Cinnamon Hillyard

Associate Professor

Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Success

Cinnamon Hillyard

B.S. Mathematics, Utah State University
Ph.D. Mathematics, Utah State University

Office: UW1-186
Phone: 425-352-3169
Mailing Box: 358511, 11136 NE 180th ST, Bothell, WA 98011-1713


Teaching interdisciplinary mathematics, statistics, and data visualization is my passion. I believe anyone can learn mathematics if explicit connections are made between the content, previous mathematical concepts, and students’ lives. I find it exciting and challenging to help students make those connections. I strive to make my courses interactive, non-threatening, and as applicable as possible. I use group work to solve problems, discuss methods, and investigate solutions. I bring in examples from the media, multiple disciplines, and the world around us to illustrate a problem. I also encourage students to collect their own data. Critical thinking about numerical and mathematical arguments including those presented visually is always a primary goal in my courses.

Recent Courses Taught

BIS 231 Linear Algebra with Applications
BIS 232 Using, Understanding, and Visualizing Quantitative Data
BIS 315 Understanding Statistics
BMATH 121 Algebraic and Quantitative Reasoning (Quantway®)
BMATH 122 Introduction to Elementary Functions


My primary research area is undergraduate mathematics and statistics education with a focus on Quantitative Literacy (QL). I study how people use (and mis-use) numbers and data visualizations to make decisions, analyze connections between QL and other literacies, investigate ways to extend models of QL to the upper division college curriculum, and work on issues surrounding assessment of QL. I am also interested in the cultural and disciplinary contexts of QL.

In addition, I study non-cognitive factors that influence success in college level mathematics courses. I am interested in how students’ growth and fixed mindsets, anxiety, social belonging, and sense of purpose affect persistence to and through a college degree. I’m interested in how institutions design systems to influence these factors and what strategies can be implemented in classroom and co-curricular activities to make positive change.

Selected Publications

  • Erin Hill, Cinnamon Hillyard, Laurie Anderson, Mark Kochanski, and Brandon Finley, (2019) “A Student-Centered Approach to Identifying Strategies and Obstacles to Learning for Undergraduate STEM Courses,” Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research: Vol 20 (1), pages 25-36.
  • Nives Dolšak and Cinnamon Hillyard (2016).  Creative Learning to Foster Cooperation.  Creative Learning in Higher Education: International Perspectives and Approaches, Chapter 6.  Patrick Blessinger and Linda S. Watts (Eds).  Taylor & Francis.
  • Howington, Heather; Hartfield, Thomas; and Hillyard, Cinnamon (2015) “Faculty Viewpoints on Teaching Quantway®,” Numeracy: Vol. 8: Iss. 1, Article 10.
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  • Nye, Pete and Hillyard, Cinnamon (2013) “Personal Financial Behavior: The Influence of Quantitative Literacy and Material Values,” Numeracy: Vol. 6: Iss. 1, Article 3.
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  • Hillyard, Cinnamon (2012) “Comparative Study of the Numeracy Education and Writing Across the Curriculum Movements: Ideas for Future Growth,” Numeracy: Vol. 5: Iss. 2, Article 2.
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  • Burgett, B., Hillyard, C., Krabill, C., Leadly, S., & Rosenberg, R. (2011) Teaching Interdisciplinarity.  Pedagogy11(3).
  • Thomas, E., Place, N., & Hillyard, C. (2008)  Students and Teachers Learning to See: Using Visual Images in the College Classroom to Promote Student Capacities and Skills. College Teaching, 56(1), pages 23-27.
  • Hillyard, C. (2007). Using Popular Culture to Teach Quantitative Reasoning. Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies, XVII(1), pages 36–43.

Published Curriculum Materials

  • Pathways Bridge Course, co-developed curriculum that links Carnegie’s Statway®  and Quantway® courses to college-level STEM courses including Instructor Guide, Student Workbook, Out of Class Exercises, and Assessment Items.   Lead Editor:  Cinnamon Hillyard, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 2015.
  • Quantway®, co-developed multiple facets of the curriculum including Instructor Guide, Student Lessons, Out of Class Exercises, Online Materials, and Assessment Items. Versions 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0, Cinnamon Hillyard, Stuart Boersma, et al.  Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 2012 and 2013.

National Leadership Positions

  • Senior Associate of Network Relations, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 2012-2016
  • Associate Editor, Numeracy:  Advancing Education in Quantitative Literacy, the electronic journal of the National Numeracy Network, 2007-
  • Chair, Special Interest Group of the Mathematical Association of America on Quantitative Literacy (SIGMAA QL), 2008-2011
  • Secretary and Treasurer, National Numeracy Network (NNN), 2007-2011