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Jennifer Ruef

Associate Professor
Critical and Sociocultural Studies in Education, Curriculum & Teaching, Curriculum and Teacher Education, Educational Foundations
Phone: 541-346-2847
Office: 126B Lokey Education Bldg


Jennifer Ruef studies and teaches best practices for learning and making sense of mathematics. Her decades of experience as a classroom teacher inform her research, and in turn, her research is reflected in her work with mathematics teachers and students. Jennifer’s research centers on issues of social justice and equity. This includes studying how students identify themselves, or are identified by others, as being “good at math;” and public sensemaking, the ways students learn to make sense of mathematics and construct convincing and powerful arguments. She is also a founding member of the Ichiskíin Math Project, a research group convened to write mathematics curriculum centered in Yakama lived experiences in that Indigenous language.


Ph.D., 2016, Stanford University
Major: Curriculum and Teacher Education, Secondary Mathematics Education

M.S., 2005, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Major: Curriculum and Instruction, Secondary Mathematics Education

B.S., 1990, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Major: Secondary Mathematics Education
Certification: Secondary Mathematics Education, Grades 6-12

Honors and Awards

2017 Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) Service, Teaching, and Research (STaR) Fellowship

2015 Diversity Dissertation Research Opportunity Grant, Stanford Vice Provost for Education

2015-2016 Fellowship, Stanford Graduate Voice and Influence Program

2015 Dissertation Support Grant Stanford Graduate School of Education

2009 Madison Metropolitan School District Distinguished Service Award/High School Teacher of the Year 


Refereed Journal Articles
(Student authors indicated by */Partnering practitioner or tribal elder authors indicated by ∞)

Ruef, J., & Jacob, M. (2021). Fractional Humans: How decolonizing the learning of mathematics can heal. For the Learning of Mathematics. 41(1). 14-17.

Ruef, J. (2021). How Ms. Mayen and her students co-constructed "good at math." Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 52(2), 152-188.

Jacob, M., Gonzales, K., Chappell Belcher, D., Ruef, J. & *RunningHawk Johnson, S. (2020) Indigenous cultural values counter the damages of white settler colonialism, Environmental Sociology. DOI: 10.1080/23251042.2020.1841370

Ruef, J., & Torres, A. (2020). A menu of risk-taking Scaffolds. Mathematics Teacher: Teaching and Learning PK-12. 113(9), 723-730.

Ruef, J., Jacob, M., *Walker, G. K., & Beavert, V. (2020) Why Indigenous languages matter for mathematics education: A case study of Ichishkíin. Education Studies in Mathematics.104(3), 313-332.

*Lo, M., & Ruef, J. (2020). Student or teacher? A look at how students facilitate public sensemaking during collaborative groupwork. Journal of Urban Mathematics Education. 13(1), 15-33.

Ruef, J. (2020). Visions of the possible: Using drawings to elicit and support visions of teaching mathematics. Mathematics Teacher Educator, 8(2), 59-80.

Ruef, J., Sweeny, S., and Willingham, J. C. (2020). Re-envisioning "good at math:" A case study of positive transformation. International Journal of Gender, Science, and Technology. 11(3), 383-393.

Ruef, J. (2020). What gets checked at the door? Embracing students' complex math identities. Journal of Humanistic Mathematics. 10(1), 22-38.

Ruef, J., *RunningHawk Johnson, S., Jacob, M., Jansen, J., and Beavert, V. (2020). Why STEM needs Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge. International Journal of Gender, Science, and Technology. 11(3), 429-439.

Editorial Work

Ruef, J. (2021, May 27). Regarding schools, what’s worth keeping? The Register Guard.

Ruef, J., Elliott, R. & Thanheiser, E. (2021, March 7). Antiracist math education adds up to better results for students. The Oregonian.

Ruef, J. (2018, November 6). How to help students heal from 'math trauma.' Education Week Teacher.

Ruef, J. (2018, November 1). Think you're bad at math? You may suffer from 'math trauma.' The Conversation.

Ruef, J. (2018, March 12). Celebrating Marion Walter--and other unsung female mathematicians. The Conversation.

Ruef, J. (2018, February 28). Teachers prep for unnatural disasters--like school shootings. The San Francisco Chronicle.

Ruef, J. (2017, July 21). Wonder Woman offers new view of power structure. The San Francisco Chronicle.