LAWRENCE SHIRLEY*                              

Professor of Mathematics (retired)--Towson University
---Alberta, rest in peace (memorial)---
Shirley A Shirley (1920-2015)  obituary

granddaughters: Maya Rose Sweet (current photos)
Isla Lauren Abena Shirley (current photos--password protected)

Welcome! (each item below has many relevant links)

Note: Because of my retirement, I might lose access to the process for updating this page.  I will try to keep it as long as possible, but the access may be withdrawn without warning. 
I am currently trying to set up a new webpage on WordPress--separate from the Towson University system. The text of that page will start out as a duplicate of this page, but after I lose this page, it will be further updated.
Check that page at  

                                   How to CONTACT ME               MY FAMILY                CURRICULUM VITAE (short narrative biography)

Mathematics and Mathematics Education              Graduate Studies                    Astronomy        Africa and the World       Culture        News: Time magazine, NPR                    
World Relief and Support:
UNICEF, Oxfam, Save the Children, Doctors without Borders
MY PAST (-1988)
Roots, Family, and Education                           Life in West Africa
Arizona Centennial 1912-2012

MY PRESENT (at Towson University)(1989-)
Towson University homepage
      Mathematics Dept homepage      My Mathematics Dept faculty page
Mathematics Placement Test information           Towson UTeach
(SEMS 250)  (MATH 602)
Ethnomathematics (ICEM-4) and other Scholarly Activity  ICME-12   ICME-13  CBEm4
 Administrative and Professional Service        Graduate College homepage

MY WEBPAGES                  TODAY





















Here are a few links, all connected with some of my professional and personal interests. Others are included in my biography below.

Mathematics and Mathematics Education

----mathematics organizations and programs

Links to professional organizations (conferences, publications, membership, further related links, etc.):
International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI)
------ICMI on FaceBook
------ICME-12 was held in Seoul, Korea, July 8-15, 2012. Topic Study Group 36 was "The Role of Ethnomathematics in Mathematics Education" (co-chairs: Lawrence Shirley and Pedro Palhares). ICME-13 will be in Hamburg, Germany, July 24-31, 2016. The Topic Study Group on Ethnomathematics will be chaired by Milton Rosa and Lawrence Shirley
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
------Maryland Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Mathematical Association of America
Report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, March 2008 [press release]
Math is More
A group looking for a coordinated effort to improve mathematics education nation-wide.
Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators
International Study Group on Ethnomathematics (North American Study Group on Ethnomathematics)
------Fourth International Conference on Ethnomathematics (ICEM-4)
(at Towson, July 25-30, 2010) ICEM-5 was in Maputo, Mozambique, July 7-11, 2014. ICEM-6 will be in Colombia in 2018.
------Journal of Mathematics and Culture
TODOS: Math for All
Bridges: Mathematical Connections in Art, Music, and Science
African Mathematical Union
------African Mathematical Union Commission on the History of Mathematics in Africa (AMUCHMA)

Towson University mathematics education programs:
------Mathematics Department
------Bachelor of Science, Mathematics Major with Secondary Education Concentration
------Master of Science in Mathematics Education

Mathematics-related sites of the Maryland State Department of Education:
------general (press releases, publications, addresses, directory, etc)
------school improvement
(state assessment program information)
------school performance reports
------Common Core Standards
(webpage from MSDE with links)

----mathematics history and news

See MathWorld Headline News for recent developments in mathematics research.

A good source for information on history of mathematics and more than 2000 biographies of mathematicians, with related topics  Similarly, here is a collection of biographies of about 130 women mathematicians and this offers information on mathematicians of the African diaspora.
------------and also mathematicians of the day.

I have an Erdös number of 5.  I am a co-author with Amy Ksir, whose Erdös number is 4.

Convergence--a web magazine of mathematics, history, and teaching, from the MAA

----ethnomathematics and mathematics culture

The Ethnomathematics Digital Library.

A collection of ethnomathematics links from ISGEm

You can find words for one to ten in over 5000 languages(!) here.

