David C. Geary home page Department of Psychological Sciences home page
University of Missouri-Columbia home page



Curators' Professor
Department of Psychological Sciences
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211-2500
Phone: 573-882-6268
Fax: 573-882-7710
E-mail: GearyD@Missouri.edu

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David C. Geary is a cognitive developmental and evolutionary psychologist with interests in mathematical learning and sex differences. After receiving his Ph.D. in 1986 from the University of California at Riverside, he held faculty positions at the University of Texas at El Paso and the University of Missouri, first at the Rolla campus and then in Columbia. Dr. Geary is currently a Curators' Professor and a Thomas Jefferson Fellow in the Department of Psychological Sciences and Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program. He has published more than 240 articles and chapters across a wide range of topics, including cognitive, developmental, and evolutionary psychology, education, and medicine, including four sole-authored books; Children's mathematical development (1994), Male, female: The evolution of human sex differences (1998, now in second edition. 2010), The origin of mind: Evolution of brain, cognition, and general intelligence (2005), and Evolution of vulnerability: Implications for sex differences in health (2015), as well as one co-authored book, Sex differences: Summarizing more than a century of scientific research (Ellis et al., 2008). He is co-editing a series of five books on Advances in Mathematical Cognition and Learning with Drs. Dan Berch and Kathy Mann Koepke. The first two volumes, Evolutionary origins and early development of basic number processing (2015) and Development of mathematical cognition: Neural substrates and genetic influences (2016) have been published; the third volume Acquiring complex arithmetic skills and higher-order mathematical concepts will be released in the fall, 2016. Geary and Berch also co-edited Evolutionary perspectives on child development and education (2016). Dr. Geary has given invited addresses in a variety of departments (anthropology, biology, behavior genetics, computer science, education, government, mathematics, neuroscience, physics, and psychology) and Universities throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Europe and East Asia.

Dr. Geary is the lead investigator on a longitudinal study of children’s mathematical development and learning disabilities (see MU Math Study).

In addition to these academic activities, he was a key contributor to the 1999 Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools: Kindergarten through grade twelve. Dr. Geary served on the President's National Mathematics Advisory Panel, and chaired the panel's Learning Processes task-group. Dr. Geary was appointed by President Bush to the National Board of Directors for the Institute for Education Sciences (U.S. Department of Education), and served on the board until November 2010.

Dr. Geary has also contributed to more applied issues, especially as related to mathematics education. Based on his studies of children's mathematical learning and learning disabilities, he has written pieces for parents and teachers on the topic, including a recent article for the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development.

Among many distinctions is the Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (1996), a MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health, and co-recipient of the 2009 George A. Miller Award, American Psychological Association, for outstanding journal article in general psychology. He is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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