SUDDS Interdisciplinary Team

Dr. Jere Confrey

Dr. Jere Confrey

Principal Investigator
Dr. Jere Confrey is the Joseph D. Moore Distinguished Professor of Mathematics Education at North Carolina State University. She directs the SUDDS team (“Scaling Up Digital Design Studies”) in building new learning maps and related diagnostic assessments to support personalized learning. Confrey served as Chief Mathematics Officer of Amplify Learning from 2012 to 2014. She served on the National Validation Committee on the Common Core Standards and built www.turnonccmath.com, a website unpacking the Common Core. She was Vice Chairman of the Mathematics Sciences Education Board, National Academy of Sciences (1998-2004), chaired the NRC Committee, which produced On Evaluating Curricular Effectiveness, and was a coauthor of NRC’s Scientific Research in Education. She co-founded the UTEACH program for the secondary math and science teacher preparation program at the University of Texas at Austin. She authored Math Projects, Function Probe, Precalculus Interactive Diagrams, Graphs N Glyphs and LPP-Sync software. Dr. Confrey received a Ph.D. in mathematics education from Cornell University.
Dr. Will McGowan

Dr. Will McGowan

Project/Outreach Coordinator
Will McGowan has spent five years as a middle school mathematics teacher, and three years developing a digital mathematics curriculum. He has worked with teachers on implementing new curricula and technology in the classroom, and is excited to take on the role of project/outreach coordinator. Will earned his Ed.D. in mathematics education at Rutgers University where he studied the ways in which teachers attend and respond to student reasoning. He lives in Durham and enjoys exploring the local scene with his wife and children.
Emily Toutkoushian

Emily Toutkoushian

Psychometrician
Emily is finishing her PhD at UNC-Chapel Hill in the Learning Sciences and Psychological Studies program with a focus on education measurement. She is passionate about finding new ways to use quantitative analysis to understand and improve classroom learning. Prior to SUDDS and attending UNC, she received her Bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and taught first grade for two years in eastern North Carolina with Teach for America. When she is not analyzing data, Emily enjoys baking, playing with her two dogs, going to musical theater productions in Durham, and watching sports.
Margaret Hennessey

Margaret Hennessey

Senior Research Scholar
Margaret received her BA in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in 2008. After she received her MAT degree from Duke University in 2012, she taught high school mathematics at Durham School of the Arts. She is a recipient of the Knowles Science Teaching Fellowship, which grants financial and professional support to early-career math and science teachers. Since leaving the classroom, she has worked both at Duke and at NC State on grant-funded projects to improve secondary teaching and learning of math and science. When she isn’t working at SUDDS, you might find her practicing yoga, cooking, or making crafts.
Meetal Shah

Dr. Meetal Shah

Learning Scientist
Meetal is a postdoctoral researcher with the SUDDS team. She is interested in studying validity in the context of classroom-based diagnostic assessments, from both learning sciences and psychometric perspectives, and student learning of geometry. Before completing the Mathematics Education doctoral program at NC State under the supervision of Dr. Jere Confrey, Meetal taught high school mathematics (grades 7 to 12) in Sydney, Australia for 10 years. During that time, she taught the Mathematics Methods course at the University of New South Wales. Meetal earned her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Sydney, a Postgraduate Diploma in Secondary Education from the University of New South Wales, and a Master of Education from Macquarie University.
Yungjae Kim

Yungjae Kim

Lead Software Engineer
Yungjae was a successful game designer and developer. He has been in teams that developed MMORPG (Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Game) titles which were huge hits across Europe and Asia. After leaving game development, his main concentration moved to web development. Previously, he was involved in creating web interfaces for various industries, including the medical, healthcare, magazine and gaming industries. Yungjae provides technical direction in areas of networking, architectures, software, and information security.
Gary Aleixo

Gary Aleixo

Software Developer
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Gary went to Seneca College, where he studied Computer Programming and Analysis. From there, he transferred to University of Windsor, where he got his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. Upon coming out of school, he was fortunate to land a job working with Python and fell in love with the language, which reinvigorated his passion for software development. From that point on, he pursued a career working with Python and Django and hasn’t looked back. Today, he works with the SUDDS team to help build educational tools. When he’s not working, you can find him eating delicious food, going on hikes, and hugging his wonderful wife.
David Meza

David Meza

Software Developer
Prior to joining SUDDS, David worked as an AngularJS Developer for the City of Raleigh, where he built multiple helpful tools for the local community. He graduated from the University of Mount Olive with an MIS degree; he was honored there with the Student of the Year award. Afterwards, he enrolled in Viking Code School, an intensive code bootcamp, to embrace his passion for programming and learn modern web development technologies. When not building amazing tools for education, David can be found kayaking at the lake, or petting other people’s puppies.

Michael Belcher

Michael Belcher

Graduate Research Assistant
Mike is a doctoral student in mathematics education at NC State. Prior to joining the SUDDS team, Mike taught high school mathematics in North Carolina for seven years and spent three years developing a digital middle grades mathematics curriculum. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Wake Forest University and his Masters degree in mathematics education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Mike lives in Durham with his wife and daughter and enjoys reading and running in his spare time.
Bailey Cundiff

Bailey Cundiff

Consulting Editor
Bailey is a freelance editor, writer, and content developer with additional background in math and computer science. She earned her MA in Technical Communication from Texas Tech University, where she currently teaches introductory technical writing to upper-level undergraduates. When not obsessing over language, she can be found reading, discovering new music, or out enjoying the Tennessee sun.