RadicalMath looks at blending mathematics content and issues of social justice. Rethinking Schools looks more generally at bringing social issues in the classroom.  Similarly, the Algebra Project considers algebra and the opportunity to learn mathematics as civil rights.

Here is a growing file of examples of mathematical fiction of all types (novels, movies, tv, etc.), with some reviews from a mathematical point of view.

Mathematics Awareness Month comes every April. For 2016, the theme is "The Future of Prediction".

--three math/geek humor blogs: Spiked Math, Math-Fail, xwhy, and GaussFacts

xkcd an intellectual (mostly STEM) comic (new every Mon, Wed, Fri)

My presentations on "Numbers and Culture"  and "Number Words"with some interesting number-related links

----mathematics content

Eric Weisstein's World of Mathematics  is an excellent resource on mathematics content.

 numberphile (videos about interesting number facts)

Interlinked proofs of fundamental mathematics: the Metamath Proof Explorer

Many useful formulae, mostly math but some chemistry and physics also.

Index of world units and measures (including mudu and tiya); more general index of all kinds of sizes; measurement units

Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013--a collection of articles, etc. on applications of mathematics in various earth studies

This link has info and lists on Mersenne primes and perfect numbers (latest updates--49th found in Jan 2016, first since Jan 2013).  Here are lists of primes, twin primes, etc.

PI:  This is a lot of pi--playing with the strings of the digits.  Here is an article with some mathematical background on strings of pi digits .  Pi has now been calculated to ten trillion decimal places (reported in October 2011).   This is a collection of long decimal expansions of several famous irrational numbers.  Here is a page of binary digit pi.
AND: Find strings of digits in pi.
--Here is a pi chant
--Here is a video of calculating pi with pies.
--In 1897, the Indiana legislature considered legislation to make pi = 3, but wisdom prevailed and the bill was voted down.
--In 1 Kings 7:23 in the Bible, a round water container is described as "ten cubits from one brim to the other" and "thirty cubits did compass it round about" which implied pi=3, but Biblical scholars have argued the width of the brims affects the result.
--And: count the letters of each word in this poem to get pi to twenty decimal places:
Sir, I bear a rhyme excelling
In mystic force and magic spelling
Celestial sprites elucidate
All my own striving can't relate.

Here's a way of visualizing BIG numbers by counting pennies. Also, be sure to follow some of the links at the end for terminology and more sense of BIG numbers.

powers of ten in real life

"ten coolest math results"   For all kinds of lists (not just math), see

----teaching mathematics

The Eisenhower National Clearinghouse is a huge and growing collection of lesson ideas, documents, etc. on mathematics and science education (it is now a subscription site).

The link to the Math Forum@Drexel offers a rich search facility for more mathematics education resources, problems, homework help, etc.

A good collection of resource links--history, recreation, fun, etc.

A large collection of mathematics and science resource links (from Crucial Cloud Hosting)

This is a great collection of virtual manipulatives for various mathematics topics at all levels of K-12.

Two websites from the Smithsonian Institution on history of mathematics education: math teaching tools and teaching math and science in the Age of Sputnik  

Here is a resources website from Britain, with materials for students and teachers for K-12 nrich maths

A collection of websites of various applications of calculators

Here is Mathematically Sane, promoting rational reform of school mathematics, and a blog, Rational Mathematics Education
My own work in mathematics education: teaching, scholarly activity, and ethnomathematics

...and my course webpages:
----MATH 204 Concepts of Mathematics for Teachers I
----MATH 323 Teaching Mathematics in Elementary School
----MATH 301/501 History of Mathematics
----MATH 428 Senior Seminar in Mathematics Education
----MATH 602 Cultural and Philosophical Background of Mathematics
----MATH 602-Howard County
----MATH 602-Southern Maryland
----SEMS 250 Perspectives in Science and Mathematics

