Help the Faculty of Mathematics unlock over $15,000 this Giving Tuesday!

Giving Tuesday is a worldwide 24-hour celebration of generosity

On Tuesday, November 29, 2022, alumni, parents, faculty, staff, retirees and friends of the University are invited to support Waterloo students through charitable gifts to priority areas.

Mark and Tian GiesbrechtThree donors have come forward to be Challenge Champions for the Faculty of Mathematics. If 20 people donate to the fund they are championing, it will unlock their gift.

If 20 people make a gift to the CEMC Elementary School Innovation Fund, it will unlock an extra $2,000 from Mark Giesbrecht, Dean, Faculty of Mathematics, and his wife, Tian Kou. This Fund will help develop free online courseware that covers content taught in Grades 4/5/6 in ways that are accessible and appropriate for these younger audiences and their teachers, and in ways that first and foremost promote the thinking that lies at the heart of mathematics. CEMC already offers similar courseware for students in Grades 7 to 12, and it has proven wildly successful, particularly during the pandemic when demand for the materials skyrocketed. The impetus behind the CEMC’s plan to create new elementary courseware came from listening to the challenges expressed by students and teachers that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated.

"Everyone has an ability in mathematics, but it needs to be fostered to become an essential skill and a fundamental pleasure," said Giesbrecht and Kou. "That’s why supporting young learners and their teachers is so vital. By infusing mathematics and computing into elementary school education, we can keep young learners engaged and make mathematics and computer science more pervasive and inclusive. With a gift to a Fund like this, you can make a difference. You can help a young person say Look I’m good at this, and this matters!’"

If 20 people make a gift in support of the Math Entrepreneurship Fund, it will unlock an extra $5,000 from Ian MacKinnon (BMath ’06, MMath ’08). By donating to the Math Entrepreneurship Fund you will help create dynamic entrepreneurship programming, including pitch competitions, hackathons, conferences and one-on-one mentorship with industry leaders. By supporting this Fund you will empower Waterloo mathematics and computer science students to become tomorrow’s founders and innovators. 

Ian MacKinnon"Waterloo math students are capable of creating the next big thing in technology," said MacKinnon. "Yet, to get started as entrepreneurs and innovators, they need a community in which they can network, share knowledge and develop skills. I believe the Entrepreneurship Fund will create this community in the Faculty of Mathematics and enable students to launch a career in entrepreneurship. I look forward to seeing what innovative ideas, projects and companies are created as a result of this Fund."

If 20 donors support the Pure Mathematics Fund, it will unlock an extra $8,128 from David Ash (BMath ’87). This amount–the fourth perfect number – was inspired by the research that David undertook as an undergrad at Waterloo touching on Mersenne primes.

Pure mathematics is the playground where curious minds come together to explore the boundary of mathematics and pure reason. By supporting this fund, you will help attract, retain and educate the curious minds of brilliant young people. You will help improve and nurture creative problem solving by fostering diversity. You will support research breakthroughs and help share the wonder of the explorations in pure mathematics. All revolutionary breakthroughs that transform the future begin with curiosity. By supporting the Pure Mathematics Fund, you encourage discovery through curiosity.

David AshAlthough recognizing the huge possibilities for applying math in today's world, David has always had a very deep love for mathematics for its own sake. This is why he did his undergrad primarily in Pure Math and is now supporting this fund in Pure Math. Although David has worked for many years in technology and especially in artificial intelligence, he has always found that his work has a strong mathematical component to it and therefore has never lost sight of the fact that it is math and ultimately Pure Math that underlies much of our modern high-tech world. He continues to focus, to the extent that time permits, on pure mathematical research, focusing recently for example on matroid theory. David received his BMath in 1987, and while at Waterloo was a three-time Fellow (top five) in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition.

Whether you are inspired to make mathematics more pervasive and inclusive or are interested inspiring curiosity or the next great advance in technology, please mark November 29, 2022, on your calendar and watch your email and the Faculty of Mathematics’ social networks [Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter] on how to make a gift to one of these funds on Giving Tuesday.