Professor Stephen Sparks appointed to new Chair of the Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME)
Press release issued: 31 January 2012
Professor Stephen Sparks CBE FRS has been appointed as the new Chair of the Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME). Professor Sparks begins his three-year term as Chair on 13 January 2012 and takes over from Professor Dame Julia Higgins FRS following the completion of her term.
The Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME) is an independent committee, based at the Royal Society, which acts as a single voice for the mathematical community on mathematics education issues, seeking to improve the quality of such education in schools and colleges. It advises Government on issues such as the curriculum, assessment and the supply and training of mathematics teachers.
Professor Sparks said: "ACME's role is to provide independent and timely advice to Government and others on mathematics education. Gaining an understanding of mathematics, and being confident to use it in a variety of situations, is important for all students. I am particularly looking forward to being involved in ACME's work on post-16 mathematics, and helping to ensure that every student can have access to an appropriate mathematics education beyond the age of 16."
Professor Sparks has been a Professor of Geology at the University of Bristol since 1989. His research interests have been in volcanology and the applications of fluid mechanics in modelling geological flows and applying statistical methods to the assessment of natural hazards and their attendant risks. He is currently a member of the Government Chief
Scientific Advisor's SAGE (Scientific Advice for Emergencies) group, on both the Council and Board of the American Geophysical Union and Deputy Chair of the Council Leadership Team, and has previously served as President of the Geological Society of London.
Professor Dame Julia Higgins added: "Steve brings a rich background as a user of mathematics to the role of ACME Chair. Over the past three years, ACME has contributed significantly to education policy: on GCSE Mathematics, including issues around early and multiple entry, on the mathematical needs of learners and Higher Education, and developing pathways for 14-19 year olds. I'm sure Steve will build on these, as well as ensuring the committee continues to develop policy advice on the supply and training and development of teachers of mathematics."