Human Development and Family Studies professor wins award for early career achievement

David Purpura, associate professor of Human Development and Family Studies has received an Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation to further his research. He is one of the three researchers at Purdue that are serving as shining examples of the university’s place as a leading intellectual center.

The awards support the development of individual research programs of distinguished scientists early in their careers. Recipients may be involved in scientific computing, biological or environmental research, basic energy sciences, fusion energy sciences, high energy or nuclear physics. Over the next five years, the award will provide Purpura with $1,444,280.

Purpura researches how young children in preschool and primary school learn math and how language concepts affect that development.

Purpura’s project, “Mechanisms Underlying the Relation between Mathematical Language and Mathematical Knowledge,” will examine the process by which math language instruction improves learning of mathematics skills in order to design and translate the most effective interventions into practical classroom instruction. The first objective is to examine if quantitative and spatial math language affect the development of different aspects of mathematics performance, and the second objective is to examine how quantitative math language versus, or in combination with, numeracy instruction affects numeracy development.

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