Illustrative Mathematics Celebrates 10 Years: Letter from the CEO

By William McCallum, CEO & Co-Founder

2021 marks our 10th anniversary at Illustrative Mathematics, and we couldn’t be more proud to have impacted so many hundreds of thousands of students, teachers, and families since our humble beginnings in 2011.

Our business has changed dramatically over the past decade, as we have grown to become one of the leading companies in the mathematics education business. When IM was founded back in 2011, we were a small team, with a dedicated staff and well-defined vision, confident and eager to grow. Fast forward ten years later, and we are as ambitious as we were when we started, with more experience and a complete curriculum product suite, backed by knowledge, relationships, and collaborations.

We certainly have a lot to celebrate. In particular:

  • In 2013, we moved out of the University of Arizona to found a non-profit 501(c)(3).
  • In 2015, we made the decision to start writing core curriculum.
  • In 2021 (our 10th year), we achieved a complete, coherent, standards-aligned K–12 curriculum, which is a dream that realizes the promise of common standards.

With Gratitude

To our employees: The IM Team has grown from 5 employees in 2011 to a superlative team of 47 employees in 2021. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with talented, dedicated, and passionate people every day. Your commitment has been integral to Illustrative Mathematics’ progress and success.

To our partners: Our certified partners serve as an extension of our team and have played an essential role in helping us achieve our goals. We recognize the importance of establishing partnerships that bring extraordinary value to both IM and the users of our curriculum. We thank our partners for their commitment, expertise, and genuine collaboration in helping us impact classrooms and millions of students.

To our IM stakeholders: Thank you for trusting us for many years and making us the leader in our industry. We are honored to have your trust and will work tirelessly to continue to deserve it. Thank you for inspiring us every day.

Looking to the Future

Our vision of creating a world where all learners know, use, and enjoy mathematics—through curriculum, professional learning and community—remains unchanged. We are excited to embark on the next phase of our work, which goes beyond curriculum. In our next phase, we will cultivate the IM Classroom, where not only are students using IM K–12 Math, but where teachers are implementing the problem-based instructional model and districts are supporting those teachers with planning time, collaboration time, and aligned assessments. We will continue investing in our employees, our best-in-class curriculum, and our expertise to create equitable opportunities for all students.

Ten years means a lot to me. It takes courage, diversity in learning and lived experiences, and collaboration to do what we’ve done, together. Let’s continue to shape the future, together. Cheers to the next 10 years!

William McCallum
CEO & Co-Founder at Illustrative Mathematics

Bill McCallum, founder of Illustrative Mathematics, is a University Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at the University of Arizona. He has worked in both mathematics research, in the area of number theory and arithmetical algebraic geometry, and mathematics education, writing textbooks and advising researchers and policy makers. He is a founding member of the Harvard Calculus Consortium and lead author of its college algebra and multivariable calculus texts. In 2009–2010 he was one of the lead writers for the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics. He holds a Ph. D. in Mathematics from Harvard University and a B.Sc. from the University of New South Wales.