Associate Professor, Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Human Development Area
884 Educational Sciences
1025 West Johnson Street
Madison, WI 53706-1706
Percival Matthews is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology whose interests focus on the ways the people learn about math and number. The bulk of his research is organized around two primary goals: (1) understanding the basic underpinnings of human mathematical cognition and (2) finding ways to leverage this understanding to create effective pedagogical techniques that can be used to impact the life chances of everyday students.
- PhD Psychology, Vanderbilt University, 2010
- MA Political Theory, University of Chicago, 2001
- BA Physics, Harvard University, 1997
- Fyfe, E. R., Matthews, P., & Amsel, E. (2020). College developmental math students’ knowledge of the equal sign. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 104(1), 65-85.
- Park, Y., Viegut, A. A., & Matthews, P. (2020). More than the Sum of its Parts: Exploring the Development of Ratio Magnitude vs. Simple Magnitude Perception. Developmental Science, e13043.
- Kalra, P. B., Binzak, J. V., Matthews, P., & Hubbard, E. (2020). Symbolic fractions elicit an analog magnitude representation in school-age children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 195, 104844.
- Matthews, P., & Fuchs, L. S. (2018). Keys to the gate? Equal sign knowledge at 2nd grade predicts 4th grade algebra competence. Child Development
- Matthews, P., & Ellis, A. B. (2018). Natural alternatives to natural number: The case of ratio. Journal of Numerical Cognition
- Matthews, P., & Lewis, M. R. (2017). Fractions we can’t ignore: The ratio congruity effect. Cognitive Science, 41(6), 1656-1674.
- Matthews, P., Lewis, M. R., & Hubbard, E. (2016). Individual differences in nonsymbolic ratio processing predict symbolic math performance. Psychological Science, 27(2), 191-202. Featured in Psychology Today.
- Matthews, P., & Chesney, D. L. (2015). Fractions as percepts? Exploring cross-format distance effects for fractional magnitudes. Cognitive Psychology, 78, 28–56.
- Lewis, M. R., Matthews, P., & Hubbard, E. M. (2015). The non-symbolic foundations of fraction understanding.. Development of Mathematical Cognition: Neural Substrates and Genetic Influences Academic Press.
- Matthews, P., Rittle-Johnson, B., McEldoon, K., & Taylor, R. (2012). Measure for measure: What combining diverse measures reveals about children's understanding of the equal sign as an indicator of mathematical equality. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 43(3), 316–350.
- Viegut, A., & Matthews, P. (2021). Using analogy to improve fraction understanding. presented at the Mathematics Cognition and Learning Society Conference, Dublin, Ireland.
- Sterling-Alves, I., Park, Y., Kalra, P. B., Binzak, J. V., Matthews, P., & Hubbard, E. (2020, May). Educational Experience Connect Symbolic Fractions to Parietofrontal Nonsymbolic Ratio Processing Systems. Poster presented at the 27th Annual Meeting of Cognitive Neuroscience Society.
- Park, Y., Dean 3rd, D., Binzak, J. V., Matthews, P., & Hubbard, E. (2020, May). Symbolic and Non-Symbolic Fractions Relate to Different White Matter Tracts: A Cross-Sectional Diffusion MRI Tractography Study. Poster presented at the 27th Annual Meeting of Cognitive Neuroscience Society.
- Matthews, P. (2019, July). So What’s the Big Idea? The Importance of Knowledge Structures for Promoting School Learning. Paper presented at the Rumelhart Symposium of the 41st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
- Matthews, P., Binzak, J. V., Kalra, P. B., Park, Y., & Hubbard, E. (2019, March). Perceptual Routes to Rational Numbers. Paper presented at the 2019 Biennial Meeting on Society for Research in Child Development, Baltimore, MD.
- Park, Y., Binzak, J. V., Toomarian, E. Y., Kalra, P., Matthews, P., & Hubbard, E. (2018, July). Developmental changes in children’s processing of nonsymbolic ratio magnitudes: A crosssectional fMRI study. Poster presented at the 40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Madison, WI.
- Binzak, J. V., Toomarian, E. Y., Matthews, P., & Hubbard, E. (2018, July). Fractions War: An iOS game to measure and train magnitude processing with fractions. Poster presented at the 40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Madison, WI.
- Meng, R., Matthews, P., & Hubbard, E. (2018, July). Non-symbolic ratio sense supports symbolic fraction success. Poster presented at the 40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Madison, WI.
- Matthews, P. (2015, April). An alternative route to fractions knowledge. Symposium presented at the Fractions Learning: One Subject, Multiple Perspectives, Chicago, IL.
- Matthews, P. (2015, March). Delimiting and Leveraging Children’s Natural Sense of Proportion. Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), Philadelphia, PA.
Select Awards and Honors
- Impact 2030 Faculty Fellow, UW-Madison School of Education, 2020
- Loan Repayment Program Award in Pediatric Research, NIH, (2017, 2020)
- Understanding Human Cognition Scholar, James S. McDonnell Foundation, 2018
- Nellie McKay Fellowship, University of Wisconsin-Madison, (2016, 2017)
- Moreau Academic Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship, Provost of the University of Notre Dame, (2010, 2012)
- Hardy Culver Wilcoxon Award, Peabody College Department of Psychology and Human Development, 2010
- Julius Seeman Award, Peabody College Department of Psychology and Human Development, 2009
- Student Travel Award, Society for Research in Child Development, 2009
- Provost Fellowship, Vanderbilt University, 2005