Jessica Namkung, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders

Jessica Namkung’s research combines her interests in individual differences in learning and interventions to improve student achievement. In particular, she focuses on developing, implementing, and evaluating interventions for students with mathematical difficulties (MD; with or at-risk for mathematics learning disabilities), and understanding the cognitive and behavioral characteristics that explain responsiveness. Her overall goal is to provide insights on how core mathematical competence develops in students with MD and to understand how interventions can be designed to remediate their weaknesses. Namkung’s recent research focuses on understanding how pre-algebraic knowledge develops in secondary students with math learning difficulties and developing interventions to prepare these students in early grades before the introduction of formal algebra. She is also interested in extending her research to young children who are at-risk for developing math learning difficulties.

Namkung received her doctoral training in special education at Vanderbilt, where she had numerous research opportunities to be involved in the iterative process of developing, testing, and refining math interventions for at-risk children on large-scale RCT studies funded by NIH and IES. Her dissertation study focused on examining the cognitive predictors of whole-number and fraction calculations and number line estimations, which was published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, and was awarded with the Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award from the Council for Exceptional Children. Upon completing her doctoral degree, Namkung worked as an assistant professor at the University at Albany, SUNY, for two years before joining the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders at UNL.