The National Grid Foundation provided Baruch College, senior college in the City University of New York, with a $15,000 grant to support the college’s Math Skills Enhancement Project, which has now expanded into the statistics department.

These funds will provide access to specialized software that will continue to support the project’s mission of using technology-based instruction to improve students’ understanding of math. These tools will allow users to create videos, develop math tutorials, and project lecture notes from PC tablets onto classroom big screens.

“Math skills are essential for today's competitive business world. Yet, many students lack the requisite skills to be successful,” said Bob Keller, president of the National Grid Foundation, in a statement. “Through this innovative online tutorial system, students find the help necessary to catch up and advance to courses that will help propel their careers.

The technology has been successful for the last two years as part of Weissman School of Arts and Sciences’ math department, and this year, with the grant, will move to the Statistics 2000 program, a required course for entrance to Baruch’s Zicklin School of Business.

“In addition to class use, instructors are able to quickly write up mathematical solutions to students’ questions,” stated Baruch mathematics professor Sarah Harney in describing the student and faculty uses of the Table PC software. “With regular e-mail, it is difficult and time consuming to type up mathematical symbols, graphs and tables,” Harney says. “With this software, the solutions can be annotated using colored pens. And, instructors are able to use Camtasia software to produce videos of an explanation or solution unfolding with time, accompanied by a track recorded by the instructor.”

Surveys revealed that students like the 24/7 access to lessons.

“It’s great that she can write her notes using the tablet,” stated Esam Saidmuratov, a junior finance major. “It made it a lot clearer to understand the formulas and the steps that are involved in each of the problems. I download my notes during class breaks and while I’m at home. It is so much easier to see the problem and to get access to it since the professor already wrote it down.”

Overall, this National Grid Foundation gift, its third, will provide PC tutorial use to more than 5,000 Baruch students, with individualized faculty help, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.