Richard Lesh (or Dick Lesh, as he is commonly known to colleagues and friends) is a professor of learning sciences, cognitive science, and mathematics education at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. He retired from the IU system in 2012. He graduated from Indiana University in 1971 with a Ph.D. in mathematics, cognitive psychology, and statistics for research in the social sciences. He is also a graduate of Hanover College, where he received a B.A. in mathematics and physics.
Lesh is the originator of the Models and Modeling Perspectives  research area of Mathematics education and as the creator of the model-eliciting activity, which is designed to help reveal thinking processes to students, teachers, and researchers. In his work life, Dick Lesh has worked at a variety of career positions, including as a National Science Foundation official, dean and professor at Northwestern University, principal research scientist at Educational Testing Services, and endowed professor at both Purdue University and Indiana University, where he tried to develop various alternative assessment techniques that could be used to detect learning traditional assessment strategies did not. Yet despite these accomplishments, he is probably best noted and most memorable for his teaching of countless students and for his hobbies which include playing the harmonica and the didgeridoo and for having started the blues band Professing Bull.
Major areas of research
- Foundations for the Future
- Multi-Tier Design Study – a form of Design-Based Research described by Kelly, Lesh, and Baek involving researchers and evolving experts, teachers, and students all in the process of revising their models.
- Research in Models and Modeling Perspectives
- Lesh, Richard A.; Doerr, Helen (2003). Beyond Constructivism.
- Lesh, Richard A.; Hamilton, Eric; Kaput, James J. (2007). Foundations for the Future in Mathematics Education.