Skip to main content
Equity. Access. Excellence.

Photo of UriPhone: 512.232.2271

Philip Uri Treisman is a University Distinguished Teaching Professor, professor of mathematics, and professor of public affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. He is the founder and executive director of the University’s Charles A. Dana Center, an organized research unit of the College of Natural Sciences.

Uri is active in the leadership of organizations working to improve American mathematics education. He is a founding member of Transforming Post-Secondary Education in Mathematics and serves as the representative of the American Mathematical Society to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Education, Section Q). He launched the Dana Center Mathematics Pathways, an initiative to modernize entry-level college mathematics programs through working with states and colleges. He created the Urban Mathematics Leadership Network, which supports statewide mathematics leadership teams in America’s largest urban school districts.

Uri has served as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Education Commission of the States since 2013. He also serves as chairman of the Strong Start to Finish Campaign, a joint initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation that works nationally to ensure all students get a strong start in their first year of college and finish with the skills they need to thrive. He has served on the STEM working group of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, on the 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges of the American Association of Community Colleges, and on the Commission on Mathematics and Science Education of the Carnegie Corporation of New York Institute for Advanced Study.

His research and professional interests span mathematics and science education, education policy, social and developmental psychology, and community service and volunteerism.

Dana Center Role

In addition to his national work, Uri is responsible for setting the Center’s vision, overall direction, and strategy. He is actively engaged in the design of new Center initiatives and chairs the Center’s senior leadership team.

Before Joining the Dana Center

Uri was the E.M. Lang Visiting Professor of Mathematics and Social Change at Swarthmore College and a senior leader of the Professional Development Program—an initiative of the Special Opportunity Program of the University of California Academic Senate, Berkeley Division.


Uri earned a B.S. in Mathematics, summa cum laude, from the University of California at Los Angeles, after studying horticulture and mathematics in several Los Angeles-area community colleges. He earned an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, where he studied both mathematics and education. Leon Henkin was his doctoral advisor and is the model for his professional career. In all his work, Uri is an advocate for equity and excellence in education for all students.

Selected Awards and Honors

Uri has received numerous honors and awards for his efforts to improve American education. For his research at the University of California at Berkeley on the factors that support high achievement among minority students in mathematics, he received the 1987 Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievement in American Higher Education. In 1992, he was named a MacArthur Fellow.

  • Catalyst for Educational Change Award, E3 Alliance, 2016
  • Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award, 2016
  • AMATYC Mathematics Excellence Award, 2016
  • Ross Taylor/Glenn Gilbert National Leadership Award, National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, 2016
  • Academy of Distinguished Teachers, The University of Texas at Austin, 2015
  • Fellow, International Society for Design and Development in Education, 2015
  • Kay Gilliland Equity Lecture Award, National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, 2015
  • Natural Sciences Council Faculty Service Award, The University of Texas at Austin, 2015
  • Texas Exes Teaching Award, 2011
  • Scientist of the Year, Harvard Foundation, Harvard University, 2006
  • Founder’s Award, AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), 2004
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Center for the Study of Diversity in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 2000
  • Named one of the outstanding leaders in higher education in the 20th century, Black Issues In Higher Education, 1999
  • MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, 1992–1997
  • Outstanding Contribution to Making Mathematics Work for Minorities, Mathematical Sciences Education Board, National Academy of Sciences, 1990
  • Named one of “25 American Innovators on the Cutting Edge” (three in education), Newsweek, 1989
  • Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievement in American Higher Education, 1987
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1969