Dr. Linda H.L. Furuto is an Associate 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 quantitative methodology, abstract algebra, ethnomathematics, STEM education, and educational access and equity.
Over the past 15 years, 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 recently received the Pacific Business News’ Top Forty Under 40 Award in 2010, Mathematical Association of America Young Scholar Award in 2011, 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, and is currently engaged in Hōkūle‘a’s Worldwide Voyage from 2013-2017. She was on the first international leg from Hawai‘i to Tahiti, and has also sailed to Samoa, Olohega, and New Zealand. Dr. Furuto grew up on the North Shore of O‘ahu, and enjoys surfing, spear-fishing, and playing the piano and organ.
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, “to care for Island Earth,” and 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.
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.
Associate Professor of Mathematics Education
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
1776 University Avenue, Everly Hall 224
Honolulu, HI 96822
Email: lfuruto [at] hawaii.edu