Marina Cazzola obtained her Ph.D. in mathematics from University of Warwick in 1996. At first, her research was on pure mathematics (abstract algebra, finite groups, see CAZZOLA-DI MARTINO 1993 and CAZZOLA 1999), then she turned her interest on the problem of popularizing and teaching mathematics.
Regarding popularization of mathematics, she was member of the team that designed the interactive exhibition "matemilano, percorsi matematici in città" (“matemilano, mathematical exploration of the city”) held at the "Museo nazionale della Scienza e della tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci", Milano, from september 2003 to may 2004 (see CAZZOLA et al. 2003, CAZZOLA et al. 2004 and CAZZOLA 2005), and she was particularly involved in the creation of the interactive CDRom accompanying the exhibition (see CDRom CAZZOLA M., et al. 2004). The CDRom was awarded the "Premio Generazione Alice at the Pirelly INTERNETional Award 2003). A new CDrom was issued in 2006 for the exhibition "matetrentino, percorsi matematici a trento e dintorni" (CAVECCHIA W et al. 2006). The making of the CDs, as well the issues concerning the production of multimedial materials is described in CAZZOLA-TODESCO 2015. The interest on "new technologies" for popularising mathematics led also to the creation of "Images for mathematics" a publicly available web-based archive of images related to mathematics (see CAZZOLA M., DEDò M. 2005). Such archive was awarded the international award "Science Communication of Mathematics" at the Pirelli INTERNETional Award 2005). Currently the archive contains about 15.000 images.
Regarding teaching mathematics, her research focuses on Problem-based learning (PBL), with emphasis on teacher training. PBL is a constructivist learner-centred instructional approach based on the analysis, resolution and discussion of a given problem. Such an approach can be applied to any subject, indeed it can be very effective in mathematics, in order to gain pupils' engagement in the subject and have them acquire lifelong learning skills (see CAZZOLA 2007, CAZZOLA 2008, CAZZOLA 2009, BONISSONI et al. 2015, CAZZOLA 2018, CAZZOLA 2019c). With the spread of the COVID-19 emergency, the possibilty to replicate PBL environments in remote learning was also investigated (see CAZZOLA 2020a).
From her experience in teacher training she gained the conviction that popularization and teaching mathematics are strictly related fields (she was among the presenters of the WSG25 "From Raising Public Awareness to Didactics in Mathematics" at the 12th International Congress on Mathematics Education ICME12, July 2012).
Her work in teacher training also formed the conviction that mathematicians should support teachers by providing and validating accurate mathematical materials (old-style books such as CAZZOLA 2001 and CAZZOLA 2017, as well as multimedial tools as the ones described above). She became particularly involved in the development of WIMS. WIMS (i.e. WWW Interactive Multipurpose Server, http://wims.unice.fr/) is a web based system designed for supporting interactive exercises, expecially in mathematics (for a description see CAZZOLA et al. 2013 and CAZZOLA et al. 2020). She is part of the development team of WIMS since 2000 and is coordinating the Italian translation of the core of WIMS. She has been experimenting the use of WIMS in order to create PBL environment for elearning courses (see CAZZOLA 2011, CAZZOLA 2019b). She also experimented the use of WIMS as a tool to provide a remote teaching environment during the COVID-19 emergency (see CAZZOLA 2020b). She has developped WIMS learning objects that have been translated into French and are now part of the standard WIMS distribution (CAZZOLA-DELLA CORNA 2011, CAZZOLA 2014, CAZZOLA 2017, CAZZOLA 2019a).
She is a member of the scientific committee of the international association WIMSEdu (http://wimsedu.info), that has the aim of sharing experiences among WIMS users.