The Applied Mathematics Laboratory (AML) was established in 1980. The first project, which began in September, 1980 was sponsored by the University for the Office of Auxiliary Services. It involved the study of demographics and forecasting for the purpose of determining the extent of the need for additional on-campus housing. The report was taken to the Maryland State Legislature and helped the University to get approval for a new 1600 bed facility. Students occupied the new dormitory in August, 1983.
In August, 1981 the National Science Foundation through its Local Course Improvement Grants (#8160689) provided funds to the AML which were used to subsidize sponsor fees and to support administrative personnel, secretarial help, and equipment purchases. The first outside sponsor was the Westinghouse Electric Corporation Electronics Repair Center for whom a project was completed in May, 1983. Since then, the AML has completed 22 projects for such companies as Bell Atlantic, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Citicorp, Martin Marietta, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), RTR Technologies, and Exelon Corp.
A great deal of gratitude is due Dr. Jerome Spanier, former director of the Claremont Clinic, who visited Towson in January, 1980. He encouraged the establishment of the AML in our undergraduate setting. Following that consultation period, Dr. Martha Siegel, as founding AML Director, and the Department of Mathematics, with the enthusiastic support of the University have developed the course and guided the growth of the AML through the years. Dr. Siegel was succeeded as AML Director by Dr. Mike O'Leary, Dr. Jay Zimmerman, Dr. Angel Kumchev, and Dr. Alexei Kolesnikov.
Programs comparable to Towson's AML have been established at the Claremont Graduate Schools, Harvey Mudd College, Clemson University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Although the AML is patterned after these programs, there is one significant difference. Historically, such programs (the first project was done in 1973-74 at Claremont) have relied heavily on graduate students and post doctoral fellows as project team leaders. Towson University however, is unique in having its teams composed almost entirely of undergraduates, with faculty as team leaders.