Rajee Amarasinghe, Ph.D.

Rajee Amarasinghe, Ph.D.

2020 Outstanding Faculty Innovator in Student Success Award

Rajee Amarasinghe, Ph.D.

California State University, Fresno
Professor and Chair, Mathematics

By taking every opportunity that life presents to you, big or small, you will be able to affect the lives of many people and provide opportunities for them to change the world and our future.'

Major Accomplishments:

  • Founder and director of Fresno State’s Summer Academy in STEM, launched in 2012, which has grown to serve 120 elementary, middle- and high-school students annually
  • Co-principal investigator and faculty advisor for the San Joaquin Valley Mathematics Project since 2001
  • Author of three books for mathematics educators
  • Team leader in developing programs such as the Mathematics Teaching Scholar’s program, Integrated Credential Program in Mathematics and Subject Matter Authorization Program in Introductory Mathematics at Fresno State

Dr. Amarasinghe’s areas of expertise include using technology in mathematics teaching and learning; understanding students’ attitudes toward and beliefs about mathematics; and using interdisciplinary tools in teaching math.

In August 2018, Amarasinghe was awarded a 2018-19 Faculty Innovation and Leadership Award by the CSU Chancellor’s Office. The award recognizes faculty who are implementing innovative practices and who’ve demonstrated leadership in improving student success at a CSU campus. Amarasinghe was nominated by CSU Bakersfield president Dr. Lynnette Zelezny (then provost of Fresno State), who said of his work, “Dr. Amarasinghe has proven unfailingly that he can meet the most pressing challenges with creative solutions.” The professor also received the Provost’s Award for Innovation at Fresno State in 2017-18.

Colleagues have called Amarasinghe “a transformative national leader and scholar” and a creative leader, particularly for his work in designing a new math curriculum that balanced students’ needs, Chancellor’s Office policy and other limitations.

For his part, the Sri Lanka native is eager to share the credit. “I am lucky to have a very energetic and supportive group of colleagues who are working on many initiatives, including a lot of outreach activities to reach our future generation of mathematicians.”

Amarasinghe earned two master’s degrees at Purdue University before getting his doctorate in mathematics education at Indiana University. He arrived at Fresno State in 2000 and to date has received more than $13 million in grant funding. ​