one of Shaughnessy's colleagues, “His unselfish sharing of his ideas, time, and energy has built significant bridges across the world in statistics education, as well as the larger field of mathematics education.”
Shaughnessy's many achievements include induction into the Oregon Mathematics Education Hall of Fame, receipt of the U.S. Conference on Teaching Statistics Lifetime Achievement Award, and receipt of Oregon State University awards-the Elizabeth P. Ritchie Distinguished Professor and Carter Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Shaughnessy is currently a professor emeritus in Mathematics and Statistics at Portland State University, where he led the development of their PhD program in mathematics education, and co-principal investigator of a DRK-12 NSF Research and Development grant on mathematics teaching.