Carol Abe Edwards

Edwards, Carol Shigeko Abe

Nationally recognized mathematics teacher, mentor, tutor, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend, and inspiration to many, Carol Shigeko Abe Edwards of Chandler, AZ, passed away on June 21, 2017 at the age of 78. Daughter of Shigeo and Masako Abe, Carol was a third generation American, born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii. Carol attended Hilo High School, graduating in 1956 and went on to study mathematics at the University of California Berkeley, where she graduated with honors in 1960. She then moved back to Hilo and started teaching at the University of Hawaii-Hilo.   On a blind date arranged by mutual friends, she met Roger Edwards, a teacher at nearby Keaau Intermediate School. They fell in love and were married in 1962. Carol continued her education at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, completing her M.A. in mathematics in 1962. After that, Roger and Carol continued to live and teach in Hawaii and their son, Keith, was born in 1967. In 1969 the family moved to Champaign, Illinois where Carol continued her doctoral studies and was a teaching assistant at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.   In 1973, she completed her Ph.D. in mathematics and the family moved to St. Louis, Missouri where Carol became a professor of mathematics at St. Louis University. She later took a position with St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley, where she taught for 24 years, eventually becoming Mathematics Department chair and then associate dean of Mathematics, Science, Engineering and Technology.   During that time, Carol continued working with the University of Hawaii where she supported a variety of programs, including professional development for K-12 mathematics teachers, training of Peace Corps volunteers, and teaching in a special summer program for high-ability high school students. Carol also became an active member and leader in the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), where she was a well-known presenter at many national, regional, state and local conferences. She was Program Chair for three NCTM Annual Meetings and served on numerous NCTM task forces and committees. She was the executive secretary of ‘TODOS: Mathematics for ALL’ and chaired the Board of Trustees of the Mathematics Education Trust (MET). She belonged to the American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges (AMATYC) and served on several National Science Foundation (NSF) panels, reviewing proposals for programs in mathematics and mathematics education.  Also while in St. Louis, Carol was a co-founder of a math contest for local middle schools, sponsored by Math Educators of Greater St. Louis (MEGSL). The contest is now approaching its 40th year and continues to promote student interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). In 1996 she also helped found a program called “Emerging Scholars” for high-achieving students at the Community College level. Carol became locally famous for her entertaining and educational “bubble show”, which illustrated the geometry of minimal linkages and surfaces by dipping simple models into a soap solution. She also found time to volunteer annually for the Senior Olympics in St. Louis and was a judge for the St. Louis Science Fair. Carol “retired” in 1999 and she and Roger moved to Chandler, Arizona to be close to Keith and his family… especially grandson, Ryan.   Carol stayed active in national mathematics organizations and also took a part-time position with Chandler Gilbert Community College where she continued to tutor and mentor students and teachers at all levels. In 2012, the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM) awarded Carol the prestigious Ross Taylor / Glenn Gilbert National Leadership Award, recognizing her unique and dedicated life-long contributions to mathematics education. Carol’s vision and inspiration lives on through all of the countless students, colleagues, friends and family who had the good fortune to know her. She will be missed dearly. Carol is survived by Roger, her husband of 54 years; her son Keith and his wife Jody; grandson Ryan; three step-grandchildren and their families, including six great-grandsons; brother David Abe and his wife Judy; sister-in-law Gale Edwards; nephews Miles Abe, Tim Edwards, David Edwards and niece Leina Garcia, and their families. A scholarship fund has been established in Carol’s name through the Mathematics Education Trust of the NCTM. Donations can be made to:

Carol A. Edwards Fund

Mathematics Education Trust, NCTM

attn: Nihad Ziad

1906 Association Drive

Reston VA  20191-1502

Carol Abe Edwards