Graduate Education  

Towson University's Graduate College
---Program Directors
---Admission Application
---Thesis Guidelines
---Graduate Assistantships (application; openings;
 FY2013 GA Request Form , Graduate Assistantship Handbook)
---Graduate Faculty  ( list, application form )
---Alumni Association Grad Fellowship
---Commencement , Graduation Application
---Writing/Statistics/Research Help Center
---Graduate Studies Committee
---Graduate Students Association (calendar, travel/research grants )  Office in Psychology Building, room 203
---my administrative work in the Graduate College

Council of Graduate Schools

American Association of State Colleges and Universities

Maryland Higher Education Commission (Programs and Program Approvals)

University System of Maryland  (Academic Programs)

Carnegie classifications of universities

Boyer model of types of scholarship

the US Copyright Office

news from Inside Higher Education


Here is the astronomy picture of the day.

A trip from Earth (Mt Everest) to the edge of the known universe (video)

The World of Science (with sections on Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, Math, and Scientific Biography).

Much information on the largest dwarf planet Eris (formerly 2003-UB-313) (from the discoverer's own website).  This is the object that is bigger than Pluto and pushed the debate that removed Pluto from the list of planets.

The Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) page has news updates from current projects [Mars Rovers, Cassini-Huygens (at Saturn)]

NASA has reports on current and upcoming missions [ New Horizon(to Pluto)] and other space news (NASA TV online--if it is showing)

Here is a live view of the earth from the International Space Station, with a map showing the real-time location of the ISS

This link tells when you can see the ISS passing overhead

I am a member of the Planetary Society, whose link offers astronomical pictures and other resource materials on space.

This link goes to the Space Telescope Science Institute (in Baltimore), the home of the Hubble Telescope. It has information, news, activities, and pictures from Hubble.

Here is current information on comets.  Less current: Halley's Comet (get ready! it will be back in 2061!) Here is a 2003 photo of Halley, with more links.

Lunar phases for 1800 to 2199

...And this is a page on eclipses (maps, timetables, etc). Here is a world map of light pollution  and this is a world map of city lights

This allows you to get a picture of the Earth centered wherever you want or with other locational features.

Bad Astronomy debunks errors and myths, clarifies facts, and includes interesting notes.

This should be everything you need to know about the solar system and another general collection of astronomical information:
the Electronic Sky

This provides a collection of models of the solar system.  On a bigger scale, here is a best-guess sketch of our galactic neighborhood and an Atlas of the Universe (actual locations--NOT an observational sky map; see the next items for that).

This is a great interactive sky map, including current locations of the sun, the moon (with correct phase), and planets--and with zoom capability. Photopic Sky Survey

And here is a guide to the night sky this week and related links.  Here is a collection of more online planetarium and sky map services, notably, Sky View Cafe .  Here is SkyTonight, a collection of news and observation information.

Here are basic almanac data

Time and date: a good resource for localizable data on time, calendar, time-zones,sun/moon, etc.

Africa and the World

"Ex Africa semper aliquid novi" (There is always something new from Africa)
                       ---Pliny the Elder (Rome, 23-79 CE)

Information about Africa: country info, politics, culture, food, African Studies, conferences, other Internet resources, K-12 materials, links to Africa, etc.

This is a good source of African news from

Africa Action informs and lobbies on African issues. 

Here are some pages about Ghana (each with more links):  from Penn State African StudiesGhanaian cooking; and adinkra.  Here is a dictionary of Ghanaian slang (Twi and English) (I had more links, but several have closed; I will look for replacements).  

Helping to get global education into K-12 classrooms: Global Education News

This goes to the Africa-America Institute  

The Partnership for Higher Education in Africa encourages support for African universities.  The webpage also has many useful links.  The Nigeria Higher Education Foundation, with help from a matching grant from the MacArthur Foundation, is supporting four universities in Nigeria: Ahmadu Bello, Ibadan, Bayero, and Port Harcourt.

The World Factbook has almanac-like data on all countries.

