San Marcos, TX - November 2, 2011
Mathworks of Texas State University hosted a reception on October 31st, stressing the importance of math and science education for young students in the United States. The event at Austin’s Tarry House featured remarks by Dr. Mary Ann Rankin, chief executive offficer of the National Math & Science Initiative (NSMI).
Rankin assumed the NMSI leadership in August following more than 16 years as Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. Her comments emphasized the vital need for a national focus and sustained funding that can take proven education programs to scale. She listed Mathworks as one of the organizations that has such model programs.
Texas State President Denise Trauth welcomed reception guests and emphasized how integral Mathworks is to the University’s mission of serving the educational needs of the diverse population of Texas.
"Two weeks ago, we launched the public phase of the Texas State University Pride in Action campaign. The campaign focuses on five pillars, but clearly the main pillar is Academic Excellence. This is the pillar that raises money for scholarships, distinguished professorships and endowed chairs. Mathworks is a critical part of the Academic Excellence pillar, just as the Mathworks Legacy Campaign is a critical part of the University’s advancement efforts," said Trauth.
Trauth also announced that the first stage of the Kodosky Foundation challenge match for the Mathworks Legacy Campaign had been met. In November of 2010, Gail & Jeff Kodosky issued a $1.2M challenge for the Mathworks endowment, a visionary effort to provide ongoing mathematical opportunities for future generations of students. The first $300,000 of the match has been raised, thanks to critical support from the RGK Foundation, the Siemens Foundation, and Sarah & Dr. Ernest Butler of Austin.
As part of the reception program, Jeff Kodosky noted, "There is a problem in this country when celebrities and other national ﬁgures practically brag that they don’t know science and math. People wouldn’t advertise their illiteracy but they seem happy to admit their innumeracy. This does not bode well for the future of the U.S. in today’s highly technical world. We need to do a better job of educating our children in science and math, not only to produce the scientists and engineers we will need in the future, but to raise the level of understanding in the general population. This is why Gail and I are so passionate about programs like Mathworks."
Reception guests had opportunities to converse with Mathworks Honors Summer Math Camp participants and learn about the original math research students conducted with Texas State faculty. In addition, guests admired research project posters, viewed Mathworks displays highlighting the center's programs, and interacted with Mathworks advisory board members Herb Carter, Howard Falkenberg, Kodosky, Bob Rutishauser, and Jim Smith.