The GK-12 Program in Mathematics

Pierre de Fermat


Fellows Engaged as Resources in Mathematics to Assist Teachers



Graduate Program




What is FERMAT?

FERMAT is a GK-12 program that unites the efforts of mathematics faculty from California State University Northridge with educators from Los Angeles Unified School District, Local District 1, to place graduate mathematics students as Fellows in three pairs of high schools and feeder middle schools in the district. FERMAT’s focus is the quality of the education provided to mathematics graduate students so they become competent professionals who are skilled in communicating mathematical knowledge. It is also aimed at improving teacher quality in the participating schools.

What is a GK-12 program?

A GK-12 program is a National Science Foundation program that enables graduate students to serve as resources for teachers in schools of the partner district. GK-12 programs have been implemented throughout the country. For more information about these programs follow one of these links:

Fermat Fellows

A FERMAT Fellow is a full-time CSUN mathematics graduate student who spends a minimum of 15 hours a week working on the FERMAT project.  Fellows will spend a minimum of 10 hours a week in middle school and high school classrooms serving as resources for a few selected teachers. They will provide content expertise for these teachers and direct instruction to students. Another five hours a week will be spent in preparation for and follow-up to classroom activities, supported by the mentoring of CSUN faculty.  All participating schools in the FERMAT program are in the neighborhood of the CSUN campus and activities will be scheduled to give Fellows plenty of time for their graduate studies. As graduate students, Fellows are expected to complete their master’s program in two years.

Graduate Studies in Mathematics at CSUN

California State University Northridge (CSUN) is located in the western San Fernando Valley within the city of Los Angeles. In a suburban setting it is about 25 miles from Downtown LA and about 20 miles from the beaches in Santa Monica and Malibu. CSUN is a comprehensive University  that offers Bachelor's and Master's degrees.
The Department of Mathematics offers Master of Science degrees in two tracks, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics. Classes are offered in the evening and will not conflict with Fellows’ duties at schools. Alumni have distinguished themselves in both academia and in industry. Some of our graduates use the master’s program a stepping-stone to the Ph.D., since some of our courses are taught at the same level as beginning Ph.D.-level courses. For instance, we offer Galois theory, Measure Theory, Calculus on Manifolds, and Introduction to Functional Analysis. For others, the master’s degree has been a terminal degree that prepared them for technically skilled jobs and for community college teaching positions. Our classes have a typical enrollment of 10-15 students, allowing the instructor to give individual attention to students.

While teaching is of primary importance in the California State University (CSU) system, there has been a strong emphasis on research in the CSUN College of Science and Mathematics, particularly in the Mathematics Department. As a result, our graduate program offers a blend of learning and research and our master’s theses are excellent preparation for the research requirements and rigors of Ph.D. dissertations.

Starting next year, the Mathematics Department will also run a Graduate Seminar, where students will freely exchange ideas and impressions, among themselves and with faculty, stimulating the intellectual atmosphere of our program. Students will be active learners and not simply passive receptors. Fellows are expected to play a significant role in this seminar. Furthermore, graduate advisors from nearby Ph.D. institutions will be invited to speak about their programs in the seminar. From Santa Barbara to San Diego, there are seven strong research institutions offering Ph.D. programs in mathematical sciences.

For more information about the Graduate Program and the Mathematics Department Faculty please visit the Mathematics Department's Website.

Benefits for Fellows

Fellows will receive a stipend of US $30,000 per year for up to two years, will be trained for their responsibilities in K-12 class rooms, and will be individually mentored by faculty members throughout their graduate studies in Mathematics at CSUN.


To become a FERMAT Fellow, you must be a U.S. Citizent or Permanent Resident, and satisfy all the requirements for admission as a graduate student at CSUN. These conditions are spelled out on the Departmental Website.
To apply simply download the linked Application Form and return it together with unofficial transcripts to
        Prof. M. Helena Noronha
        Mathematics Department
        California State University Northridge
        18111 Nordhoff St.
        Northridge, CA 91330

You should also have two letters of recommendation sent to the same address. This application will also serve as an application to the Mathematics Departments Graduate Program.

You must also apply separately for admission to the University. For information about the Admission process to the University follow this link.

As a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and Minority Institution (MI), CSUN has a direct interest in working with talented students from underrepresented groups in mathematics. These are strongly encouraged to apply

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