The public radio program from PRI, BBC, and WGBH: "The World"  and the public radio (PRI) environment program: "Living on Earth

WorldMapper--world maps with country areas proportional to measures of interest.
A world of one hundred people (video)

Forty interesting maps

Here is a world map of population

How far is it? (distances between any two places in the world) ; bearings and distance (but needs latitute/longitude)

General physical information about the Earth:  Earth-at-a-Glance

Up-to-the-second changing estimates of many world statistics from Worldometers

I have visited such diverse places as Timbuktu, the top of Mt Kilimanjaro, Copacabana/Ipanema Beaches, the Ginza, the Alhambra, Budapest, Stratford-upon-AvonBagdad (Arizona!), the Grand Canyon (most recently in August 2007), and the Sydney Opera House  In summer 2009, I visited China and saw the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the terracotta warriors, Shanghai's Pudong, and other places.  In summer of 2010, Stonehenge was added to this list, and 2012 took me to Loch Ness in Scotland.  I was in Soweto in 2014.

This world map has the countries I have visited colored red

visited 35 states (15.5%)
Create your own visited map of The World or Like this? try: Facebook test

More of my personal Africa links.   Jeff & Lauren's Ghana travel (July-August 2005) blog


I often wear bola ties, reflecting my Arizona heritage.

I support National Public Radio, and in particular, I am a member of Your Public Radio, WYPR in Baltimore. These links have program info and links to news, features, and music.

The kid in me still likes the comics in the newspaper.  My favorites: Peanuts, Doonesbury, Mother Goose and Grimm, For Better or For Worse (FBoFW), Pearls before Swine, and Garfield. Here are old Calvin and Hobbs.

Here's some info on Beethoven. Here are all nine symphonies. (I observe his birthday on Dec 16).

Simon and Garfunkel lyrics 

Here is a free on-line language translator (English/Spanish/French/Russian/German)

Common phrases in hundreds of languages

I am a member of Towson United Methodist Church,
(TUMC) where I chaired the Worship Work Area committee 2002-07 and served as chair of the Parish-Staff Relations Committee 2009-10. I occasionally serve as an usher or liturgist. Here are "unbound Bible" (an online searchable Bible in various translations and languages) and a searchable online Qur'an. The Metanexus Institute is an organization devoted to advancing research, education and outreach on the constructive engagement of science and religion.  Here is the webpage of public radio's "On Being" program with Krista Tippett.  In Washington, I like to visit the National Cathedral

Peacemakers: Matthew 5:9 (Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God), Qur'an 49:10 (Make peace between your brethren and be careful of (your duty to) Allah that mercy may be had on you.), Isaiah 2:4 (they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more), Buddha: Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace, Mahatma Gandhi: Be the peace you wish for the world;   Peace Corps, the Carter Center, American Friends Service Committee, Alliance for Peace Building"Let There Be Peace on Earth" (video--sung to Pope Francis at Ground Zero in New York, Sept 2015)


Roots, Family, and Education

I am originally from Arizona (see Arizona Highways), growing up in Flagstaff and Mesa. Arizona celebrated its centennial of statehood on February 14, 2012.  My father's family had moved from Virginia to South Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, and Arizona between the late 1700s and early 20th century.  The Shirley Association genealogical website shows my great-grandfather, Joseph Jonathan Shirley, and four generations before him.  My mother's family had lived mostly in upstate New York for several generations (some genealogy references) My ethnicity is mostly Anglo-Saxon from my father's side and a mixture of Anglo-Saxon, Dutch-German, and one-eighth Irish from my mother's side. My late wife, Alberta, was Akan (Akuapim) and Kyerepong (Guan) from her mother's side and Fante from her father's side. 

My late father, Robert Shirley, was a journalist, working at the Arizona Daily Sun (in Flagstaff) and then, for 27 years, as editor of the Mesa Tribune.

My mother Shirley A Shirley, passed away on January 11, 2015, at age 94.  She had been a homemaker, but also managed at the school bookstore of Carson Junior High and volunteered at the Mesa Southwest Museum (now the Arizona Museum of Natural History) and, for over thirty years, at the Banner Mesa Medical Center until it closed in 2007.  Both of my parents served
in the Army in Europe in World War II.

