Resources

The Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) will provide the infrastructure and resources to support the fellows’ research activities and training. WCER is a part of the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s School of Education and is one of the nation’s oldest and most highly esteemed university-based education research and development centers. With annual outside funding exceeding $40 million, WCER’s research portfolio spans the full scope of education, from centers for research on the improvement of mathematics and science education to undergraduate and graduate curriculum reform.

WCER occupies eight floors of the 13-story Educational Sciences Building, a facility dedicated to education research and development. WCER’s Business Office provides projects with budgeting, forecasting, accounting and financial management, and human resource management. A professional editor provides editorial support for project reports and manuscripts and other grant administration services, maintains a grant notification service, disseminates research through a working paper series, and offers guidance on human subjects compliance. A public information specialist further disseminates research findings through a variety of print and electronic media, including the WCER website (www.wcer.wisc.edu), a quarterly newsletter (WCER Research Highlights), a monthly electronic newsletter (WCER Today), podcasts, the university news service, and the national media.

The WCER Technical Services Department provides multimedia services, custom software development, and computer support for more than 350 networked computer systems. Data warehousing and network operations are supported by more than 25 servers including an active–active cluster of two data warehouse servers. Technical Services supports multiple graphics and video workstations that facilitate the integration of computer and multimedia technologies. In addition, the department includes a state-of-the-art multimedia studio staffed by multimedia artists, animators, and programmers. In support of collaborative research, WCER has deployed an enterprise-level web-based collaborative environment to support distributed work across complex partnerships. This environment facilitates data sharing, and projects are backed up by a relational database also used for tracking and reporting project activities and outputs and for monitoring project status. WCER also developed, houses and maintains Transana, a multi-user, multi-platform computer program for qualitative and quantitative digital video and audio analysis.

In addition to the infrastructure and resources provided by WCER, there is significant support for the field-based research activities in which fellows can participate. UW–Madison mathematics education researchers have had a long and mutually productive relationship working with local mathematics teachers and schools, from the influential Cognitively Guided Instruction research program to the recently completed STAAR early algebra research project. The relationship continues today with the field-based research projects currently undertaken by core faculty.