Arthur F. Coxford Jr.

The University Record
March 13, 2000

Arthur F. Coxford Jr., professor of mathematics education, School of Education, died March 5. He was 63.

Coxford graduated summa cum laude from Albion College in 1959, received his master’s degree with honors from the U-M in 1960 and earned his Ph.D in mathematics education from the U-M in 1965.

He taught mathematics at Lawrence University in Wisconsin in 1960–62 and taught at University High School in Ann Arbor from 1962 until it closed in 1969.

He joined the U-M in 1965 as assistant professor of math education and became associate professor in 1969. He became full professor in 1973.

“Art was a leader in the School of Education and in his field of mathematics education for many years,” said Karen Wixson, dean of the School. “He served the School and its constituents in many ways, most recently in directing its teacher education programs.

“He was very active at the state and national levels as a leading developer of innovative curricula in mathematics education. Among his many fine qualities, I remember best the intelligence and integrity he brought to every aspect of his work,” she said.

Coxford was author of a number of mathematics textbooks, including Algebra I, Algebra II with Trigonometry, Trigonometry and Advanced Mathematics: A Preparation for Calculus, all published by Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich.

He was active in both state and local education organizations, and served as president of the Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics. He served on several Michigan Department of Education committees and worked on the Michigan Curriculum Guide in mathematics and the state assessment tests for mathematics.

Nationally, he served as chair of the publications committee for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and edited yearbooks and reviewed journal submissions. He was president of the School of Science and Mathematics, a national organization.

At the U-M, Coxford served on the Research Policy Committee and the Board in Control of Intercollegiate Athletics, and on the Executive and Graduate committees at the School of Education.

At the time of his death, Coxford was in the middle of reform efforts to improve the quality of mathematics teaching and learning through the Core Plus Mathematics Project.

He is survived by his wife, Diane; daughters Anne (James) McIntosh of Cincinnati and Cynthia (Daniel) Tyner of Ann Arbor; a brother, John P. Coxford; sister Julie Coxford; six grandchildren and a niece and nephew.

Memorial contributions may be made to the School of Education designated for the Jones-Payne-Coxford Mathematics Education Fund, to the Downtown Ann Arbor Rotary Club Endowment Fund, or to the First Congregational Church for the Pastoral Care Fund.

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