Dr Tanya Evans

PhD (Rice University), Red Diploma of Excellence (Herzen Pedagogical University)


Tanya is a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics with a research focus in mathematics education. Her research interests include the design of new modes of delivery in higher education utilising affordances of technological advances (e.g. blended-learning). She is currently involved in teaching and coordinating the largest stage II service course offered by the department. Tanya brings a multinational perspective to her position having enjoyed a diverse range of educational experiences. After finishing her undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Education in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tanya was awarded a graduate fellowship at Rice University in Texas, USA. She completed her PhD in Pure Mathematics with a  specialisation in Low-Dimensional Topology. Seizing an opportunity while at Rice, Tanya also took MBA courses in Financial Mathematics, which remains an area of interest for her. After moving to New Zealand Tanya's main focus shifted towards teaching and learning practices. She is particularly interested in the professional development of teaching staff and was one of the founding members of the Peer Review and Observation group in her department. She also manages and conducts research on an intra-departmental content-focussed professional development project - the Development and Analysis of the Teaching of Undergraduate Mathematics (DATUM) in which colleagues have the opportunity both to observe others teach and examine their own lecturing practice.

Since 2016 Tanya serves as a NZ Executive Committee member of HERDSA (Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia). She is also a member of the International Steering Committee of the DELTA conferences on the teaching and learning of undergraduate mathematics and statistics.

Since 2017 Tanya is a member of the executive committee of the New Zealand Mathematics Society Education Group leading a special interest group on 'Advocacy for improved teaching and learning of mathematics in high-schools'.


Research | Current

I conduct developmental research to inform improvements in teaching and learning practices that lead to enhanced student learning at university level

Current projects:

  • Developmental research: incorporating online quizzes as part of year one university mathematics course to inform PD framework for utilising blended-learning  
  • 'Investigating the impact of non-routine problem solving on creativity, engagement and intuition of STEM tertiary students' - funded by the Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (New Zealand Goverment Fund). Value $200,000 (with PIs Asoc/Prof Sergiy Klymchuk and Emeritus Prof Mike Thomas)
  • DATUM (the Development and Analysis of the Teaching of Undegraduate Mathematics) - intra-departmental professional development of mathematics teachers in an university environment


Teaching | Current

  • MATHS 208 Course Coordinator
  • STATS 370 (Financial Mathematics)
  • STATS 722 (Financial Mathematics)


Red Diploma of Excellence - the highest distinction awarded for an undergraduate degree from Herzen Pedagogical University of St Petersburg (Russia), 1997

Rice University graduate fellowship (fully-funded Masters and PhD), 1998–2003

Nomination for the ‘Lecturer of The Year’ award, Massey University, 2009

Member of the team awarded the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence, Faculty of Science, UoA, 2015

Centre for Learning and Research (CLeaR) Fellowship (2016) on the theme of e-learning


Coordinator of Masters of Professional Studies programme

Marketing coordinator for the Department of Mathematics

Areas of expertise

Financial mathematics

Blended learning

Professional development of teaching staff

Low dimensional topology

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • member of the New Zealand Executive Committee of HERDSA (Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia)
  • member of the International Steering Committee of the DELTA conferences on the teaching and learning of undergraduate mathematics and statistics
  • member of PROMT (Peer Review and Observation of Mathematical Teaching) group
  • organiser of the DATUM (Development and Analysis of the Teaching of Undergraduate Mathematics) professional development discussion group
  • member of the executive committee of the New Zealand Mathematics Society Education Group leading a special interst group on 'Advocacy for improved teaching and learning of mathematics in secondary schools'
  • member of the Internal Reference Group for STEM Online NZ project. This project was initiated with the aim to support classroom teaching and learning in NZ schools. It has been developed as a blended solution combining traditional and e-learning practices, with the content tailored to appeal to New Zealand teenage students. The key course components include: online learning materials, interactive learning content, videos, avatars, animations, quizzes, game-based content, classroom based experiments and activities, online tutoring and support by University of Auckland students, and an online community with social media interaction.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Evans, T. (2017). Pre-lecture Canvas quizzes to improve student engagement and lecture attendance. Paper presented at 2017 ILT Teaching Forum: “Think BIG… start small’, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Oates, G., Beswick, K., Evans, T., King, D., & Fielding-Wells, J. (2017). Videos in teacher professional development: Fostering an international community of practice. In M. Vollstedt, I. Kontorovich, K. Jones (Eds.) Proceedings of the 41st conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, 12-14. Singapore.
  • Evans, T., Klymchuk, S., & Thomas, M. (2017). Creative thinking skills as a learning outcome for tertiary STEM students: Researching the impact of the regular use of non-routine problem solving as a pedagogical strategy. In E. Heinrich, C. Mariskind, I. Fuller (Eds.) TERNZ 2017: Tertiary Education Research in New Zealand, 34-36. Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand: Research on Teaching and Learning Group, Massey University.
  • Oates, G., & Evans, T. (2017). Research mathematicians and mathematics educators: Collaborating for professional development. In K. Patterson (Ed.) Focus on mathematics education research (pp. 1-1). New York: NOVA Science Publishers.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Greg Oates
  • Novak, J., Kensington-Miller, B., & Evans, T. (2017). Flip or flop? Students’ perspectives of a flipped lecture in mathematics. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 48 (5), 647-658. 10.1080/0020739X.2016.1267810
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/34381
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Julia Novak, Barbara Kensington-Miller
  • Evans, T. (2016). Break 30%: Mission (im)possible? Do the numbers of students attending lectures drop off towards the end of each semester?. Paper presented at CLeaR Teaching and Learning Symposium 2016, Auckland, New Zealand. 16 November 2016.
  • Evans, T., Novak, J., & Kensington-Miller B (2016). Testing the boundaries of student engagement. Paper presented at TERNZ 2016: Tertiary Education Research in New Zealand, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. 30 November - 2 December 2016.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Julia Novak
  • Klymchuk, S., & Evans, T. (2016). Enhancing generic thinking skills of tertiary STEM students through puzzle-based learning. Proceedings of Ako Aotearoa Northern and Central Hub’s Projects Alive! Colloquium, 10-10. Auckland, New Zealand: Ako Aotearoa – The National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.


Contact details

Alternative contact

ext 88783

Office hours

Tuesdays 2-4pm

During summer by appointment only


Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 303 - Bldg 303
Level 1, Room 154
New Zealand

Social links

Web links