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Nicole Panorkou

Associate Professor, Mathematics

BSc, University of Cyprus
MSc, University of Warwick
PhD, University College London, Institute of Education
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Nicole Panorkou, an Associate Professor in the department of Mathematics, completed her PhD in Mathematics Education at the UCL Institute of Education. Nicole's thesis was a phenomenographic study of students' experiences of dimension in geometry. After earning her PhD, Nicole was awarded a Fulbright scholarship and worked as a post-doctoral researcher in multiple NSF-funded projects as part of the GISMO team at North Carolina State University. She contributed to the development of the resource that maps the CCSS-M into learning trajectories, and she was also one of the instructors of the MOOC-Ed (Massive Open Online Courses for Educators) on learning trajectories and the CCSS-M. Currently, she is a PI and a Co-PI on projects funded by the Spencer Foundation, the National Academy of Education, and the National Science Foundation.


Nicole's research interests include the study of students' constructions and reorganizations of mathematical reasoning and integrated STEM reasoning, the design of innovative learning environments that utilize the affordances of technology, and a focus on the ways that technology and modeling can foster the utility of mathematical concepts.



Research Projects

Designing an Equitable Approach to Multiplicative Reasoning through Dynamic Measurement for Area (DYME-A)

This project uses technology as both a pedagogical tool and a democratizing force to expand student access to the mathematics of area measurement and multiplication and support meaningful connections between these topics and students’ everyday lives. The project builds on prior work with Dynamic Measurement for Area (DYME-A), a reimagined approach that engages students in exploring models of area as a dynamic sweep of a line segment over a distance. This approach showed to support students’ multiplicative reasoning about area as a continuous quantity that can dynamically change based on two linear measures: length and width. Findings also showed DYME-A’s potential for supporting students’ reasoning of multiplication and division. To make the DYME-A approach accessible to a diverse population of students, this project aims to expand it to multiplication of whole numbers in fourth grade through the design of dynamic area models that honors students’ culturally relevant and context-appropriate learning experiences.

The ACMES project: Assimilating Computational and Mathematical Thinking into Earth and Environmental Science

This project will design, develop, and study the effects of instructional modules that integrate computational and mathematical thinking with the Earth and environmental sciences in grades 5-7. The project will pursue the following objectives:
(1) Design and implement instructional modules that integrate computational and mathematical thinking into the Earth and environmental sciences in Grades 5, 6 and 7;
(2) Study and refine the instructional modules to monitor effects on student learning;
(3) Develop and conduct teacher professional development activities that support the integration of computational and mathematical thinking into the Earth and environmental sciences;
(4) Investigate teacher experiences and perceptions of integrating computational thinking into instruction for the purpose of learning how to support teachers in implementing these instructional practices; and
(5) Build a digital support platform to facilitate the development and use of the instructional modules and professional development and the proposed research.

This project is funded by the National Science Foundation.

The DYME-V project: Exploring volume measurement dynamically

Aiming to resolve students’ difficulties and help them develop a conceptual understanding of volume, this study explores an innovative way for students to experience volume measurement, what we refer to as Dynamic Measurement for Volume (DYME-V). DYME-V engages students in building 3D objects through dynamic experiences of ‘sweeping’ lengths and ‘extruding’ areas, constructing in that way a meaning of volume as a continuous structure that can dynamically change based on three linear measures: length, width and height.

This project is funded through a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation postdoctoral fellowship.

The DYME project: Developing Students’ Thinking of Dynamic Measurement

This project is a design study exploring a dynamic approach to teaching and learning measurement, which seems to be a promising approach to developing conceptual images of area and volume formulas. Dynamic measurement (DYME) involves engaging students in dynamic experiences of generating 2D surfaces and 3D shapes by iteratively composing lower-dimensional objects. The project is exploring:
a) the nature of tasks and tools that may be used for developing students’ DYME reasoning,
b) the forms of DYME reasoning that can be seen to develop as students engage with these tasks,
c) how students’ DYME thinking may support the development of meanings for the area and volume formulas, and
d) how DYME can be integrated into the existing teaching and learning of measurement.

The DYME project is funded by the Spencer Foundation.