Purdue University

David   Purpura

David Purpura is an Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Purdue University. His work focuses on how young children develop mathematics skills and how language and self-regulation impact that development. In particular, over the last four years he has been funded by the Heising-Simons Foundation to develop a family-centered mathematical language intervention through picture books. He and his research team have developed three picture books focused on mathematical language that incorporate cognitive science, developmental science, and reading research principles to enhance learning outcomes. He recently completed two randomized control trials evaluating the promise of these books when implemented by parents. He is also in the second year of a five-year National Science Foundation CAREER grant to develop three picture books focused on spatial language and to evaluate the effects of spatial language and quantitative language on different mathematics skills. David was also recently awarded a Fulbright Global Scholar award to expand his work in this area to Belgium and South Africa.  


Favorite children’s book: Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel.

“This has always been my favorite book because when I moved to a new school at the end of first grade, my best friend gave me this book as a present.” 

Selected Resources