Reimaging Mathematics at the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego announced Monday that it will redesign its mathematics education classroom space, a project that will be funded by a $1 million grant from the Pasadena-based Fletcher Jones Foundation.

USD officials said they envision a dynamic, state-of-the-art environment for student collaboration, faculty research and community gathering.

“We are thrilled and grateful that the Fletcher Jones Foundation shares our vision to reimagine and engage students in mathematics,” said USD President James 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.”

The centerpiece of the project, scheduled to begin at the end of the school year in May, will be construction of a math studio that includes glass walls and a lot of open space.

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

“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,” Devadoss said. “The work happening throughout our department will highlight mathematics as something that is exciting and alive, constantly being created and molded through experimentation.”

The math studio is scheduled to be open in September 2018, in time for the beginning of fall classes.

According to USD, the 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.

—City News Service