Faculty Profile

Lee Martin
Assistant Professor

Image of Lee Martin

“Family life appears to offer unique opportunities to learn mathematical and financial lessons that are most often not available in formal educational settings, and for that reason we have adopted a term unique to families, inheritance, to characterize this process. We believe that these opportunities should not be thought of as merely supplementary to school math, but should be considered as primary mathematical activities. (Martin & Goldman, 2010)

Lee Martin studies people’s efforts to enhance their own learning environments, with a particular focus on mathematical thinking and learning. In everyday settings, he looks at the varied ways in which people assemble social, material, and intellectual resources for problem solving and learning. In school settings, he looks to find ways in which schools might better prepare students to be more resourceful and flexible in fostering their own learning.

Research Interests

Adaptive Expertise; Learning and Cognition; Learning in Informal Settings; Mathematics Education; The Maker Movement


  • Ph.D., Education – Stanford University
  • B.A.S., Mathematics and Linguistics, University of California, Davis

Select Publications

  • Martin, L., & Schwartz, D. L. (in press). A pragmatic perspective on visual representation and creative thinking. To appear in Visual Studies.
  • Martin, L., & Gourley-Delaney, P. (2013). Students’ images of mathematics. Instructional Science. DOI 10.1007/s11251-013-9293-2. (link)
  • Martin, L., & Schwartz, D. (2013). Conceptual innovation and transfer. In S. Vosniadou (Ed.), International Handbook of Research on Conceptual Change, 2nd edition (pp. 447-465). New York: Routledge. (link to book).
  • Esmonde, I., Blair, K. P., Goldman, S., Martin, L., Jimenez, O., & Pea, R. (2013). Math I Am: What we learn from stories that people tell about math in their lives. In B. Bevan, P. Bell, R. Stevens & A. Razfar (Eds.), LOST opportunities: Learning in out of school time (pp. 7-27). Netherlands: Springer. (link , preprint)
  • Martin, L. (2012). Connection, translation, off-loading, and monitoring: A framework for characterizing the pedagogical functions of educational technologies. Technology, Knowledge and Learning. doi: 10.1007/s10758-012-9193-6. (link)
  • White, T., Booker, A., Carter Ching, C., & Martin, L. (2012). Integrating digital and mathematical practices across contexts: A manifesto for mobile learning. International Journal of Learning and Media 3(3), 7-13. (link)
  • Martin, L., & Goldman, S. (2010). Family inheritance: Parallel practices of financial responsibility in families. In Lin, L., Varenne, H., and Gordon, E. W., (Eds.) Educating comprehensively: Varieties of educational experiences. Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press. (link)
  • Pea, R. D., & Martin, L. (2010). Values that occasion and guide mathematics in the family. To appear in K. O’Connor & W. R. Penuel (Eds.), Research on learning as a human science. New York: Teachers College Press. (link , preprint)
  • Martin L. & Schwartz, D. L. (2009). Prospective adaptation in the use of external representations. Cognition and Instruction, 24(7), 1-31. (link , preprint)
  • Martin, L. Goldman S. & Jimenez, O. (2009). The tanda: A practice at the intersection of mathematics, culture, and financial goals. Mind, Culture & Activity, 16(4), 1-14. (link)
  • Martin, L. (Summer 2008). “An aesthetic for adaptations: Going beyond knowledge and skills in explanations of adaptations.” Proceedings of the 8th International Conference of the Learning Sciences, Utrecht, The Netherlands. (link)
  • Schwartz, D. L., Varma, S., & Martin, L. (2008). Dynamic transfer and innovation. In S. Vosniadou (ed.), International Handbook of Research on Conceptual Change (pp. 479-506). New York: Routledge. (link to book , preprint)
  • Schwartz, D. L., Chang, J., & Martin, L. (2008). Innovation and instrumentation: Taking the turn to efficiency. In A. E. Kelly, R. A. Lesh, & J. Y. Baek (Eds.), Handbook of design research methods in education: Innovations in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics learning and teaching (pp. 47-67). New York: Routledge. (link to book, preprint)

Current Activities and Service

Courses Taught at UC Davis

  • EDU 210 – Psychology of School Learning
  • EDU 292 – Learning in Informal Environments
  • EDU 114 – Quantitative Methods in Educational Research
  • EDU 110 – Educational Psychology: General