IAIA - Institute of American Indian Arts

Belin Tsinnajinnie

Belin Tsinnijinnie

Belin Tsinnijinnie. Photo by Julien McRoberts.

Belin Tsinnajinnie (Navajo/Filipino) is the Essential Studies Chair, specializing in mathematics.


Professor Belin Tsinnajinnie earned his B.S. in mathematics with a minor in psychology from the University of New Mexico and an M.S. in mathematics from the University of Arizona. He also has a Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of Arizona.

Major Professional Activities

Belin has several years of teaching experience at the college level, including courses in college algebra, trigonometry, and mathematics for elementary teachers. Belin has served as a research fellow with the Center for the Mathematics Education of Latina/os (CEMELA) a research oriented organization intended to explore the interplay of cultural, social, and linguistic contexts of Latino/a students with math education.

He is also a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), American Educational Research Association (AERA), American Mathematics Society (AMS), American Indians in Science and Engineering Society (AISES), and the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).

Selected Publications and Awards

Professor Tsinnajinnie has written papers, made presentations and received awards:

Identity as an Analytic Tool in Math Education Research for Indigenous Students
• (Paper), Roundtable Session, 2010 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, May 3, 2010.

Equity through group work: Complex instruction (CI) benefits diverse learners
• (60-minute session with 2 co-speakers, Ross and Civil), TODOS strand session, 2010 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Annual Meeting and Exposition, San Diego, CA, April 24, 2010.

Native American teacher and student understandings of sociomathematical norms
• (Oral Presentation) , DreamCatching 2009, Winnipeg, MB, May 6, 2009

Native American Student Affairs Outstanding Graduate Student Academic Award (2009), University of Arizona.

Galileo Circle Scholar (2009), University of Arizona

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Graduate Fellow (2004-2010), University of Arizona

Teaching Statement

“I seek to broaden notions of what it means to do mathematics both in and out of classroom contexts. Learning and doing mathematics are social processes where individuals draw upon their own knowledge and experiences in addition to the knowledge and experiences of others to formulate questions and to explore new ideas. Mathematics and learning are not restricted to written text or even classrooms themselves. In this sense, I encourage each student not only to realize the value in the knowledge of and experiences of others, but to also realize the value of his or her own knowledge and experiences as essential contributions to the world they live in.”

Belin  Tsinnajinnie,  Essential Studies Chair
Core Faculty
(505) 424-5788