James Tanton

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James Tanton at Region One ESC

James Stuart Tanton (born August 1, 1966) is a mathematician and math educator. He is a winner of the Kidder Faculty Prize for his teaching at The St. Mark’s Math Institute, scholar at the Mathematical Association of America,[1] author of over ten books on mathematics, curriculum, and education, and creator of videos on mathematics on YouTube. As of February 2020 his approximately 190 videos had earned over 800,000 views.[2]

Education and professional work[edit]

Tanton received his B.A. in mathematics from the University of Adelaide, and he earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Princeton University in 1994, with a thesis in algebraic topology titled A Homological Fibration for Gl [infinity]. He taught at the New College, St. Mary's College of Maryland, and Merrimack College[3] before deciding that, to gain credibility with the high school teachers he hoped to work with, he had to teach high school himself. Tanton taught at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, Massachusetts, from 2002 to 2011.

As a presenter working with Maths Week Ireland, Tanton has worked to create interest in mathematics in schools in both parts of Ireland.[4] Currently he is a visiting scholar at the Mathematical Association of America in Washington, DC.[1]

Selected awards and honors[edit]

  • MathMovesU Math Hero Award for mathematics middle and high school teaching, sponsored by Raytheon Company, 2010[3][5]
  • The Kidder Faculty Prize for teaching at St. Mark’s School, 2006
  • The Mathematical Association of America's Beckenback Book Prize for Solve This: Mathematical Activities for Students and Clubs, 2005 [6]
  • The Mathematical Association of America's Trevor Evans Award for distinguished writing in both 2001 and 2002[7]
  • Homer L. Dodge Award for college teaching excellence at The St. Mary’s College of Maryland, 1999
  • Princeton University Engineering Council Teaching Award, for teaching excellence, 1994

Selected books by Tanton[edit]

Mathematics Galore: The First Five Years of the St. Mark’s Institute of Mathematics, Mathematical Association of America, 2012[3]
The Encyclopedia of Mathematics, Facts on File.2005.
Solve This: Mathematical Activities for Students and Clubs, Mathematical Association of America, 2001.

Self-published texts and curricular material[edit]


  • Volume 1: Arithmetic = Gateway to All
  • Volume 2: Advanced Counting and Advanced Algebra Systems
  • Volume 3: Lines, Circles, Trigonometry and Conics
  • Volume 4: Functions and their Graphs
  • Volume 5: e, i, pi and all that!
  • Volume 6: Calculus

GEOMETRY: Volume I and GEOMETRY: Volume 2
MATHEMATICAL THINKING: Numbers and their Algebra (An advanced course for middle-school students and their teachers.)[3]


  1. ^ a b Baron, Lois (December 2012). "MAA's Visiting Scholars". Walsworth Print Group. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  2. ^ DrJamesTanton (February 4, 2020). "James Tanton" (YouTube). YouTube.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ a b c d "James Tanton vita". Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  4. ^ Maths Week 2020 launches with bumper programme of activity to help people ‘Rethink Maths’ Science Foundation Ireland
  5. ^ Lips, Evan (Aug 19, 2010). "Southborough teacher's accolades add up". The MetroWest Daily News. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  6. ^ "The Mathematical Association of America's Beckenbach Book Prize". Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  7. ^ "The Mathematical Association of America's Trevor Evans Awards". Retrieved December 31, 2012.

External links[edit]