Bona Kang

I'm a 5th year PhD student in the DMS (Development in Math and Science) program. Growing up, I moved around a lot (4 elementary schools, 1 middle school (yay, no transfers!), and 3 high schools between 2 countries), which resulted in a gradual interest in how people interact, learn, and organize their thoughts in different contexts. I graduated from Cal with a BA in Cognitive Science to pursue those interests, and spent a few years volunteering at a local Spanish-English dual-immersion elementary school. Before I came back to Cal for graduate studies, I also worked at the UC Berkeley BEAR (Berkeley Evaluation and Assessment Research) Center and WestEd's CCFS (Center for Child and Family Studies) office on the pilot study for the 2nd revision of the DRDP (Desired Results Developmental Profile), a required child assessment tool for preschools and daycare centers in California. Working with diverse elementary school-age children on their mathematics work and developing assessment tools for younger children on their socioemotional, physical, and cognitive growth, I became further interested in the origins of students' informal and eccentric strategies for mathematics, which led me here.

My general research interest lies in understanding the social processes in mathematical activity and how they affect and are affected by student learning. I'm particularly interested in how sociomathematical norms emerge in the classroom, and how early grade children shift in their understandings of measurement concepts at both the individual and collective level as they interact with measurement tools and other classroom members.

I work with Professors Geoffrey Saxe and Maryl Gearhart on the Learning Mathematics through Representations (LMR) research group, and with Professor Aki Murata's research group.