University of San Diego Receives $1 Million Grant from Pasadena Foundation

Published : Thursday, October 19, 2017 | 6:18 PM

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

The centerpiece of the redesign is the new Math Studio, which serves as “an incubator and promoter of a radical, physical experience in mathematics research, borrowing ideas from manufacturing, art studios and design thinking,” according to a university press statement Monday.

“We are thrilled and grateful that The Fletcher Jones Foundation shares our vision to reimagine and engage students in mathematics,” University of San Diego President James T. Harris said. “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.”

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

“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 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.

The Fletcher Jones Foundation was endowed from the estate of Fletcher R. Jones, who co-founded Computer Sciences Corporation in 1959.

From humble beginnings, Jones rose to gain fame and fortune as a mathematician, visionary businessman and larger-than-life pioneer in computer science in the 1950s.

The company, which he founded with partner Roy Nutt, was, by 1963, the nation’s largest software company in a crowded field and the first to be listed on a national exchange.

Today, Computer Sciences Corporation is the largest technology firm headquartered in Los Angeles County with over 90,000 employees worldwide.

During his time as Chairman and CEO at CSC, Jones provided the leadership, vitality and ingenuity which not only resulted in a successful company, but a sizable personal fortune as well. He died in November 1972 when the airplane he was piloting crashed.

Now, The Fletcher Jones Foundation actively supports private, independent nonprofit colleges and universities in California.

To learn more about The Fletcher Jones Foundation, visit

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