Teaching Fellow

The Teaching Fellow position has been established by the Faculty of Mathematics as part of a larger university wide effort to raise the profile of teaching and learning and support and encourage teaching excellence.

Within the Faculty, the Teaching Fellow works with individual faculty members, Chairs/Directors, the Associate Dean Undergraduate and the Dean. Outside the Faculty, the Teaching Fellow will work with the Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE) and the Teaching Fellows/Associate Deans Teaching in the other Faculties.

The current Math Teaching Fellow is Diana Skrzydlo. In this role, she will:

  • In conjunction with the CTE and the Faculty, act as an advisor on how best to use CTE resources and expertise to support teaching in the Faculty of Mathematics.
  • Encourage and support faculty members in conducting teaching research and attending teaching conferences.
  • Empower instructors to make use of digital assets to explore blended learning and flipped classrooms.
  • Gather best practices and explore alternative methods of assessing students.
  • Coordinate efforts to improve teaching assessment and feedback.
  • Organize training of new faculty, post-docs, and graduate student instructors.
  • Support faculty members seeking to improve or enhance teaching skills and strategies on a confidential one-on-one basis.
  • Create and nurture a community of practice among interested faculty members across the Faculty, possibly including events to celebrate and/or promote teaching.

Teaching Development Fund

The Math Faculty Teaching Development Fund (TDF) is available to assist in professional development activities related to teaching. The fund can cover the costs of attending and presenting at teaching conferences, publishing teaching research, and inviting guest speakers to talk about teaching.

Faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate student instructors are encouraged to apply for funding using this very brief form

A list of potential conferences with dates, locations, and conference websites can be found here. This list is not exhaustive - if you are interested in a professional development opportunity that does not appear on the list, you are still welcome to apply for funding.

Some past experiences from Math faculty members who have attended conferences are available on the Teaching Fellow’s blog. Look for posts that say “TDF Recap.”

Teaching Research Projects 

The Teaching Development Fund will consider requests for covering the costs of hiring URAs to help conduct small teaching research projects supervised by regular math faculty members. The proposal must satisfy the following conditions: 

  • The teaching research project has the knowledge and approval of the supervisor’s unit head 
  • The URA is hired part-time, no more than 10 hours per week, for one term 
  • The URA is partially funded by the unit/faculty/university, with the TDF only covering the amount that would normally come from the supervisor’s research grant 
  • The URA is hired through the normal open process for hiring students. The job description must be included in the TDF proposal form
  • The supervisor completes the university’s equitable hiring training 
  • There is some intention to publish (or otherwise disseminate to UW Math colleagues) the results of the teaching research 

Funding will be subject to availability. Proposals will be accepted at any time.

For larger teaching research projects that require more resources or for a longer time than outlined above, we recommend the following sources of funding which are more appropriate: 

  • CTE LITE grants (deadlines: Feb 1, June 1, and Oct 1 each year) 
  • MEF (deadlines: end of Feb, end of June, end of Oct each year) 
  • Unit head for funding within unit 
  • Associate Dean Undergrad for funding within faculty 


The TDF helped to fund 125 different activities for 69 individuals in 2021-2022. The breakdown of the fund usage and which departments those individuals belong to can be seen below.

Events funded 2021-22 2022-23
CMS Meetings 6 12
Lilly Conferences 2 2
Distance Teaching & Learning Conference 1 1
Online Learning Consortium 2  
Learning & the Brain Conference 9 2
SIGMAA RUME Conference 1 1
STLHE Conference   2
Mac Ed Cog   2
Other conferences   10
Teaching certificate   1
UWTL Conference 47 48
UW Math Teaching Colloquium 57 18
Total 125 99
Unique Math Faculty individuals using fund 2021-22 2022-23
Applied Math 8 6
Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing 4 4
Combinatorics and Optimization 4 4
Computer Science 13 12
Math Business and Accounting 2 2
Math Undergraduate Group 15 14
Statistics and Actuarial Science 16 13
Pure Math 7 6
Total 69 65

Teaching Textbook Library

Listed below are some resources that may be helpful to instructors in the math faculty. To borrow a physical copy of any of the books listed below, contact Diana Skrzydlo at dkchisho@uwaterloo.ca.

