Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

To ignite and nurture creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition.

Background and Funding

The brainchild of physics Nobel Laureate Dr. Leon Lederman, IMSA was established in 1985 by former Governor James R. Thompson and the Illinois General Assembly to help the State meet its needs for highly skilled leaders and workers in mathematics, science, and technology. IMSA is an independent "state agency" governed by an appointed Board of Trustees. IMSA budget is part of the Illinois Board of higher Education system.


The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy® is a recognized leader in mathematics and science education nationally and abroad and serves students, educators, and policymakers in Illinois and beyond.

"The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy... is a gift from the people of Illinois the human future."

- Dr. Carl Sagan