Orange Alert

Nicole L. Fonger

Nicole L. Fonger

Nicole L. Fonger

Pronouns: She/her
Associate Professor


317F Carnegie Library
Office: 315.443.1499


School of Education


  • Ph.D., Mathematics Education, Western Michigan University, August 2012. Dissertation: Characterizing and Supporting Change in Algebra Students' Representational Fluency in a CAS/Paper-and-Pencil Environment
  • M.A., Mathematics, Western Michigan University, December 2009
  • M.A., Mathematics Education, Western Michigan University, April 2008
  • B.A., Mathematics, minor in Spanish, University of Saint Thomas, May 2006. Magna cum laude

Social/Academic Links

Courses Taught

Mathematics Courses Taught

  • Pre-calculus (MAT 194)
  • Calculus (MAT 295)
  • Introduction to Abstract Mathematics (MAT 375)

Mathematics Education Courses Taught

  • Candidacy Student Teaching (EDU 508)
  • Elementary Math Methods and Curriculum (EED 423/600)
  • Internship in Mathematics Education (MTD 630)
  • Methods and Curriculum in Teaching Mathematics (SED 413/613)
  • Learning Theories in Education (EDU/MTD 835)
  • Linking Research and Practice in (Mathematics) Education (EDU 700/ MTD 700)
  • Research Seminar in Mathematics Education (MTD 830)
  • Teaching and Learning Functions (MTD 634)
Biographic Overview

Nicole L. Fonger, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Mathematics and Mathematics Education at Syracuse University. Dr. Fonger is a community-engaged scholar, mathematics education researcher, visual artist, mathematics teacher educator, mathematics professor, and mother. Her research agenda is driven by a quest to address an enduring issue in mathematics education: how to support students’ meaningful learning of algebra in K-12 school settings. Dr. Fonger contributes to better understanding and addressing this issue through empirical and theoretical research, design studies, and community-engaged scholarship focused on advancing knowledge in the field of mathematics education. Dr. Fonger is the founder of the Antiracist Algebra Coalition, and the Co-Founder of the Data Warriors, an after-school club focused on math, mapping, and social justice.

Research Interests

Across all my research I seek to better understand and support students’ meaningful learning of mathematics. My research and practice are deeply intertwined with a focus on supporting students’ meaningful learning of algebra through collaborative partnerships with classroom teachers, and culturally responsive designs including social justice mathematics tasks.

As a community-engaged researcher, I seek to build meaningful partnerships with school and community stakeholders with a focus on supporting students’ learning of algebra in urban public schools, classrooms, and informal learning spaces. I am a co-founder and organizer of the Data Warriors program, where we work with youth to understand and address injustices in our communities through math and mapping. Please reach out if you’re interested in collaborating.

Research Specializations

Meaningful mathematics learning

Mathematics teaching

Learning trajectories and progressions

Linking research and practice

Sketchnotes and Zines

Social justice mathematics

Lab Affiliations

Meaningful Mathematics Research Group

Honors and Awards

Writing Across the Curriculum Faculty Fellow, Syracuse University, 2019-2020

Service, Teaching, and Research (STaR) Fellow of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE), 2019 Cohort

Linking Research and Practice Outstanding Publication Award, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Mathematics Teacher. The winning article, "Equivalent Expressions Using CAS and Paper-and-Pencil Techniques" was authored by Nicole L. Fonger, published May 2014, pp. 688-93.

Recent Publications

Boutros, E., Wu, Q., Xu, H., & Fonger, N. (2023). Making mathematics meaningful: How learning about local social injustices develops undergraduate students' identity, intellect, skill, and criticality. The Crown: Syracuse Undergraduate Research Journal, 1, Article 16.

Keech, K., Routhouska, B., Fonger, N. L. (2022). People, place, and population predictions. Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PK-12. 118(8), 566-575.

Fonger, N. L. (2022). Teaching is a Journey: Toward Anti-Racism in Practice. Mathematics Teacher Learning and Teaching. 115(4), 314-319.

Fonger, N. L. (2021). A Heart-Centered Stance: Receptivity to Algebra Teachers’ and Students’ Multidimensional Experiences. Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, 11(1), 225-264.

Fonger, N. L., Ellis, A., Dogan, M. F. (2020). A quadratic growth learning trajectory. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 59, 1-22.

Fonger, N. L. (2019). Meaningfulness in representational fluency: An analytic framework for students’ creations, interpretations, and connections. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 54

Mayer, J., Huntley, M. A., Fonger, N. L., Terrell, M. (2019). Professional learning through teacher-researcher collaborations. Mathematics Teacher, 112(5), 382-385.

Fonger, N. L., Stephens, A., Blanton, M., Isler, I., Knuth, E., Gardiner, A. (2018). Developing a learning progression for curriculum, instruction, and student learning: An example from mathematics education. Cognition and Instruction, 36(1), 30-55.

Fonger, N. L. (2018). An activity structure for supporting students' coordination of computer algebra systems and paper-and-pencil across phases of curriculum. International Journal for Technology in Mathematics Education, 25(1), 3-18. Doi: 10.1564/tme_v25.1.01