James Wilson has influenced teachers and their instruction through his classes, national projects, writings, and leadership and as the major professor for 41 doctoral students. "The national legacy of students who have been guided into their lifelong research careers by Jim is truly amazing," noted one nominator.
At the time of this writing, Wilson is professor of mathematics education at the University of Georgia, where he served as head of the mathematics education department for 24 years. His seminal scholarly contributions to mathematics education have focused on problem solving, assessment, and technology.
Wilson's work in the area of assessment was groundbreaking. The influence of his chapter in Formative and Summative Evaluation of Student Learning (Bloom, Hastings, and Madaus 1971) helped form the curricular framework of important state, national, and international assessments, including the National Assessment of Educational Progress. As a member of NCTM's Board of Directors, Wilson often focused on assessment.
A leader in research, Wilson was editor of NCTM's Journal for Research in Mathematics Education and helped raise it to its current prominence. He also was at the forefront of work on using technology in the teaching and learning of mathematics.