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Ems Lord

College positions:
Research Fellow
Mathematics, Mathematics Education
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Faculty of Mathematics
Contact details:

Dr Ems Lord

Dr Ems Lord is Director of NRICH, the University of Cambridge’s flagship mathematics outreach project. Her research focuses on widening participation in mathematics, especially addressing the gender imbalance in mathematical attainment and academic progression among female mathematicians.

Dr Lord’s interests include the teaching and learning of problem-solving skills and the potential of mathematics as a medium to develop and embed transferable skills such as flexibility, resilience, and collaboration. She joined the NRICH team from the University of Northampton, where she led one of the country’s largest Mathematics Specialist Teacher (MaST) Programmes. She has taught mathematics across all the key stages, from Early Years to A-Level Further Mathematics, and has worked in a variety of settings including a hospital school and as a university tutor for trainee BEd and PGCE teachers. Her experiences led to her interest in mathematics education and teacher training, especially widening access and participation in mathematics. Her doctoral study thesis, which explored gender differences in approaches to written calculations, inspired a series of outreach activities addressing its key findings.

A recent past-President of The Mathematical Association, Dr Lord is a Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching. She is a regular contributor to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Teaching Profession and a member of the Joint Mathematical Council. Dr Lord is also an experienced keynote speaker and she regularly leads workshops for teachers and students at home and abroad, including Mathematics Masterclasses at the Royal Institution.

In her spare time, Ems is an enthusiastic real tennis player and enjoys the proximity of Clare Hall to the University’s real tennis courts.

Select publications

  • Lord, E. (2022). NRICH: The story behind the world’s largest mathematics outreach project. In A.M. Hartkopf & E Henning (Eds), Handbook of mathematical science communication. Publication due summer 2022.
  • Lord, E. & Oberholzer, L. (2021). Equality of opportunity: Sustainable teaching – professional development. In C. Waterman & G. Newton (Eds), Reimagining Education in England. Iris Press, London.
  • Lord, E. (2020). Going Deeper: Exploring ways to achieve ‘mastery at greater depth’ in the primary mathematics classroom. Proceedings of the British Society for Research in Learning Mathematics Day Conference. 40(3).
  • Lord, E. (2020). ‘I want to help others’: Why female A-Level Mathematics students reject undergraduate mathematics. Proceedings of the British Society for Research in Learning Mathematics Day Conference, University of Cambridge. 40(1).
  • Lord, E. & Cambridgeshire Maths Team. (2020). Developing collaborative problem-solving in the classroom. In E. Hargreaves & L. Rolla (Eds), Effective professional development for teachers. Routledge, London.
  • Lord, E. (2019). Developing curiosity in the classroom: The case of the four triangles. Proceedings of the British Society for Research in Learning Mathematics Day Conference, University of Birmingham.
  • Lord, E & Stylianides, A. (2019). Flexibility and formal algorithms: A mixed methods study. Conference paper presented at the Congress of European Society of Research in Mathematics Education, Utrecht University.
  • Lord, E. (2018). NRICH and collaborative problem-solving: An investigation into teachers’ use of NRICH teaching materials. Research Proceedings of the 9th British Congress on Mathematics Education, University of Warwick.

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