Math in the Middle instructor Ken Gross passes away

Photos of Ken Gross with Math in the Middle teachers
Photos of Ken Gross with Math in the Middle teachers

Ken Gross, professor emeritus at the University of Vermont and founder of the nationally recognized Vermont Mathematics Initiative, passed away on Sept. 10, 2017. Ken helped inspire our Math in the Middle grant and taught Math 800T to some of you. Ken was a wonderful friend whose contributions to mathematics and to Vermont were truly significant.

His obituary is available online here:

Thank you to those of you who contributed a message for Ken's family. We want to share the following anecdote from Math in the Middle graduate Amy Schutz of Bertrand:

It saddens my heart to hear of Ken's passing. I will forever remember the lessons I learned in Math 800T through the Math in the Middle grant with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He touched the hearts of all of us. Who can forget him getting undressed to help get the concept of the order of solving equations across to students? We couldn't help but laugh as he undressed to his gym shorts. He thought it was due to his skinny legs and dress socks but he actually had his gym shorts on backwards. I remember his stories about the cold winters and heavy coats he would wear to class. He also talked about beating a dead horse to death. He touched our hearts and minds and made a forever lasting impression that we tried to reciprocate with gifts to help him remember us. We gave him Husker apparel (gym shorts) and bought him a stuffed horse:) I want to thank the family for sharing his precious time with the educators in Nebraska. I know he made an impact on me and even though my students never did meet Ken, they have been impacted because of him and his heartfelt contributions and dedication to education. My sympathies go out to his family and may they treasure the impacting memories they have the same way I treasure mine and the impact he has had on me as an educator. God's Blessings.

From Judi Laird at VMI:
VMI has graduated over 500 teachers in its 18-year existence, with another 75 currently in the program, and we estimate that through those teachers, Ken impacted tens of thousands of students in Vermont. Taking into consideration the teachers with whom he worked across the country, the number rises significantly higher. Ken was deeply concerned about equity and working hardest for those students who had the least and in this manner, he served as a model to all of us as we continue the work that was so important to him.