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Kodosky gift will endow Mathworks program at Texas State

By Mark Hendricks
University News Service
November 11, 2010

A gift from Jeff and Gail Kodosky of Austin will establish an endowment for Texas Mathworks, an innovative mathematics education program at Texas State University-San Marcos.

Jeff Kodosky, co-founder of National Instruments, and his wife, Gail, are making the gift through the Kodosky Foundation. It consists of an initial outright contribution of $300,000 to establish the Kodosky Foundation Mathworks Endowment and a $1.2 million challenge match encouraging others to make gifts to the Endowment or establish other permanent endowments for Mathworks within the Kodosky Endowment. Given a limited time to fulfill, the challenge match could result in a $3 million endowment for Mathworks.

Jeff Kodosky, who is a member of the Mathworks Advisory Board, said, “Our gift is ultimately an investment in workforce development, and we encourage others in the high-tech community to step forward and join us. Mathworks is a successful initiative that is not only producing students who excel in mathematics, but also raising the bar on math education overall, and this is essential to the future of this region's economy.”

Texas State President Denise Trauth said she was confident in the university’s ability to meet the fund-raising challenge established by the Kodosky’s gift because of “the worthiness of this cause.”

“We are extremely grateful to Gail and Jeff Kodosky for their generosity. They seek to ensure that this stellar program continues and that Mathworks establishes a gold standard for mathematics curricula improvement,” said Trauth.

Mathworks is a center for innovation in mathematics education at Texas State. Its mission is to develop model programs that engage K-12 students from all backgrounds in doing mathematics at a high level. Its core programs are summer math camps for K-12 students, teacher training, and research and development.

In the past 10 years, approximately 650 teachers have participated in summer training and the Mathworks pilot curriculum is currently used in four school districts, with three more likely to be added next year. In the last nine years, 94 Mathworks students have been named semifinalists or higher in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. This year, three Mathworks students won first prize in the Siemens Competition and were honored last month at the White House Science Fair.

Mathworks Director Max Warshauer, a professor in the Department of Mathematics at Texas State, said, “Raising the math education standards for our nation is a big responsibility. It will require all of us working together for the benefit of future generations, and we welcome the Kodosky Foundation as a partner with us in that effort.”

To learn more about Mathworks, call (512) 245-3439 or visit mathworks@txstate.edu.