Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

Miami reacts to unexpected death of professor

By Grace Moody, News Editor

Mathematics professor Beatriz S. D'Ambrosio, 55, died from a brain aneurysm Monday, her colleagues told The Miami Student.

D'Ambrosio died at the University of Cincinnati hospital. She passed out on Sunday and was put on life support until her family arrived. Her two daughters - Rafaela, a Miami class of 2014 alumna, and Gabriela, a freshman at the University of Texas in Austin - were able to say their goodbyes to their mother on Monday.

Known by her friends as Bia, D'Ambrosio came to Miami University in the fall of 2005 after teaching at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

D'Ambrosio was known throughout campus as a scholar, professor and friend.

She grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil and was proud of her native country, said John Bailer, chair of the department of statistics and a colleague of D'Ambrosio's.

D'Ambrosio came to Miami nine years ago after being selected as one of six faculty members with expertise on discipline-based education in math and science, according to colleague Stacey Lowery Bretz.

She served as a leader in the department and contributed to the efforts of creating a quantitative literacy requirement for students in the College of Arts and Science, Bailer said.

Suzanne Harper, a professor in the mathematics department, said D'Ambrosio truly cared for her students. D'Ambrosio would visit K-5 classes to observe the students' mathematical thinking, and then use similar teaching tools with her Miami students.

In addition to serving as a professor, D'Ambrosio was described by Harper as having "incredible achievements as a scholar."

"Bia was an inspiration to many mathematics educators across the United States and the world," Harper said. "She was a highly-sought after keynote speaker for many national and international conferences."

Harper said D'Ambrosio had been preparing to give an address in Colombia in a few weeks, before her untimely death.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter

According to Lowery Bretz, the high demand for D'Ambrosio's lectures around the world was due to her expertise on how children construct mathematical understandings.

Publications of her research have been cited nearly 1,000 times by other scholars in the mathematics field.

D'Ambrosio will be deeply missed among both the mathematics department, and the Miami community, her colleagues said.

"Our close-knit group will be at a great loss without her wisdom, collaboration and guidance," Harper said.

Sources described her as a great colleague and friend to all.

"Bia was well liked, loved, respected and admired," Bailer said. "She will be missed by all who knew her."

As Miami grieves the loss of D'Ambrosio, Harper said she is grateful for the contributions and positivity that D'Ambrosio brought to campus every day.

"She [was] remarkable for her humility, kindness and boundless curiosity," Harper said. "We have all been exceptionally fortunate that Bia made her academic home at Miami University, and [she] will be profoundly missed."