The Frost Fund
Cal Poly alumnus William Frost and his wife, Linda, gave a CSU-record $110 million to Cal Poly’s College of Science and Mathematics. The gift is among the largest ever given to public higher education in California.
The Frosts envision transforming science and mathematics education at Cal Poly by greatly enhancing the resources for undergraduate research. Their gift will support a new interdisciplinary research center, sponsor scholarships to attract top students, provide cutting-edge equipment, and increase the hiring of instructors, giving faculty members more time to mentor students researchers.
With these resources, the already strong undergraduate academic and research programs in the College of Science and Mathematics will become among the best in the nation.
Engaging in real-world research with faculty mentors is a powerful expression of Cal Poly's Learn by Doing approach. As students discover solutions to questions no one has answered yet, they develop their curiosity, imagination and critical thinking skills. Hands-on work in the lab requires innovation and collaboration, often across disciplines. In addition, the results of student-faculty research can make a difference in the world.
Student Presentations & Publications
Students take their experience out of the research lab into the professional world while still at Cal Poly. Many have the opportunity to present at regional, national and international conferences alongside professional scientists and mathematicians. They also share their results in campus seminars and student research conferences.
With their faculty mentors, students co-author peer-reviewed papers that appear in academic journals. By communicating their results to the scientific community, they not only understand their accomplishments more fully but also gain confidence and build a network of professional connections.
A new undergraduate research complex at the heart of campus will transform student learning and spur imagination and innovation. The complex will complement the new Warren J. Baker Center for Science and Mathematics and exemplify Cal Poly’s practice of putting undergraduate students at the heart of real-world research.
With space for science, mathematics, agriculture and liberal arts, this building will demonstrate the university's commitment to interdisciplinary education. The 15,000 square feet of science and mathematics labs and collaboration space will provide hands-on experience for hundreds of students. Every summer, almost 400 students engage in student-faculty research in the college, and this facility will provide the necessary space for this larger amount of research activity to continue year-round.
The Frost Fund also allows the college to purchase state-of-the-art equipment to support undergraduate research and upper division courses. Science students at Cal Poly have access to advanced instrumentation rarely available to undergraduates. Examples include a liquid chromotography mass spectrometer for protein analysis, a DNA sequencer, a DXA machine to measure body composition and a neutrino telescope to measure the universe’s highest-energy particles.
Top applicants in biological sciences, marine science, microbiology, chemistry, biochemistry, mathematics, physics and statistics are offered scholarships of up to $80,000 — $20,000 a year for four years. Frost Scholars are strongly encouraged to participate in the Frost Undergraduate Research Program and to graduate in four years with immediate plans for graduate school, professional school or employment.