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Bailey College of Science and Mathematics

Enhancing lives through learning, discovery and innovation

Website Update

The Frost Fund


Cal Poly alumnus William Frost and his wife, Linda, gave a CSU-record $110 million to Cal Poly’s Bailey College of Science and Mathematics. The gift is among the largest ever given to public higher education in California.

image. William and Linda Frost at the gift ceremony Vision

The Frosts envision transforming science and mathematics education at Cal Poly by greatly enhancing the resources for undergraduate research. Their gift has supported a new interdisciplinary research center, sponsors scholarships to attract top students, provides cutting-edge equipment, and increases the hiring of instructors, giving faculty members more time to mentor students researchers.

With these resources and the already strong undergraduate academic and research programs, the Bailey College of Science and Mathematics is well positioned to become one of the nation's premier institutions for undergraduate research.

Frost Research Scholar Student working on undergraduate research with faculty mentorUndergraduate Research

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 and 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.

Frost Scholar Student presenting research at conferenceWith their faculty mentors, students author and 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.

View a comprehensive list of research publications authored or co-authored by Bailey College students and faculty.

​​​​Cutting-Edge Facilities

Frost Center atrium The Bailey College is fortunate to have multiple modern facilities offering exceptional hands-on research, discovery and learning opportunities. The newest is the William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation, which opened in May 2023. Located at the heart of campus with a truly striking presence, the Frost Center is a thoughtfully-designed interdisciplinary building, uniting three Cal Poly colleges under one roof. The four-story facility enables a new level of cross-disciplinary innovation and collaboration, including flexible and state-of-the- art teaching, laboratory, research and office spaces.

student in Frost Center lab Much more than a building, the Frost Center is transforming students' Learn by Doing experiences and providing unprecedented opportunities for students and faculty to engage in real-world research, address the world’s most pressing concerns, or work with cutting-edge technologies and equipment that lead to creative solutions and discovery. More than 53% of Bailey College students engage in student-faculty research, and this facility provides the necessary space for this large amount of research activity to continue year-round.

Visit the Frost Center page.

Read Cal Poly Magazine article on the Frost Center.

Watch video titled Inside Look: Frost Center for Research and Innovation at Cal Poly.

Cal Poly student and faculty using DXA machineThe Frost Center complex complements the award-winning Warren J. Baker Center for Science and Mathematics, conveniently adjacent to each other. Both buildings exemplify Cal Poly’s practice of putting undergraduate students at the heart of real-world research.

The Frost Fund also allows the college to purchase state-of-the-art equipment to support undergraduate research and upper division courses. Student researchers 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 (shown above) and a neutrino telescope to measure the universe’s highest-energy particles.

​​​​Frost Research Scholars

Frost Research Scholar Continuing students with a demonstrated interest in and commitment to research are eligible to apply for a Frost Research Scholarship.The scholarship is typically awarded for two years, starting with a student’s third year at Cal Poly, with some exceptions. Scholarships are $10,000 per year with a guaranteed opportunity to participate in the Frost Summer Undergraduate Research Program, which comes with a $4,500 award. During the academic year, students commit to 10 hours of research per week via independent study units.

Frost Research Scholar Frost Research Scholars are expected to participate in the Frost Summer Undergraduate Research Program, or in external summer research or internship opportunities, and to graduate in four years with immediate plans for graduate school, professional school or employment.

Learn more about the Frost Research Scholarships.


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