Journal of Math Circles

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Angela Antonou is an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of St. Francis. She completed her doctorate work in algebra (specializing in table algebras) at Northern Illinois University in 2014, but recently has enjoyed facilitating undergraduate research and projects. Professionally, some of her favorite activities are working with the mathematics community to help broaden the understanding of mathematics within K-12 students and teachers. This has included work with Math Teachers' Circles, helping to run middle school and high school math camps, and connecting with local teachers to organize and/or run STEM-related events. Outside of work, she can often be found visiting various parks and forest preserves with her family, which includes her husband, two-year-old son, and dog. She is especially inspired by the curiosity of her son, who constantly motivates her to expand her creative capacity.

Dr. Rita Patel is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at College of DuPage. She holds a PhD in mathematics from Northern Illinois University. Her area of focus is mathematics education. Additionally, Dr. Patel has an undergraduate degree in business marketing and management from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Patel is active in college and university service activities. She is a member of the Southwest Chicago Math Teachers’ Circle. She participates in professional service presentations to practicing middle and high school mathematics teachers. Dr. Patel has taught developmental math courses for diverse students from underserved areas and mathematics education courses for pre-service teachers.

Dr. Amanda Harsy is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Lewis University, a four-year, private, Lasallian university located in Romeoville, Illinois, 35 miles southwest of Chicago. She is also part of the leadership team for the Southwest Chicago Math Teachers’ Circle. She enjoys mentoring undergraduate research and has worked with over 35 students on projects involving math education, linear algebra, graph theory, and data science. Dr. Harsy is an active member of the greater mathematical community and has helped organize several MAA mini-courses and Mastery-based grading paper sessions at the Joint Mathematics Meetings and MathFest in addition to serving as the ISMAA's Director of Private Colleges, MAA Sports SIGMAA’s Secretary/Treasurer, and being a faculty mentor for the Math Alliance group.


High-quality professional development for K-12 teachers is a critical need for both teachers and their students. For teachers to provide more engaging and powerful learning opportunities for their students, researchers suggest that we provide similar opportunities for teachers. That is, professional development should model high-impact instructional strategies. Math Teachers' Circles provide one such model for this type of training. In this paper, we discuss the impact on participants of a one-day and participants of a three-day Math Teachers' Circle workshop. In particular, we compare how teacher dispositions regarding the teaching of mathematics and inquiry-based learning changed between the workshops.