Since 1966, I have been privileged to explore life with my best friend and wife, Lois. Our nightly walks and talks, cooking, baking, going to the theater, are among the activities we enjoy together. We also treasure spending time with our two children and five grandchildren.
among our major passions. Before we even met, Lois spent four months
touring Europe using Frommer's Europe
on Five Dollars a Day as her guide, and I had hitch-hiked around
the United States. In the early years of our
did extensive camping (our honeymoon was six weeks in a VW van
to our travels throughout the
made travel a key feature of our anniversaries. For our 25th we
did our first cruise, a trip through the inside passage from Alaska to
Seattle. For our 30th anniversary, we took a trip to Ecuador
and the Galapagos Islands ('96), and for our 35th, we joined an
('01). For our 40th anniversary we ventured toward the North
Pole/Arctic Circle via the Norwegian Fjords, and then visited Ireland (Arctic, Fjords and Bogs ('06) ).
For our 42nd anniversary we took a cruise to Portugal, Spain and Italy to visit
ports we had never heard of before, and to close out the year we toured
India and the Maldives.
daughter, her husband and three daughters, moved in with us during
in July '09 and moved out June '10. We didn't realize just how
much we missed traveling, so we
booked three trip for the rest of 2010 to places we've never
(May), Fire and
Ice/Greenland and Iceland (July), and Adriatic Sea to Barcelona
(Oct). We maintained a healthy travel schedule ever
since. We have been privileged
six continents (North America, South America, Asia, Europe, Antarctica,
and Australia) and travel on all five of the world's five oceans
(Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern and Arctic). We've also have
presented a very special trip. My daughter Stacy
married a wonderful young man in
2014, Lois and I traveled to Washington DC to attend the Bar Mitzvah of
a cousin, and I contacted a colleague, Evelyn Granville,
I had not seen since the 1980s who lives in that area. We took
Evelyn out to celebrate her 90th birthday (May 1st) In the
course of the weekend, I realized that Evelyn was the single most
important individual influencing the course of my career.
(Evelyn's own truly incredible story is summarized in this short biography.)
My doctoral studies focused on how young children learned
mathematics, a far
cry from my career in computers, but it was a major factor in my
success at the university. Throughout my tenure at UCLA, I was an
educator looking to
integrate technology into the learning process (as oppose to just a
technologist enamored by the latest gadgets). And all this came
about because of a lecture presented by Evelyn.
Both my bachelors (Cal State U, Fresno, 1966) and masters (Cal State U, LA, 1969) were in mathematics, and I was accepted into a doctoral program in mathematics to begin in fall, 1969. However, in spring 1969, I attended a one-hour colloquium presented by a Cal State professor, Evelyn Granville, about her teaching in an inner-city elementary school as part of a program to put professional mathematician into grade school classrooms. That talk changed my future. Instead of starting the doctorate, I spent the next two years as a math specialist teaching at a Compton elementary school and co-authoring a college math textbook for teachers with Evelyn. The book was published in 1975 (and second edition in 1979). My two years working with young children convinced me that mathematics education was a more appropriate academic pursuit than pure math. The agony and joy of my first year in my doctoral program was captured in an article written back in 1973 - Year One - but seems timely to me even today. I completed my Ph.D. in Mathematics Education at UCLA in 1976.
spent the next
couple of years teaching part-time at California State University, Los
and several community colleges, working on the second edition of the
coming to grips with the eye-problem which had been diagnosed in
1974. I have Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease
can leads to
complete blindness. RP is tunnel vision and night blindness,
which is my situation -- I can see only that which is exactly straight
ahead of me. It's
looking through a straw; I cannot see off
to the side nor toward the ground. When I was diagnosed, my
visual field was assessed
degrees (legal blindness s 20 degrees and the time you need to stop
driving). I continued to drive until 1991, when my visual field
was at 25
degrees. I didn't want to cause an accident nor hurt anyone, so
stopped. Giving up that independence was one of the hardest
things to do
given the horrible public transportation in LA. However, I have
lucky as so many wonderful people have gone out of their way to
After completing my doctorate, I had planned to teach part-time and write mathematics textbooks full time. However, I realized with my eye problem that I needed something more permanent, with greater long term security, and a fixed commute rather than driving to several different schools around LA. Thus, when I found the opportunity at UCLA, I jumped! And when I was selected, I celebrated. Thus I begun by full-time career at UCLA in 1978.
My UCLA career was my trip to the moon: it was an exciting and challenging ride. With the ongoing innovations in computer, communication, and information technologies, future leaders need to be comfortable working in complex information intense environments. I was fortunate to be able to contribute to the development of information services in higher education and to enable our school to be a technological leader for many years. Being part of the UCLA community was a great honor.
In 2006 I
the extremely difficult decision to retire (Frand
retires). Little did I know
that my new second career, as a volunteer math teachers, would be as
spectacular and as satisfying as my earning years career.
The school year is very full: Tuesday and Thursday mornings I
teach math enrichment classes, specially mathematical problem solving
strategies, to 4th and 5th grade boys and
girls. The 4th grade is a pull-out, and I have 20 students
selected by their teachers. For 5th grade, I've insisted that I
have a full class of 30 Mathletes as I know that I would never have
been selected for a pull-out program and we just don't know who or how
we are impacting these bright young minds. In the fall I've been
doing a Math4Parents class on Wednesday morning, teaching the basic
material that can help parents help their children with their
homework. In the spring, I have organized and run the LA
County-wide Math Olympiad for 4th and 5th grades. Each March we
have 150 athletes on 30 five-person teams competing. My overall
goal is to stimulate and reward these young people's positive attitude
toward mathematics in the hope to
see them as students at UCLA or other great institutions as a way of
continuing my legacy.
You can reach me
via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.