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 of the Charles A. Dana Center, which works to ensure that all students, regardless of their life circumstances, have access to an excellent education. Uri was the Center's executive director from its founding until June 2023 when he stepped down from that role.
Uri is active in numerous organizations working to improve American mathematics education. He is a founder and member of the governing board of Transforming Post-Secondary Education in Mathematics. He is a representative of the American Mathematical Society to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Education, Section Q) and is a senior advisor to the Conference Board of Mathematical Sciences Research Advisory Group. In addition, he a member of the Roundtable of Data Science Post-Secondary Education with of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.
Uri has served as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Education Commission of the States since 2013. He is also chairman of the Strong Start to Finish Campaign (and its expert advisory board), a joint initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and Ascendium Education Group that works nationally to ensure that all students get a strong start in their first year of college and finish with the skills they need to thrive. Uri has served on the STEM working group of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges of the American Association of Community Colleges, and the Commission on Mathematics and Science Education of the Carnegie Corporation of New York Institute for Advanced Study.
Uri’s research and professional interests span mathematics and science education, education policy, social and developmental psychology, community service, and volunteerism.
Dana Center Role
As the Center's founder, and executive director for thirty-five years, Uri set the Dana Center’s vision, overall direction, and strategy. He actively engaged in the design of new Center initiatives and chaired the Center’s senior leadership team.
Uri’s early work spurred the development of two landmark programs at the Dana Center. The Academic Youth Development programs help students reshape their academic identities, enhance their engagement in learning, and transform their achievement. The Intensified Algebra program helps struggling Algebra I students achieve their Algebra I credit in a single year. Both programs were built on Uri’s Emerging Scholars Program and decades of successful work by him and his colleagues at the Center and across the nation.
Uri founded the Urban Mathematics Leadership Network and launched the Dana Center Mathematics Pathways. UMLN supported statewide mathematics leadership teams in America’s largest urban K–12 school districts, while the DCMP is a transformative redesign to modernize entry-level college mathematics programs through working with states, systems, universities, and colleges.
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.
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. The following are other key areas of recognition:
- Yueh-Gin Gung and Dr. Charles Y. Hu Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics, Mathematical Association of America (2019)
- Distinguished Senior Fellow, Education Commission of the States (2018)
- Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2017)
- Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, The University of Texas System (2017)
- The President’s Award, Complete College America (2017)
- Catalyst for Educational Change Award, E3 Alliance (2016)
- Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award, The University of Texas at Austin (2016)
- American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges’ 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, The University of Texas at Austin (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 by Black Issues In Higher Education (1999)
- 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) by Newsweek (1989)
- Phi Beta Kappa (1969)
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