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University of San Diego Awarded $1 Million Grant from The Fletcher Jones Foundation to Reimagine Mathematics

Mathematics is the foundation for all developments in science and technology and impacts a wide range of fields from architecture and sociology to business and engineering. 

A $1 million grant from The Fletcher Jones Foundation will transform the Mathematics Department at the University of San Diego from its current space into a dynamic, state-of-the-art environment for student collaboration, faculty research, and community gathering.

The centerpiece of the redesign is the new Math Studio, serving as an incubator and promoter of a radical, physical experience in mathematics research, borrowing ideas from manufacturing, art studios and design thinking. Glass walls, open spaces, and easy navigation are part of the design, allowing fresh new pedagogical approaches and environments that can better reflect and advance mathematics for the 21st century. 

“We are thrilled and grateful that The Fletcher Jones Foundation shares our vision to reimagine and engage students in mathematics,” said USD President James T. Harris. “The plan also aligns well with our Envisioning 2024 strategic goals of serving as an anchor institution, accelerating our outreach to K-12 teachers and students in the San Diego and Baja region, and promoting advanced research and scholarship across many disciplines.”

“Our goal with this re-design is to use space effectively and allow the beauty of mathematics to shine through unhindered,” said USD Fletcher Jones Endowed Chair in Applied Mathematics Satyan L. Devadoss.  

“Through the glass walls of the math studio, students will see some seriously cool, playful investigations, and constructed models, illustrating what mathematics looks like when it’s embodied beyond a textbook or chalkboard. The work happening throughout our department will highlight mathematics as something that is exciting and alive, constantly being created and molded through experimentation," he said. 

With the latest gift, The Fletcher Jones Foundation has given USD more than $5 million in recent years, including funds for the mathematics chair and the Donald P. Shiley Center for Science and Technology.

Construction on the re-design of the Mathematics Department in Serra Hall will begin once spring semester classes end in late May and is scheduled to be completed in time for the Fall Semester in September.

The Fletcher Jones Foundationbased in Pasadena, California, was endowed from the estate of Fletcher R. Jones, Co-Founder of Computer Sciences Corporation.  The primary mission of the Foundation is the support of private, independent nonprofit colleges and universities in California.


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. In February 2016, USD launched the public phase of Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represents the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university and builds upon the strong philanthropic momentum achieved by USD in recent years. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.