Picture of Bernard L. Madison

Bernard L. Madison

Professor of Mathematics

University of Arkansas

Bernard L. Madison's website

Bernard L. Madison is a mathematician and mathematics educator with experience in research, teaching, university administration, and science policy. He currently directs national efforts on assessment of student achievement (http://www.maa.org/SAUM), articulation between school and college mathematics, and on the mathematical education of teachers (http://www.maa.org/PMET). In addition, he is part of a team aiming at improving quantitative literacy education (http://www.woodrow.org/nced). Madison began his career at Louisiana State University where for 13 years he was active in publishing mathematics research and teaching. In 1979, he accepted the position as Professor and Chair of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Arkansas. Ten years later he was appointed Dean of the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at Arkansas, a position he held until 1999. During 2001 he is Visiting Mathematician at the Mathematical Association of America in Washington, DC. From 1985-90 he structured and directed Mathematical Sciences in the Year 2000 at the National Research Council, including the national colloquium, Calculus for a New Century. He has held several positions with the College Board's AP Program, including Calculus Chief Reader and member of the National Commission on the Future of the AP Program. He holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics and physics from Western Kentucky University and masters and doctoral degrees in mathematics from the University of Kentucky.

Personal: Bernie is a first-generation college student who grew up in rural Kentucky, beginning his education in a one-room school at Sinking Springs. He is married to Sue Wood Madison, who has held various public service offices in Arkansas and is currently a member of the Arkansas Senate. They have a son, Blair, and a daughter, Eva, who is married to David Pieper.

Relevant Experience: Bernie has been involved in national efforts to reform undergraduate mathematics curricula for the past 20 years. His efforts include directing Mathematical Sciences in the Year 2000, reforming AP Calculus as a member of the development committee and as Chief Reader, promoting assessment of student learning, and reforming the mathematical preparation of teachers.

Assessment: The burden of a name
"Thrust onto the US higher education scene in the final two decades of the twentieth century, assessment continues to suffer mightily from misunderstanding, much of it because of the burden of its name. The other weighty contributor to this misunderstanding is assessment's cadre of early promoters – administrators, governing boards, accrediting agencies, and legislatures...So the lines were drawn and assessment has struggled against these misunderstandings to gain both respectability and usefulness in US higher education."
Disciplinary challenges to setting general learning goals
Faculty are challenged faculty to think about their personal responsibility to connect to other disciplines. As a mathematician, the author's comments suggest continued attention to the initiatives within the math community posted in the May 7th postings of Volume IV.