On the campus of


Steve Pauls -Interim Executive Director
spauls@aimsedu.org — (559) 255-4094

Steve PaulsSteve Pauls currently holds a joint appointment between Fresno Pacific University and the AIMS Center. He received his doctorate from the University of Kansas in Physical Chemistry and over the past 15 years he has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses for FPU in science, mathematics, and teacher education. He is currently teaching the general physics sequence on the undergraduate side and several different courses for the graduate STEM Master’s Education program for teachers. Steve also works closely with teachers in the valley through a variety of Math Science Partnership (MSP) multi-year grants looking to improve both content and pedagogy of our regional teachers. For the AIMS Center, Steve has been tasked with understanding and interpreting the latest research involving the cognitive development and conceptual understanding of young children in science and mathematics. He is interested in developing an integrative program involving spatial representation and learning within context of science education.

Richard Thiessen, Ph.D. – Emeritus, Research Fellow
rthiess@aimsedu.org — (559) 255-4094

Richard ThiessenAs Director of Research, Richard Thiessen is setting the vision for the knowledge translation happening at the AIMS Center for Mathematics and Science Education. He is also serving the role of Senior Researcher, leading a team involved in translating research related to the development of number sequences in young children.  Richard is a professor emeritus at Fresno Pacific University, where he served as Director of the Graduate Math/Science Education Program for many years.  During that time he was the PI and Co-PI for Eisenhower and NSF grants, respectively.  For the past 14 years, Richard has been the President of the AIMS Education Foundation.  Within respect to his involvement in mathematics, one of Richard’s passions has been teaching and exploring geometry, especially three-dimensional geometry.  A second passion not unrelated to the first is mechanical puzzles and in particular, three-dimensional mechanical puzzles that help students make concrete connections to geometric concepts and relationships. Dr. Thiessen received a Bachelors degree in mathematics from Friends University, a Masters in mathematics, and Ph.D. in mathematics/mathematics education from the University of Oklahoma.

Deb Porcarelli – Director, Professional Learning Division
dporcarelli@aimsedu.org — (559) 255-4094

Deb PorcarelliIn her 33rd year as an educator, Deb Porcarelli is currently the Director of Professional Learning at the AIMS Center for Math and Science Education. She has BS in Elementary Education and a Masters Degree in Integrated Mathematics and Science Education. She taught in a small rural K-12 school in South Central Montana, and joined the AIMS Facilitator cadre in 1995. In her current role at the AIMS Center, she is continually working to make professional learning partnerships with educators effective, and has the goal of helping them to improve their classroom teaching practices.