Thomas Butts

University Retirees - Science/Math Education
tbutts@utdallas.edu
972-883-2496
FN3218

Professional Preparation

Ph.D. - Mathematics
Michigan State University - 1973
M.S. - Mathematics
Michigan State University - 1967
B.A. - Mathematics/Education
Knox College - 1965

Research Areas

Research Interests

Since 1986, my writing has largely been devoted to textbooks and other resource materials for students and teachers grades 6 - 14. Included are

  • a High School textbook and other materials on Advanced Quantative Reasoning
  • a High School series on Integrated Mathematics,
  • writing activities for "We All Use Math Every Day" - the outreach program for the NUMB3RS TV shows coordinated by Texas Instruments. [Texas Instruments and NCTM have been providing weekly activities based on the hit TV series, NUMB3RS. Before each new episode, a short, ready-to-use mathematics activity for teachers and students has been posted on the CBS Web site]
  • many contributions to Figure This - a national Media Grant of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics,
  • serving three years on the NCTM [National Council of Teachers of Mathematics] Student Math Notes committee.

Speaking at various meetings is a way of interacting with teachers and/or students. Recent talks include :

  • "Teaching Algebra and Geometry Through Problem Solving"
  • "Art of Questioning: Twenty Questions [or More]"
  • "Teaching Mathematics Through Problem Solving: A Personal Perspective"
  • "Conversely Speaking: the Power of Thinking Backward
  • "Using Mathematics: From Cryptography to Catching Criminals

Publications

Advanced Quantitative Reasoning, Mathematics for the World Us, G. Foley, T. Butts, S. Phelps, D. Showalter 2014, 2015, 2017 - Publication
Posing Problems Properly, Defining Mathematics Education, 75th NCTM Yearbook 2013 - Publication
Functions and Algebraic Methods with E. Phillips and M. Shauglmessy, Harper Collins, 2003 - updated version of Intermediate Algebra: Applications and Problem Solving, 2nd ed.1994 2003 - Publication
Integrated Mathematics, Books 1- 3, Senior Authors: Rheta N. Rubenstein, Timothy V. Craine, Thomas R. Butts; [8 additional authors] McDougal Littell, Boston, Massachusetts 1994, 1995, revised 1998, 2001, 2003 1994 - Publication
Guidelines for Teaching Algebra I and II [with 6 others], TEA, 1993 1993 - Publication
Exploring Mathematics, Grades 6 - 8 [3 books], with 7 others, Scott Foresman, 1991, 1994, 1997 1991 - Publication
Problem Solving, Grades 6-8, Module 13,Texas Education Agency, 1988, revision 1991, 166 pages. 1988 - Publication
Algorithm and Number Theory [revised 1998] , World Book Encyclopedia 1988 - Publication
In Praise of Trial and Error, Mathematics Teacher, March 1985, pp. 167-173 1985 - Publication
Problem Solving Sourcebook, Grade 8, with J. Schultz, Scott Foresman, 1985 1985 - Publication

Appointments

Professor emeritus
UTDallas [2011–Present]
NSM
Professor
UTDallas [1995–2011]
NSM
Asst./Assoc. Professor
UTDallas [1981–1995]
NSM
Visiting Assistant Professor
The Ohio State University [1980–1981]
Assistant Professor/Executive Officer
Case Western Reserve University [1975–1981]
Instructor/Acting Assistant Chairman
Michigan State University [1973–1975]

Additional Information

Invited Talks

"Conversely Speaking: the Power of Thinking Backward [talk varies with audience]
NCTM Annual Meeting St. Louis, MO, April, 2006
CAMT: Houston, TX , July, 2006 [featured speaker]
MAA State Conference, UTArlington, April, 2005
Conf. on Mathematics Teaching 6-12, Huntsville, TX Feb. 2004

"Learning Through Questioning
MAA State Conf., Dallas, 2012, CAMT Dallas, 2011 (featured speaker) CAMT: Houston, TX , July, 2006 [featured speaker]

"Teaching Mathematics Through Problem Solving: Algebra and Geometry",
Conf. on the Teaching of Mathematic, Huntsville, TX (Feb.2006)
CAMT, Dallas, TX, July, 2005

