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Paul Dawkins

Associate Professor
Faculty Profile

Office: Elliott B323
Phone: 512.245.4030
Research Interest
Proof-Oriented Education

Dr. Dawkins earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2009 under the direction of James Alvarez. His dissertation work focused on student apprenticeship into defining practices in an inquiry-oriented real analysis classroom. His subsequent research has continued to focus on mathematical practices, inquiry-oriented instruction, and proof-oriented mathematics. Other projects have focused on axiomatizing in geometry as well as language and logic in introduction to proof. Many of Dr. Dawkins’ experiments use guided reinvention to design novel instructional sequences. By observing how students may be guided to reinvent key mathematical ideas, one can learn about the cognitive shifts that are necessary for learning.

I have always enjoyed mathematics because of the challenge and the reward of finding new ways to think about rich problems. I enjoy trying to think generally and systematically, as people often try to do in philosophy, but only in mathematics does such systematic reasoning from meaning find its perfect expression. My interest in mathematics  got better when I learned I could spend my life thinking about how people think about mathematics, and I have been obsessed with mathematical cognition ever since.