photo of Dr. Furuto

Dr. Linda H.L. Furuto is a Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Prior to joining the UHM ‘Ohana, Dr. Furuto was an Associate Professor of Mathematics, Head of Mathematics and Science, and Founder of the Mathematics Center at the University of Hawai‘i – West O‘ahu. Dr. Furuto completed her Ph.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles, master’s degree from Harvard University, and bachelor’s degree from BYU. Research interests include mathematics achievement, quantitative methodology, ethnomathematics, STEM education, and educational access and equity.

Dr. Furuto has been a Visiting Scholar of Mathematics at the University of Tokyo, worked with students in the Boston public school system as a research-practitioner in Harvard University’s “Inventing the Future” project, taught mathematics and music at the Technical College in Suva, Fiji, collaborated with the East-West Center and Ministry of Education of Vietnam on the International Forum for Education 2020 initiative, and helped to design educational programs with the Polynesian Voyaging Society. In addition, Dr. Furuto has researched and consulted at the East-West Center, U.S. Department of State, UCLA Center for International and Development Education, and Pacific Resources for Education and Learning. She received the Pacific Business News’ Top Forty Under 40 Award in 2010, University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2011, University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents Medal for Excellence in Teaching in 2012, University of Hawai‘i President’s Green Initiative Award in 2017, and is currently engaged with the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage on the canoe Hōkūle‘a from 2013-2017. She was on the first international leg from Hawai‘i to Tahiti, and has subsequently been part of voyages to American and Western Samoa, Olohega (Swain’s Island), Aotearoa (New Zealand), South Africa, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and New York City.

Dr. Furuto’s teaching philosophy is symbolically expressed through voyages of Hōkūle‘a, “star of gladness”, a double-hulled Pacific Island canoe of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. Hōkūle‘a is internationally renowned for the role it has played in rekindling the Pacific Island tradition of non-instrument, traditional wayfinding techniques that include celestial navigation (i.e., sun, moon, stars, winds, currents, etc.) based in mathematics principles. Hōkūle‘a embodies the message of mālama honua, which means “to care for Island Earth” and all people and places like family. Hōkūle‘a is a powerful vehicle to explore real-world applications of mathematics in local and global communities by representing and demonstrating resourcefulness, inventiveness, wisdom, respect for the past, and hope for the future.

Dr. Furuto has shared this message at local, national, and international conferences including the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Joint Mathematics Meetings of the Mathematical Association of America and American Mathematical Society, International Union for Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress, and Smithsonian Institution Pacific Festival. Recent invited keynote addresses and lectures include the 2016 International Congress on Mathematical Education, 2017 Hawai‘i Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference, 2017 Hawai‘i Science Teachers Association Conference, 2017 University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges Hawai‘i Student Success Institute, and 2017 International Academic Forum on Education.

It is hoped that we will continue to cross oceans as we work toward cultural harmony, historical reverence, and a voyaging spirit in the increasingly interconnected world we live in. Through this we will expand our vision of global kinship, perpetuate our heritage, and encourage stewardship amongst our greater community. This is an exciting point in time and Dr. Furuto is committed to equitable and quality mathematics education at statewide, national, and international levels.


Linda H.L. Furuto, Ph.D.

Professor of Mathematics Education

University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

1776 University Avenue, Everly Hall 224

Honolulu, HI 96822


Email: lfuruto [at] hawaii.edu


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