The book, written by Kung and colleague Natasha Speer (associate professor of mathematics at the University of Maine) explores student thinking in mathematics and guides teachers to be able to anticipate student difficulties and help to refine their reasoning. Organized by mathematics courses, the book details an array of common student errors in understanding mathematics, all taken from the mathematics education research literature. It offers a variety of ways to approach particular mathematic problems and to correctly diagnose the source of student misunderstanding, all through engaging activities that will leverage likely ways students think about mathematics.
Kung and Speer have collaborated together for many years in jointly publishing papers, writing grant proposals and presenting workshops. The book represents their longest collaboration, the result of 16 years of work. “Reviewing the results of over 200 studies was an immense undertaking,” explained Kung. “We hope this volume helps college math teachers better understand their students, leading to more understanding and appreciation for mathematics.”
Recently, Kung teamed up with The Great Courses to host a new video that helps explain the disease spread of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. The 15-minute program, called “How Math Predicts the Coronavirus Curve,” is available on YouTube. Kung also has two full-length course offerings through The Great Courses. He is the current director of the MAA’s Project NExT, a professional development program that serves 80 new mathematics faculty every year. Kung’s royalties from the book will support ProjectNExT. He is also the current director of strategy and implementation for TPSE-Math (Transforming Post-Secondary Education in Mathematics).