Campus: San Bernardino -- August 15, 2006

CSUSB awarded NSF grant to promote math and science teaching

The National Science Foundation recently awarded the Foundation for California State University, San Bernardino a four-year $463,198 grant to recruit, support and encourage more math and science students to become math and science educators to students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

The project, called "Noyce Math and Science Scholars for the Inland Empire" is being led by Davida Fischman, professor in the Cal State San Bernardino math department, along with Joseph Jesunathadas, professor of science, technology and math education; Stuart Sumida, professor of biology; and Charles Schindler, science and math curriculum coordinator in the San Bernardino City Unified School District. The project will be evaluated periodically and independently by Dale Sechrest, CSUSB professor of criminal justice.

"At its core, the project will recruit 20 new qualified math and science teachers, provide them with a mentored gradual immersion into the teaching profession and support their retention so that they continue to contribute to improving student achievement for many years," Fischman said.

Each Noyce scholar will receive a grant-funded $10,000 scholarship per year, for up to two years.

The Robert Noyce Scholarship program at the National Science Foundation, housed in the Directorate of Education and Human Resources, is intended to encourage talented science, technology, engineering and mathematics majors and professionals to become kindergarten through 12th grade mathematics and science teachers. The program provides funds to partnerships of institutions of higher education and K-12 school districts to support scholarships, stipends and programs for students who commit to teaching in high-need K-12 schools.

Fischman's research interests deal with Hopf Algebras, a type of algebras that have important connections to quantum theory, Lie algebras, knot and braid theory, operator algebras and other areas of physics and mathematics. Keenly aware of the importance of a math and science literate population, she says she hopes to "enhance the quality of math education in the Inland Empire and, in particular, to bring science and math-educated individuals to the teaching profession who might not have considered that as their primary career choice originally."

In addition to her research activities and now the good fortune of directing the campus's Noyce program, she is the director of the Inland Counties Mathematics Project (a site of the California Mathematics Project) as well as of the Center for Enhancement of Mathematics Education. Fischman is the coordinator of the master of arts in Teaching Mathematics Program at CSUSB.

For more information, contact the university's public affairs office at (909) 537-5007 and visit

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