stokesthumbnailWhat I study is problem solving and creativity/innovation as the products of problem solving. What I do is break a problem down into the structure of its solution. I learned how to do this in art school (I painted at Pratt) and advertising (I was a copywriter at J. Walter Thompson and a creative group head at Ted Bates and Co.). At Columbia (Ph.D.), I learned how to take what I already knew and turn it into a paired constraint model for analyzing past, and facilitating future, innovations.

My own most satisfying innovation is an early math intervention called Only the NUMBERS count.   It was designed using paired constraints. In kindergarten and 1st grade, a count-and-combine chart and an explicit base-10 count (11 is called ten-one) are used to teach place-value, addition and subtraction (single and double digit). In 2nd and 3rd grades, a multi-operation chart is used to teach multiplication, division, and fractions simultaneously.   It is very satisfying. The children in the program are learning far more than required by the Common Core.