Teaching Mathematics Through Problem Solving: A Personal Perspective
Knox College Alumni Mathematics Symposium, Oct. 2005
UTDallas Lifelong Learning Seminar, Sept. 2004

Teaching Mathematical Reasoning: Some of My Favorite Examples [talk varies with audience]
Saturday Morning Math Group, UTAustin 2007, Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching, San Antonio TX, July 2004
National Council of Teachers Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX, April 2003
Conference on Mathematics Teaching 6-12, Huntsville, TX Feb. 2002

"Geometry Problems to Motivate and F ascinate " [talk varies with audience]
Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching, San Antonio TX, July 2004
Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching, Houston, TX, July 2003
Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching, Dallas, TX, July 2002
Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching, Dallas, TX, July 1999

"20 Questions [and More] " [talk varies with audience]
Conf. for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching, Dallas, TX, July, 2005
Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching, San Antonio TX, July 2004
Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching, Houston, TX, July 2003
Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching, Dallas, TX, July 2002

"Mathematical Modeling for Teachers and Students "
Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching, Dallas, TX, July 1999
Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching, Houston, TX, Aug. 1997
Conference for Secondary Mathematics Teaching, Huntsville, January, 1997;
Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching, Dallas, TX, Aug. 1996

"Teaching Problem Solving to Teachers and Other College Students "
Amaual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Orlando, FL, Apr. 1989

Numerous talks in Greater Dallas to teacher groups, student groups, inservice groups. Recent examples include workshops at McKim1ey ISD, Frisco ISD, Ursuline Academy, Bishop Lynch HS, Lake Highlands HS, Covenant School

University and Community Service

University of Texas at Dallas

MATHCOUNTS (2008-2011)> Dallas ISD Math Olympiads, writer [1999 -2009)i>

  • American Junior High School Mathematics Examination [sponsored by MAA, NCTM, and 6 other groups] Chair: [1984 -1990] Advisory panel [1990 - ] Texas State Coordinator [1984 - 1992]
  • American High School Mathematics Examination, Advisory panel [1982 - ]
  • Lancaster Math Olympiads for grades 5 - 8. [2006].
  • Activity writer: "We All Use Math Every Day" - the outreach program for the NUMBBRS TV shows coordinated by Texas Instruments [Oct. 2005]
  • Editor, Student Math Notes committee, NCTM [2004-2005 ] , member [2002 - 2005 ]
  • Member, Content Writing Team for NCTM Media Grant: Figure This - Public Engagement and Understanding Initiative [1998 - 2001]
  • Editor, Mathematical Log, the official journal of Mu Alpha Theta, national high school mathematics honorary society, [1990 - 1997]
  • General Chairman: NCTM Southern Regional Meeting, 1998
  • Member: Program Committee 1988 NCTM Annual Meeting
  • General Chairman: NCTM Southwestern Regional Meeting, 1986
  • Greater Dallas Council of Teachers of Mathematics: vice-president [1985-86]; Contest Committee Chairman [1987], acting president [1995 - 1997, 2001,2004 - ]
  • Member - Mathematical Modeling Action Team, Texas SSI, [1997-8]
  • Reviewer for NSF Teacher Enhancement Section [3 times]
  • Southem Association Evaluator [many times]
  • Science Fair judge [many times]
  • Member - Committee on Qualifications UTD [1989 - 1991]
  • Member - Natural Science Dean's Committee on Persormel [1998 - 1999]
  • Member of advisory panel for several local and state projects
  • Site liaison - Woodrow Wilson Foundation Summer Institutes for Teacher Teaching Teachers Program, [1991 - 1994]
  • Reviewer - Texas Mathematics Teacher [2004 - ]
  • College Mathematics Journal [1998 - ]

Case Westem Reserve Universigg and The Ohio State University

  • Staff member for Ohio Regional Conferences in Mathematics Education - an NSF sponsored series of two-day conferences on problem solving, calculators, and general mathematics [1979 - 1980]

Michigan State University

  • Co-director of the "Seminar in College Teaching" for all new graduate teaching assistants.
  • [1971 - 1975]