R. James Milgram: The Independent Institute

The Power of Independent Thinking

R. James Milgram
R. James Milgram

R. James Milgram is Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Stanford University. He served on the National Board for Education Sciences from 2001–2004, was a member of the NASA Advisory Council from 2004–2009, and was one of the 23 members of the Common Core Validation Committee, charged with overseeing the development of the Common Core Standards. He was one of the five members who refused to sign-off on those standards.

More recently he was one of the main out-of-state reviewers of the current Texas Mathematics Standards, and the new (post-Common Core) Indiana Mathematics Standards. From 2002 to 2005, Professor Milgram headed a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education that identified and described the key mathematics that K–8 teachers need to know. He also helped to direct a project partially funded by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation that evaluated state mathematics assessments. He is one of the four main authors of the pre-Common Core California Mathematics Standards, as well as one of the two main authors of the 1998 California Mathematics Framework. He is also one of the main authors of the pre-Common Core Michigan and Georgia mathematics standards.

He has lectured throughout the world on both his research in pure mathematics as well as the structure and importance of mathematics standards. Among other honors, he has held the Gauss Professorship at the University of Goettingen and the Regent’s Professorship at the University of New Mexico. He has published over 100 research papers in mathematics and four books, as well as serving as an editor of many others. His main area of research is algebraic and geometric topology, and he currently works on questions in robotics, protein folding, and the geometry of the Sporadic Simple Groups. He received his undergraduate and master’s degrees in mathematics from the University of Chicago, and his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Minnesota.