Manchester University has announced a $1 million donation from Marvin and Elaine Bittinger to benefit math and computer science programs. Marvin Bittinger graduated from Manchester in 1963 before serving as a mathematics professor and author of over 250 textbooks.
The gift has prompted the university to name the Marvin L. Bittinger Department of Mathematics and Computer Science in his honor. The professor emeritus of mathematics education at IUPUI says he had to teach less in the 1980s to focus on writing.
“I loved to teach, and I loved to write,” Bittinger said. “But I loved to write better.”
He sold more than 13 million copies of his math textbooks, which Bittinger says he wrote on a computer in his office as he imagined explaining math to a student sitting next to him.
“I don’t think I ever wrote a book to make money,” said Bittinger. “I wrote books so kids could understand.”
The university says the Bittinger’s gift will provide an endowment fund to help support student learning, research and faculty development in the math and computer science departments.