Tribute to Janet Jagger 12 May 2020

Tribute to Janet Jagger

The Mathematical Association is saddened to learn of the death of one of its long-serving members, Dr. Janet (Jan) Jagger.

Before retiring Jan spent many years as a lecturer in mathematical education at Trinity and All Saints College (now Trinity University), in Horsforth, Leeds. Her doctoral thesis was entitled Students’ understanding of acceleration in the context of mechanics (1994).

Her interest and research into the learning of mechanics greatly assisted the Leeds University based Mechanics in Action Project and saw the publication of her paper, ‘A Review of the Research into the Learning of Mechanics’ in Studies in Mechanics Learning (1985), edited by Antony Orton, published by the Centre for Studies in Science and Mathematics Education (CSSME), University of Leeds, as well as A Dictionary of Mechanics (1990) later re-issued in a second edition by the MA under the same title and co-authored with Simon Carson of the Institute of Physics.  

Whilst undertaking her PhD, Jan came across a work of Piaget’s not yet translated into English that she surmised would be useful to her research. With typical thoroughness she oversaw the translation of the book, making the work available for the first time in English.  The composition of forces and the problem of vectors by Piaget, J. et al, translated by Marie-France Mackie and edited by Jan and Anthony Orton was published in 1990 by CSSME, University of Leeds.

 However Jan had many other interests, not least of which was geometry and shown to advantage in her introduction to the section on Pythagoras’ Theorem in The Changing Shape of Geometry (2003) edited by Chris Pritchard and published by CUP.

Jan was also a major contributor to the MA, serving as Chair of Teaching Committee 1996-99, chair of the local organising conference committee when in 1996 the MA annual conference came to Leeds and making numerous contributions to the Yorkshire Branch including being President of the branch. In her later years Jan’s activities were curtailed by ill-health but she still attended branch meetings in her wheelchair, smiling as broadly as ever and making telling contributions to discussions. She will be sadly missed by all who knew her and worked with her.