In Memoriam: James W. Wilson

  • December 22, 2022

    In Memoriam: James W. Wilson

    James W. Wilson

    It is with sadness that we announce the passing of James W. Wilson, who will be remembered for his significant influence on the mathematics education community, leadership and research nationally and internationally. Wilson was a 2001 recipient of the NCTM Lifetime Achievement Award.

    Wilson joined the Mathematics Education department at the University of Georgia in 1968 and became the head of the department the following year, a role he held for 24 years. Wilson also served as the Graduate Coordinator for the Mathematics Education at the University of Georgia for 32 years. His devotion to and support of doctoral education in the field is reflected in the 60 doctoral students he supported as their major professor in receiving advanced degrees and the many others he supported on their committees or through the department.

    Wilson's seminal scholarly contributions to mathematics education have focused on problem solving, assessment, and technology. His work in 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.

    Wilson's love of mathematical problems and problems solving coupled with the potential of technology pushed his interest toward the impact of computer visualizations on mathematical reasoning and problem solving.     

    A leader in research, Wilson was third editor of NCTM's Journal for Research in Mathematics Education and he raised its recognition and prominence in the field.  He served on the NCTM Board of Directors, and he was at the forefront of work in defining the role and use of technology in mathematics learning and teaching for the Council. 

    He will be greatly missed by the NCTM and mathematics education communities.