President’s Message


Presidential Message
Dr. Tom Walsh, President, AMTNJ

I’m delighted to welcome you to the Association of Mathematics Teachers of New Jersey’s (AMTNJ) 104th year! We have many events planned this year, some are new, and some are long-standing. As well, there are changes to the requirements for student teachers in the classroom you should be aware of, and I would like to point out the mathematical heritage of New Jersey.

From January 9th – January 11th, 2018, we will be collaborating with the New Jersey Educational Computing Cooperative (NJECC) at their annual meeting at Montclair State University, in Montclair, NJ. On February 7th, 2018 the AMTNJ will be presenting our Annual Winter Conference in Monroe, NJ, at the Ramada Plaza Hotel. The theme is: Growth Mindsets in every Classroom: Creating Productive Learning Environments. Dan Meyer, the Chief Academic Officer of Desmos will be our keynote speaker. The AMTNJ, again is currently offering the DIMACS workshops, held from December, 2017 through May, 2018. On March 16, the AMTNJ will host the annual Pre-Calculus Conference at Rutgers University. Later, after the PARCC tesing is finished, we’ll be going up to Albany, NY to participate in the third annual New^3 Conference. Presenters from all over the northeast will be gathering at this fun summer conference. In July through August, we’ll be running our Summer Institutes. Various workshops will be offered to help you gear up for the fall. From October 25th to 26th, 2018 is our annual Two-Day Conference. November 8-9 is, of course, the NJEA Annual conference in Atlantic City. We will have a booth there, and we’d love for you to come by and join our organization. Finally, in December, 2018 we’ll be holding out annual Special Education in Mathematics Conference. For more information about these events, please visit our website:

This is a momentous year in mathematics education, as well. The NJ Department of Education has designated the Educational Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) as the standard assessment for graduates seeking teacher certification in the state. The edTPA is the accepted assessment in many other states, and it has three main parts: 1) planning, 2) instruction, and 3) assessment. The planning part is simply the planning of a Unit plan of three to five consecutive lessons. The instruction part is the teaching of the lessons. The assessment part is a reflection of how the lessons went, and how to improve the instruction. Arguably, the most contentious part of this newly-adopted process is a video-taping of part of a math class in the instruction section. The purpose of this requirement is to help student-teacher to develop an understanding of how to improve their instruction. Many school districts are hesitant to have video recording in their classrooms. I feel that all mathematics educators should be aware of this new type of evaluation.

New Jersey has a very rich mathematical heritage. New Jersey was home to Bell Labs, whose research facility gave rise to the technologies that define our modern world. Many mathematicians worked at Bell Labs, including Fan Chung, Ronald Foster, Claude Shannon, and Henry Pollack. This is just a sampling of the many illustrious mathematicians who worked there. Too, New Jersey is where Princeton University’s Institute for Advanced Studies is, and many, many luminaries in the mathematical world have made their home in the Institute. Albert Einstein, Kurt Godel, John Nash, and John Van Neumann are among the many mathematicians who worked at the Institute. John Conway is at Princeton and Andrew Wiles was at Princeton. I plan on putting out a monograph on some of the illustrious mathematicians who worked here. I believe math teachers across New Jersey should celebrate these great mathematicians.

Dr. Tom Walsh, President, AMTNJ