My brother, Don Shirley, is a free-lance writer (theatre, travel, etc.) in Los Angeles. He formerly wrote for the Theater section of the Los Angeles Times and was the theatre critic for the (now-closed) L.A. City Beat and L.A. Stage Times (on hiatus).  He now reviews theatre for L.A. Observed.  His wife, Ellen Switkes, led the storytelling program, Cornucopia, in Los Angeles; she continues to work with story-telling and tutoring.

Here is information on my late wife and our children.

I was in the first graduating class of Westwood High School in Mesa, Arizona (here is my class reunion site). I received my B.S. (History [History alumni] and Mathematics) (double major) degree from the California Institute of Technology, my M.Ed. (Comparative and International Education) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and my Ph.D. (Curriculum and Instruction in Mathematics Education) at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria.  (The Nigeria Higher Education Foundation, with help from a matching grant from the MacArthur Foundation, is supporting Ahmadu Bello University and four other Nigerian universities.)

Life in West Africa

I lived in West Africa for a total of about eighteen years. The first three years, I was a Peace Corps Volunteer [service statement] [I'm now a member of the National Peace Corps Association; here is the Peace Corps Library] in Sierra Leone [Here is the page for Friends of Sierra Leone]. I taught secondary school mathematics in Bonthe (Bonthe 71+/-2 group )for two years and lived for a year in Bo as I organized teacher workshops throughout the Southern Province.   After a brief stay in the US, I returned to West Africa and stayed for fifteen years, teaching mathematics education and serving as head of the Mathematics Education Section of the Department of Education at Ahmadu Bello University, in Zaria, Nigeria (here is Friends of Nigeria). I also worked on several projects developing and implementing mathematics curricula for all levels of Nigerian schools. In recognition of my work in Nigerian mathematics education, I was elected a Fellow of the Mathematical Association of Nigeria.  After we moved to the US in 1988, we occasionally visited Ghana (my wife and son went there in the summer of 2005; my children, their families, and I went for my wife's memorial ceremonies in 2010; mostly recently I spent a week there in 2013), where we have a house in Koforidua, my wife's hometown.
More general Africa links.
[See also my  CV/resume and/or my short narrative biography]

I have been at Towson University (2016 Strategic Plan and its Guiding Principles), in Towson, Maryland, just north of Baltimore, (more Baltimore news, info) since 1989.

I plan to retire from Towson University as of January 1, 2016.


I am a tenured professor in the Mathematics Department. I have taught History of Mathematics [course page], as well as methodology and content courses for teachers. I developed and taught Senior Seminar in Mathematics Education [course page] and a graduate course on Cultural and Philosophical Background of Mathematics [course page]. I taught this course for Towson's program in Shanghai, China, in Summer 2009.  Also, I have supervised student teachers.  After working as an administrator in the Graduate College for more than a decade, I returned to teaching in Fall 2012
(Before coming to Towson, I taught for one year (1988-89) in the Mathematics Department at Northern Illinois University, and prior to that, I taught mathematics education courses for fifteen years at Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria.)
I was honored by being named College Professor of the Year for 1997 of the Maryland Council of Teachers of Mathematics.


I maintain an interest in ethnomathematics that I developed while living in West Africa, and am the Past-President of the North American Study Group on Ethnomathematics (NASGEm) and a member of the Board of the International Study Group on Ethnomathematics (ISGEm).  I was the Chief Organizer of the Fourth International Conference on Ethnomathematics, held in Baltimore in July 2010, and I have attended all five of the ICEMs, most recently in Maputo, Mozambique in 2014..  I served as co-chair of the ethnomathematics Topic Study Group at the 12th International Congress on Mathematical Education in Seoul, South Korea in July 2012, and will again serve in that role for the 13th International Congress on Mathematical Education, in Hamburg, Germany, in July 2016.  Also, I gave an invited plenary address at the Fourth Brazilian Ethnomathematics Conference in Belem, Brazil, in November 2012

