November 17, 2003–Wolfram Research has renewed its grant to the Champaign-Urbana Schools Foundation (CUSF) for the 2003-2004 academic year. The grant, which is now in its second year, includes a software donation and cash gift in the combined amount of $18,500. A check will be presented to the foundation on Wednesday, November 19, at Central High School.
Wolfram Research has been a long-time supporter of Champaign-Urbana schools, providing donations of Mathematica software, teacher training, and scholarships to students for participation in math and science enrichment programs and competitions. Gail Rost, Executive Director of CUSF, says that the foundation initially approached Wolfram Research with the grant proposal as a way of streamlining Wolfram’s various donations to the schools. “Bringing the donations under one shared umbrella lets us distribute the wealth more easily and more efficiently,” says Rost.
Under the terms of the grant, Champaign Central High School, Champaign Centennial High School, Urbana High School, and University High School will each receive 15 Mathematica licenses for classroom use as well as three hundred dollars to put toward math tournament fees and related expenses. All of the schools’ math teams usually make a strong showing in local, state, and national tournaments, and Wolfram Research is glad to help defray their participation costs. Adds Rost, “With all of the schools knowing up-front that these funds are available for their students, it may also help spur greater participation as parents and schools do not have to absorb those costs out of pocket.”
Barb Taub of Wolfram Research, who helps approve such sponsorships, enthusiastically agrees with Rost. “We are delighted to renew our cash donation and the licenses for the copies of Mathematica already distributed through the foundation. Having this grant in place makes the renewal process much smoother on both ends. It also facilitates our ability to subsidize all of the schools in some way, while giving the schools peace of mind that they are all being considered for support.”
CUSF is an independent, nonprofit corporation designed to enhance the quality of education in Champaign-Urbana through community support of the public schools. It serves as the charitable arm for the public schools, seeking sponsorships from local businesses, agencies, and individuals. In the 15 years since its establishment, CUSF has funded over 250 teachers and awarded over $320,000 in “creative capital.” Current initiatives include increasing sponsorship networking and donation levels, establishing a service-learning for credit program, and launching an online bulletin board on which visitors can post resources that they would like to donate to schools and teachers.
Wolfram Research is the world’s leading developer of technical computing software and is also committed to technological awareness and education, sponsoring both the academic and corporate communities with direct contributions to education-related programs and scientific research. In addition, the Wolfram Research web domain is home to MathWorld and a growing family of public mathematical resources that utilize Mathematica technology. More information about Wolfram Research products and resources is available.