Kaya Ferendo

About me

I am a sixth-year graduate student studying with Tom Goodwillie in the Brown University Department of Mathematics. Before that, I was an undergraduate at Amherst College, where I studied with Michael Ching.

You can reach me by email at kaya [underscore] ferendo [at] brown [dot] edu.

My office is located in 013 of Kassar.

My pronouns are they/them.

Research interests

I am generally interested in homotopy theory and higher category theory.

My dissertation project describes a flavor of functor calculus analogous to Michael Weiss' orthogonal calculus that is a homotopical elaboration of representation stability. My research statement is here.

I am also interested in the Bauer-Burke-Ching-Goodwillie tangent (∞,2)-category structure on differentiable ∞-categories, and in general aspects of higher category theory.

In my undergraduate thesis, I used Julie Bergner's and Charles Rezk's Theta_n-space model for (∞,n)-categories to show that the inclusion functor from (∞,n)-categories to (∞,n+1)-categories admits homotopical left and right adjoints.


I am a recipient of the Brown University Department of Mathematics' Outstanding Teaching Award for the 2021-2022 school year. You can read my teaching statement here.

The following is a list of courses that I have taught or TAed for (or will soon). The designation TA II means that I taught a section of the course but was not the course head.

  • TA II for Intermediate Calculus, MATH 180, Fall 2022

    • This is Brown's multivariable calculus course.

  • Course head for Set Theory CEMA 922 (two sections), Summer 2022

    • The summer courses are rigorous courses for high school students. Each course includes 30 hours of instruction per section over two weeks.

    • This course was conceptualized, developed, and taught entirely by me. You can view a syllabus here.

  • Course head for MATH 60, Analytic Geometry and Calculus, Spring 2022

    • This is the second half of a year-long sequence covering pre-calculus, differential calculus, and some topics and techniques of integral calculus.

  • TA II for MATH 520, Linear Algebra, Fall 2021

  • TA for CEMA 903, Number Theory (two sections), Summer 2021

  • TA for MATH 100, Intermediate Calculus II, Spring 2021

    • This is Brown's integral calculus course.

  • TA for MATH 180, Intermediate Calculus, Fall 2020

  • TA II for MATH 90, Introductory Calculus I, Fall 2019

    • This is Brown's differential calculus course.

  • Course head for CEMA 922, Set Theory, Summer 2019

  • TA for MATH 100, Introductory Calculus II, Fall 2018

I completed the Brown math department's teacher training under Dan Katz in the spring of 2018.

I have mentored advanced undergraduates in directed reading projects on Lurie's Higher Algebra, on topos theory, and on enriched category theory.

Conferences and workshops

  • AMS Special Session on Higher Structures and Homotopical Algebra; University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Amherst, Massachusetts, USA; Fall 2022

    • Gave a talk on my doctoral research

  • Tangent Categories and their Applications; Banff International Research Station; online; Summer 2021

  • Workshop on Functor Calculus; University of Ohio; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Spring 2019

    • Contributed an expository talk on Gijs Heuts' Goodwillie approximations to higher categories

  • Talbot Workshop 2018: Model-Independent Theory of ∞-Categories; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Government Camp, Oregon, USA; Summer 2018

    • Delivered an expository talk on homotopy-coherent (co)monads and (co)monadicity

  • Topological and Geometric Methods in QFT; Montana State University; Bozeman, Montana, USA; Summer 2017

  • Workshop on Homotopy Type Theory and Univalent Foundations of Mathematics; The Fields Institute; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Spring 2016


  • Member of the Graduate Labor Organization (GLO)'s Elections Committee for Spring 2022-Fall 2022

    • GLO is the graduate workers' union at Brown

  • Member of the GLO's Social Justice and Accountability Committee for Fall 2021

  • Member of the Brown Department of Mathematics Diversity and Inclusion Committee from Fall 2017 to Spring 2021

  • Co-organizer of the Brown math department's Directed Reading Program from Fall 2018 to Spring 2020


I grew up in central Maryland. I spent five years living in western Massachusetts, mostly during undergrad, and have lived in the orbit of Providence since beginning graduate school in the fall of 2017, but have never lived in Rhode Island.

My extra-mathematical hobbies principally include outdoor activities: photography, hiking, biking, camping, canoeing, etc.; and music: amateur fiddling (most traditions of Celtic as well as some Quebecois and old-time) and contra dancing. I also enjoy learning Norwegian and play Magic: the Gathering off and on. In days long passed, I dabbled in creative writing.