My writings and presentations have included examples of mathematics in African culture, the use of algorithms by unschooled Nigerians, applications of ethnomathematics in mathematics classrooms, and the use of ethnomathematics in teacher education.  I have spoken on ethnomathematics at many national and regional meetings of the
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and state meetings of the Maryland Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Earlier, I spoke on "Ethnomathematics in Teacher Education" at the First International Conference of Ethnomathematics (ICEM-1) in Spain in 1998 and led a roundtable discussion on teacher education at ICEM-2 in Brazil in 2002.  I spoke at the ICEM-3 in New Zealand in 2006, on "Ethnomathematics in Global Education Programs".  I made a presentation entitled "Ethnomathematics: A Fundamental of Instructional Methodology" at the International Congress of Mathematical Education (ICME-9) in Japan in 2000, and on "Ethnomathematics Looks Back and Looks Forward" at ICME-11 in Mexico in 2008.   At ICEM-5 in 2014, I spoke about a special class assignment to have students look into their own cultures and find mathematics.
My continuing interest in Africa led me to the National Summit on Africa in February 2000.  I am a member of the Advisory Panel of the Ethnomathematics Digital Library, part of an NSF project for a National Science Digital Library.  Also, I have made numerous general presentations on ethnomathematics and multicultural mathematics, including two for International Studies Schools Association conferences, and two presentations (2011, 2013) at Towson's annual Gissendanner Symposia on African and African-American Studies. 
[See also my  CV/resume and/or my short narrative biography]

Scholarly Activity

I have spoken at numerous national and regional conferences of the National Council of the Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), state meetings of the Maryland Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM), and other local, national, and international conferences and seminars. I presented a talk on "Number Words" at the MCTM 2007conference.  Some previous talks were on using costumes in the history of mathematics (NCTM 1999),  the history of mathematics education in the 20th century (NCTM 2000), the overlapping histories of mathematics and astronomy (MCTM 2001),  "Believing in Impossible Mathematics" (several versions: MCTM 2002, NCTM Eastern Regional 2004, and NCTM 2005).  Other presentations are mentioned above in the "Ethnomathematics" section.
My most recent publication was a group of eight articles included in the The Encyclopedia of Mathematics and Society.  Earlier, I had a jointly-written article in The Centroid, on Thomas Fuller, a slave in 18th century Virginia, who had remarkable calculation abilities.  My paper from ICME-9 appears in the 2001/3 issue of ZDM (International Review of Mathematics Education). Other recent publications are "History of Mathematics in the 20th Century: A Brief Review of the Century" in the January 2000 Teaching Mathematics in the Middle School, and "A Visit from Pythagoras--Using Costumes in the Classroom" in the November 2000 Mathematics Teacher (based on part of my NCTM '99 presentation). Other publications include articles based on my ICEM presentations in the Proceedings of both the 1998 and 2002 conferences, a contribution to the 1995 NCTM Yearbook, Connecting Mathematics Across the Curriculum, and two articles in NCTM journals: "Nominals: Numbers as Names" in the December 1995 Teaching Children Mathematics and "Activities from African Calendar and Time Customs" in the Jan/Feb 1996 Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School
I also contribute occasional book reviews for Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School and the online Convergence
My current interests include the history of 20th Century mathematics education, dramatizations of history of mathematics, the ethnomathematics of "kid culture," and the use of primes and factors in problem solving exercises. I have worked on an outline of a proposed textbook (and possible web-based course) on the history and culture of mathematics. I also have done archival work on local history of mathematics.

Administration and Professional Service

From 2001 to 2011, I served as Associate and Acting Dean of the Graduate Studies  (and did some teaching).  In January 2012, I returned to the Mathematics Department.  I was on sabbatical in Spring Semester of 2012 and resumed full teaching in Fall 2012.

Previously I was Assistant Chair of the
Mathematics Department (January 1998-June 1999; 2000-2001) and Acting Chair (1999-2000). I return to being Assistant Chair for 2013-2015.  I directed the Master of Science in Mathematics Education degree program 1998-2001. In the Fisher College of Science and Mathematics (FCSM), I formerly represented the Mathematics Department on the College Council, and served two years as the Chair of the Council. While in the Graduate College, I was an ex-officio member of the Graduate Studies Committee.  I formerly served on the Teacher Education Executive Board, the General Education Sub-Committee, and the University Promotions and Tenure Committee (Chair in 2000-2001).  During 1996-97, I participated in the Towson Leadership Institute, which involved retreats and seminars on the functioning of the university.

Outside the university, I served as the Maryland State Director for the
American Mathematics Competitions--8 between 1991 and 2004.

In 2000, I was honored to receive the University and Professional Service Award from the
Fisher College of Science and Mathematics.
Here are some references on graduate education in general and at Towson University.

[See also my  CV/resume and/or my short narrative biography]


In March of 2010, I was widowed, after almost 36 years of marriage, with the passing of my wife, Alberta.  I have two grown children and a grown step-daughter.  The photo on the left (from 2007) has me and my wife in front, our daughter and son-in-law and our son and daughter-in-law behind us.  The photo on the right (Dec 2013) shows our four-generation line: my mother, myself, my daughter, and generation four--my granddaughter.


-------Photos (and service announcement) of Alberta

My late wife, Alberta Ohenewah Shirley, came from Koforidua, Ghana [several Ghana sites seem to have shut down, but I hope to have new ones listed soon; this is on Koforidua]. A few months before her death, she was honored on her 20th anniversary of being employed as a crew trainer at our local McDonald's restaurant.  Earlier, she was a baker--helping in her mother's bread business in Koforidua, and then supplying small cakes to many shops and kiosks in Zaria/Samaru, Nigeria.  She passed away on March 21, 2010, after suffering from liver cancer.

My son,Jefferson Kodwo Robert Shirley, earned a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics and a Master's degree in Mathematics Education from Michigan State University
(his very old website has old family photos) and did additional graduate work at  the University of California at Berkeley.  In 2008, he completed an MBA degree at San Jose State University.  He
gained tenure in the mathematics faculty at De Anza College in "Silicon Valley" of northern California (old DeAnza site) (here is his blog).  In 2005, he was in Ghana and contributed to a travel blog (photos).  He and Lauren Hall-Lew (blog) were married in December 2006 (here are some photos; and nearly the full set--about 300!).  They now live in Edinburgh, Scotland, where Lauren teaches sociolinguistics at the University of Edinburgh and he is a Senior Advisor for Visiting Students. In March 2014, they adopted a 1 1/2-year-old girl, Isla (born August 21, 2012;  password-protected photos; more information on her later).  Their cat, Geordi, now lives in Towson with me.

My daughter, Emily Abena Juliana Sweet (an old blog from 2008), is the Director of the La Petite pre-school at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, which she led to accreditation by the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation.   She is a graduate of Towson University, with a B.S. in Family Studies.  In August 2004, she married Jamaar Sweet, with a wedding in Hawaii. (Here are photos).  Jamaar is a program specialist at a home for troubled youths and also does kung fu.  Their daughter, Maya, was born May 1, 2008, and had to have heart surgery at 6 days old.  She is now doing fine. (early photos) (most recent) The first two photos below were when she was about an hour old (with Dad and Mom); and about six months (with Grandpa).

The third photo is our family after Alberta's memorial service in Ghana in August 2010. The last is as Maya started kindergarten
at Roland Park Elementary-Middle School in August 2013.  She is a fan of the Disney princesses and the My Little Ponies


 My wife's daughter, Takyiwah Afua Matilda Adisi, is the mother of four and lives in  Koforidua, GhanaShe has a taxi business and also runs a business of selling bottled water and renting party supplies.

genealogical roots and family connections



Lawrence H. Shirley

Mail: home: 854 Bosley Avenue, Towson MD 21204-2610
         business-related: Towson University, Department of Mathematics, 8000 York Road, Towson, Maryland 21252-0001  (but not checked regularly)

Phone:  Home: 410-825-1328 (with answering machine)

FAX: 410-704-4149 (be sure to indicate the message is for me--this fax is in the Mathematics Department)

E-Mail: (this is the most reliable way to reach me)
---alternative email (but not checked as regularly):
---any old email address which includes the word "saber" is now out of use

New personal webpage: it doesn't yet have any content! 