Title Author(s) Summary
Powerful Teaching: Unleash the Science of Leraning Pooja K. Agarwal and Patrice M. Bain This practical resource is filled with evidence-based strategies that are easily implemented in less than a minute―without additional prepping, grading, or funding!
Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead) Susan D. Blum In Ungrading, fifteen educators write about their diverse experiences going gradeless.
Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel Drawing on recent discoveries in cognitive psychology and other disciplines, the authors offer concrete techniques for becoming more productive learners.
Small Teaching Online: Applying Learning Science in Online Classes Flower Darby with James M. Lang This book outlines practical and feasible applications of theoretical principles to help your online students learn. 
Design Ed: Connecting Learning Science Research to Practice Angela Elkordy and Ayn Keneman This book lays out the intersection between theory, design and reflective practice to help educators understand individual learner differences and the impact of context upon learning.
Stop Talking, Start Influencing: 12 Insights from Brain Science to Make Your Message Stick Jared Cooney Horvath By combining cutting-edge brain research with proven behavioral science, Dr. Jared Cooney Horvath outlines 12 scientific principles of how to impart knowledge in a way that truly sticks with and impacts others.
Teaching to Diversity: The Three-Block Model of Universal Design for Learning Jennifer Katz In this book, the author pulls together, in an organized way, a three-block model of universal design for learning (UDL) and suggests a step-by-step approach for implementing it.
Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning (2nd Edition) James M. Lang In this book, James Lang presents a strategy for improving student learning with a series of small but powerful changes that make a big difference―many of which can be put into practice in a single class period.
Street-Fighting Mathematics: The Art of Educated Guessing and Opportunistic Problem Solving Sanjoy Mahajan An antidote to mathematical rigor mortis, teaching how to guess answers without needing a proof or an exact calculation.
Peer Instruction: A User's Manual Eric Mazur Presents an entirely new approach to introductory physics within a calculus-based conceptual and a mathematical framework.
Geeky Pedagogy: A Guide for Intellectuals, Introverts, and Nerds Who Want to Be Effective Teachers Jessamyn Neuhaus Geeky Pedagogy is a funny, evidence-based, multidisciplinary, pragmatic, highly readable guide to the process of learning and relearning how to be an effective college teacher.
Learning How to Learn: How to Succeed in School Without Spending All Your Time Stuyding; A Guide for Kids and Teens Barbara Oakley and Terrence Sejnowski with Alistair McConville In this book for kids and teens, the authors reveal how to make the most of time spent studying.
The Joy of Mathematics: Discovering Mathematics All Around You Theoni Pappas Written by the well-known mathematics teacher consultant, this volume's collection of over 200 clearly illustrated mathematical ideas, concepts, puzzles, and games shows where they turn up in the "real" world.
How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method G. Polya Polya reveals how the mathematical method of demonstrating a proof or finding an unknown can be of help in attacking any problem that can be "reasoned" out--from building a bridge to winning a game of anagrams.
The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization (Revised Edition) Peter M. Senge This revised edition of Peter Senge’s bestselling classic, The Fifth Discipline, is based on fifteen years of experience in putting the book’s ideas into practice.
Flipped Learning: A Guide for Higher Education Faculty Robert Talbert The author offers faculty a practical, step-by-step, "how-to" to this powerful teaching method.
Neuroteach: Brain Science and the Future of Education Glenn Whitman and Ian Kelleher Neuroteach was written to help solve the problem teachers and school leaders have in knowing how to bring the growing body of educational neuroscience research into the design of their schools, classrooms, and work with each individual student.
Embedded Formative Assessment (Second Edition) Dylan William The second edition of this best-selling book by Dylan Wiliam presents new research, insights, and formative assessment strategies teachers can immediately apply in their classrooms.