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). 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 of mathematics as a focus for her research. 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 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 an 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 secondary schools'.

Tanya was the Opening Plenary speaker at the 12th Delta conference – the Southern Hemisphere Conference on Teaching and Learning of Undergraduate Mathematics ad Statistics, November 24-29, 2019, Fremantle, Perth, Australia. Her presentation titled "Who is tasked with the modernisation of university mathematics education? Research mathematicians and mathematics education researchers bridging the disciplinary gap" can be viewed on Tanya's YouTube channel.


Research | Current

I conduct developmental research to inform improvements in teaching and learning practices:

Current projects:

  • Evaluation research on testing innovations in higher education
  • Investigating affective domain: competence related beliefs, self-efficacy, mathematics anxiety, mindsets, emotions
  • Assessment (including the role of frequent low-stakes assessment on engagement)
  • Proving self-efficacy
  • Mathematical explanations (with Matthew Inglis and Juan Pablo Mejia Ramos)
  • Inquiry community for university mathematics teachers DATUM-2 (with Barbara Jaworski)
  • Non-routine problem solving: impact on creativity, engagement and intuition of STEM tertiary students (with Sergiy Klymchuk, Priscilla Murphy, Julia Novak, Mike Thomas, and Jason Stephens)


Teaching | Current

  • MATHS 130 Course Director
  • MATHS 208
  • STATS 370 (Financial Mathematics)
  • STATS 722 (Financial Mathematics)

Postgraduate supervision

PhD students:

  • Pascal Cheon
  • Kaitlin Riegel
  • Rox-Anne L'Italien-Bruneau
  • Neil Morrow
  • Yifei Wu


  • Vaisingano Tupou
  • Inae (Anna) Jeong



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


Head of the Mathematics Education Unit

Coordinator of Masters of Professional Studies programme

Teaching Professional Development Advisor

Areas of expertise

Mathematics Education

Financial mathematics

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)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Evans, T., Thomas, M. O. J., & Klymchuk, S. (2020). Non-routine problem solving through the lens of self-efficacy. Higher Education Research and Development10.1080/07294360.2020.1818061
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Michael Thomas


Contact details

Alternative contact

ext 88783

Office hours

Announced on Canvas


Primary office location

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

Social links

Web links