Independent Minds, Working Together

History & Funding

The College of Wooster AMRE program began in 1994 as the Mathematics Clinic. The Clinic was funded by a seed grant from the Hewlett-Mellon Presidential Discretionary Fund for Institutional Advancement along with a nominal client fee, and was based on a similar program at Harvey-Mudd College. During the first summer of its operation, the program employed six students on projects with Smith Dairy and the City of Wooster.

The Hewlett-Mellon grant continued to aid the AMRE program financially throughout 1995 and 1996. Client fees were increased and additional funds were received from the College's Office of Undergraduate Research, the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs, and the payment of indirect costs by the College of Wooster.

The summer of 1995 saw the program grow to nine student participants and three projects, and in 1997 eleven students worked on four projects. Since that time, there have been between five and twelve students employed each summer working on between two and four projects.

Although almost all projects have been for local clients, in 1996 AMRE was employed by its first (and only, so far) out-of-state client. The student team developed a production scheduling system for Vermeer Manufacturing of Pella, Iowa. Other projects for clients outside of the Wooster area have been done for Bell and Howell Systems from the Cleveland area and Goodyear Tire and Rubber of Akron.

In November of 1998, the College hosted the first AMRE Projects Day. This annual event features presentations by the AMRE teams of the previous summer followed by a luncheon hosted by the College President. Projects Day is a good vehicle for introducing prospective clients and prospective student participants to the AMRE program.

A major financial step in AMRE's history occurred in 1999 when The College of Wooster Class of 1950 chose to make an endowment for AMRE part of their 50-year reunion class gift. Beginning in 2000, the endowment fund has provided about 25% of the total program operating costs. Client fees constitute about 40% of the cost and the remaining costs are covered through other College sources.

Some Stats at a Glance...

  • 196 students have participated in the program. 49 of these students participated twice and 5 participated 3 times!
  • AMRE has been in existence for 19 years.
  • We have completed 99 projects with 29 different clients.
  • AMRE had a record 25 students complete 10 projects in the summer of 2011
  • Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company has sponsored 14 projects!
  • Progressive Insurance has sponsored a project in 8 of the last 9 years.
  • The Prentke-Romich Company has sponsored 7 projects.