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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Mathematics

Faculty & Staff Directory

Sean Yee

Assistant Professor
Department of Mathematics
University of South Carolina

Phone Number: 803-777-6884
Office: Wardlaw Hall 257, LeConte 317K



Ph. D. in Curriculum and Instruction, Kent State University

Masters of Mathematics, Masters of Education, Ohio State University


Mathematics teacher education, mathematical problem solving, proof, discourse, teacher listening, and conceptual metaphor theory


Dr. Sean Yee joined the Instruction and Teacher Education faculty at the University of South Carolina in August of 2014. At USC he teaches mathematics and mathematics education classes for secondary and collegiate mathematics. He has a joint position between both the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education within the College of Education and the Department of Mathematics within the College of Arts and Sciences. His primary focus is supporting and offering seminars on teaching for the mathematics graduate students who are mathematics graduate teaching assistants.

Prior to coming to USC, Dr. Yee taught secondary mathematics for six years in Ohio and was an assistant professor of mathematics education at California State University, Fullerton. His current areas of research include mathematical proof education, discourse theory, linguistics (primarily conceptual metaphor theory as a means to improve teacher listening), secondary methods courses, and mathematical problem solving.

While enjoying chess and volleyball, Dr. Yee prefers to spend time with his wife enjoy Argentine tango and tap dancing.

Selected publications

Yee, S. (2014). Developing a students' contextualization of problem solving. Journal of Mathematical Behavior (JMB), Publication Accepted and in Process.

Yee, S. (2013). Meaningful listening through coherent conceptual metaphors. 35th Annual Meeting of Psychology of Mathematics Education of North America (PME-NA), Chicago, IL.

Yee, S. (2013). Metaphors as a medium for hermeneutic listening for teachers. Proceedings of 40th Annual Research Council on Mathematics Learning (RCML), Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Yee, S. (2013). Problem solving concretely with the word like. Investigations in Mathematics Learning, 5(3), 25-43.

Selected research studies

2014 Touchstones for Secondary Mathematics Methods Courses. This national survey involved 118 Professors of Secondary Mathematics Methods courses. The purpose was to determine which topics where most valued by the field of mathematics educators. Otten, S., Yee, S., & Taylor, M.

2013 Improving Teacher Listening with Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT). 22 Students and 23 teachers described their experiences with problem solving through extended interviews. Using (CMT), coherent systems of metaphors were discovered that described how these students and teachers perceive of problems solving. Yee, S.

2013 Using Grading Criteria to Improve Communal Proof Understanding. Four professors from different universities had pre-service teachers evaluate and create rubrics for mathematical proof within their class as a means to understand the communal aspect of proof. Yee, S., Boyle, J., Bleiler, S., & Ko, W.

2012 Secondary Students' Contextualization of Problem Solving. Comparing 6-12 graders attempts to solve grade-appropriate problems using both discourse analysis via Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT) and representational analysis. Bostic, J. & Yee, S.

Selected presentations

2013 35th Annual Meeting of Psychology of Mathematics Education of North America (PME-NA) Chicago, IL. Meaningful listening through coherent conceptual metaphors.

Northwest Mathematics Council (NWMC) Conference, Bellevue, WA. Listening to student experiences through conceptual metaphors for problem solving.

Department Presentation, California State University, Fullerton, CA. Creating a smart board using wii remote technology.
Analysis Seminar, California State University, Fullerton, CA. New proof of the density of the rationals and irrationals in the reals using the floor function.

California State University, Fullerton, CA. Catalyst Center, Research in Teaching and Learning Math and Science. Coherent metaphors for mathematical problem solving.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) National Research Presession, Denver, CO. Conceptual metaphors of problem solving: Listening for experiences.

American Mathematics Society (AMS) Joint Mathematics Meeting (JMM) Annual Conference , San Diego, CA. Improving undergraduate mathematics education using dynamic graphics embedded within Webwork.

2012 40th Annual Meeting of the Research Council on Mathematics Learning (RCML), Tulsa, OK. Metaphors as a medium for hermeneutic listening for teachers.

34th Annual Meeting of Psychology of Mathematics Education of North America (PME-NA) Kalamazoo, MI. A developmental perspective into students' contextualization of problem solving.

39th Annual Meeting of the Research Council on Mathematics Learning (RCML), Charlotte, NC. Applying conceptual metaphor theory to understand mathematical problem solving.

Selected awards

2013-2014 (PI) Junior Faculty Intramural Research Grant, California State University, Fullerton-Analyze Teacher Metaphors to Improve Teacher Listening.

2013-2014 Service Teaching, and Research (STaR) National Early Career Doctoral Fellowship,
National Science Foundation (2013).

2013-2014 (Senior Personnel) STEM-Based National Science Foundation (NSF) NOYCE Grant for Mathematics Teaching Fellows and Master Teaching Fellows Project (MT2).

2012-2013 (PI-Funded) Faculty Development Center, Funding My Research Grant (FMR).

2010-2013 (Co-PI Funded) National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant- Researcher and Designer for Online Flash Applets for Collegiate Mathematics Classes through Cleveland State University.

2008-2011 (Co-PI Funded) Martha Holden Jennings Grant-Presenter, Founder, and Contributor to the Curriculum Leadership Institute (CLI) Webpage: