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The Connected Math Project

In the early 1980s, MSU mathematics researchers Glenda Lappan and Elizabeth (Betty) Phillips were working with middle school students, seeking a new way to help students grasp math concepts at a pivotal point in their education. 

The Connected Math Project was created to better assist students and teachers in developing mathematical knowledge, skills, understanding and an appreciation of the connection between mathematics and other disciplines. 

The first units were published in 1985, and used by teachers to make a transition away from traditional “show and practice” methods of teaching. Each unit was focused on a different area of mathematics and encouraged students by illustrating math in “real world” problem-solving situations. CMP is designed to adapt to changing needs of students and instructors in the classroom. 

In 1991, the National Science Foundation funded the first installment of CMP. Through this NSF funding, schools were able to create richer educational opportunities for students and teachers. A second revision was completed in 2000, and a third in 2010 reflected additional research and fully integrates Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.

The third edition of CMP is currently Michigan State University’s highest-grossing educational product, earning more than $4.8M in the last year alone. Built with robust online resources to support the millions of copies in middle schools across the country, CMP is published by Pearson Education, Inc.