Here is a map that shows Towson University and also my home (marked with an arrow) at 854 Bosley Avenue, Towson MD 21204-2610
Here are
directions to Towson University and a campus map

As of January 1, 2016, I am retired from Towson University.  As my last classes, in Fall 2015, I taught MATH 204 Mathematics Concepts and Structures (for teachers) and two sections of SEMS 250 Perspectives in Science and Mathematics.   I may do part-time teaching in Fall 2016.

Updated on 31 March 2016

All links were checked and updated as necessary on 1 March 2012.

This map shows the locations of people who have visited this website.
The map was restarted after the older content was archived in June 2010.
Locations of visitors to this page

[ Top ]

















(most are for conference presentations unless otherwise indicated)
costumes for math history
ethnomathematics (similar to ethnomath (above) but with history and more links)
ethnomathematics in global education programs--for ICEM-3
ethnomath looks back and looks forward--for ICME-11
(original and current page for the ICEM-4 conference of July 2010)
-----[the other--obsolete--page is ]
(this page)
math 204 (Concepts of Mathematics for Teachers I)
math301 ("History of Mathematics" course page)
math 323 Teaching Mathematics in Elementary School
("Cultural and Philosophical Background of Mathematics" course page)
math602China (similar to the regular MATH 602 course page, but modified for 3-week pattern and Chinese offering
(similar to the regular MATH 602 course page, but arranged for the independent study offering)
(similar to the regular MATH 602 course page, but arranged for a 10-week pattern of 3:45 classes)
math602southernmaryland (also the 10-week format, but straddling the holiday break--for southern Maryland)
math602revised10week (arranged for nine class meetings)
sems250 (Perspectives  in Science and Mathematics)
number words
puns (collected from various sources)

(a brief c.v.)
(course page for MATH 428)

my page
My Mathematics Dept faculty page
my LinkedIn page
my Facebook profile page
ICEM-4 Facebook page
My Xanga page
my Peace Corps Connect page
Geordi's CatBook homepage

Lawrence Hoyt Shirley
Larry (with a "w")
547   (read it upside down!)
Yelrihs Ecnerwal
Really, when is rec?---Where is clan lyre?---Nearly his crewel (anagrams, but not very good!)
Wכfa Yaw  (Akan-Twi, from Ghana: Uncle Yaw=Thursday male)
(Xue Li Ren)  (Mandarin name, given by students, from a phrase about kindness by Confucius)
Bahago(Hausa for left-handed, from northern Nigeria)
Lahai Challey (Mende name, from Sierra Leone)
Λόρενς Σίρλυ (Greek script: Lawrence Shirley)
Лoренc Ширлй  (Cyrillic script: Lawrence Shirley)
(Arabic script: Lawrence Shirley--right to left) لورانس شيرلي 
(Hebrew script: Lawrence Shirley--right to left) לורנס שירלי
로렌스 셜리 (Korean script: Lawrence Shirley)
लाव्रेंस शिरली (Devanagari [Hindi] script: Lawrence Shirley)
• ― •• | • ― | • ― ― | •― •| • |― • |― • ― • | • | | •••|••••|••|• ―•|•― ••|•|― •― ― (International Morse Code)
       |01010011|01101000|01101001|01110010|01101100|01100101|01111001|00001101  (Lawrence Hoyt Shirley in binary code)


African News
Astronomy Picture of the Day
Mathematician's birthday
new Mersenne Prime?
xkcd and
three math/geek humor blogs: Spiked Math, Math-Fail, and GaussFacts
Calvin and Hobbs
election polling: five-thirty-eight blog
my FaceBook Home
Jeff's blog     Jeff's FaceBook   Jeff's new blog
Emily's blog    Emily's Facebook
Maya photos     Maya's Care Pages
Lauren's new blog   Lauren's Facebook
Jamaar's FaceBook

[ Top ]