David Geary

Geary Photo 3 (July, 2007) CROPED.jpgDavid Geary is currently a Curators' Professor and a Thomas Jefferson Fellow in the Department of Psychological Sciences and Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program at the University of Missouri. He is a cognitive developmental and evolutionary psychologist with wide ranging interests but his primary areas of research and scholarly work are children’s mathematical cognition and learning and gender differences. (Full notes about Professor Geary can be found at the bottom of this page)

Professor Geary made two keynote contributions to our 3rd National Dyscalculia and MLD Conference 2011:

Click here to download his keynote 1 slides: Mathematical cognition deficits in children with learning and intellectual disabilities: A five year prospective study

Click here to download his keynote 2 slides: Learning mathematics: findings from the National (U.S) mathematical advisory panel

Website Links

geary booksv1.jpgRecommended Reading


  • Geary, D. (2011) Cognitive Predictors of Achievement Growth in Mathematics
  • Geary, D et al (2007) Cognitive Mechanisms Underlying Achievement Deficits
  • Geary, D. (2006) Dyscalculia at an Early Age
  • Geary, D. (2006) Development of Mathematical Understanding
  • Geary, D. (2005)  Role of Cognitive Theory in Study of LD in Maths
  • Geary, D and Hoard, M. (2002) Learning difficulties in basic Maths
  • Geary, D. Development of Number Line

Click here to download a zipped folder of the articles





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Professional Summary

After receiving his Ph.D. in 1986 from the University of California at Riverside, he held faculty positions at the University of Texas at El Paso and the University of Missouri, first at the Rolla campus and then in Columbia. Professor Geary has published more than 240 articles and chapters across a wide range of topics, including cognitive, developmental, and evolutionary psychology, education, and medicine, including four sole-authored books.

Professor Geary directed a 10-year longitudinal study of children’s mathematical development from kindergarten to ninth grade, with a focus on identifying the core deficits underlying learning disabilities and persistent low achievement in mathematics. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (US), including through a MERIT award to Professor Geary. One result has been the identification of the school-entry number knowledge that predicts economically-relevant mathematical competencies in adolescence. As a follow-up, Professor Geary is directing a second longitudinal study, funded by the National Science Foundation (US), to identify the preschool quantitative competencies that predict this school-entry number knowledge.

Professor Geary has also published conceptual and theoretical articles on individual differences in children’s mathematical learning, e.g. Children’s mathematical development (1994). Along with Drs. Dan Berch and Kathy Mann Koepke, Professor Geary is co-editing a 5 volume series on mathematical cognition and learning, the first volume of which–Evolutionary origins and early development of basic number processing was published in late 2014.

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