Two Donations to Support Computer Science

The gifts will fund three new professorships and expand initiatives in data science.

By Varun Joshi

Two major gifts to the Department of Computer Science will fund professorships and push data science research.

The department recently received a $10.5 million gift from chairman of the Board of Trustees, Joseph Neubauer, and his wife, Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer, to create three new professorships. It also received another $10 million gift from Board member John Liew and his wife Serena Liew to expand initiatives in data science and to support research and education.

The Neubauers’ gift will support three Neubauer Professorships in Computer Science, which will be given to accomplished scholars in computer science.

The Liews’ gift will support a variety of activities. Half of the gift will go to the Liew Family Chair of Computer Science, a position currently held by data scientist Michael Franklin, who came from the University of California, Berkeley earlier this year. The gift will establish a fund that the chair can use to recruit faculty and establish instructorships, contribute to research, and develop curricula.

The remaining $5 million will be split across two initiatives. The first initiative will receive $3 million to support graduate students, who will be called Liew Family Graduate Fellows. The second initiative will receive $2 million to establish 25 to 30 Liew Family College Researcher positions for undergraduates who wish to conduct research in the Department of Computer Science with faculty members.

The gifts support the long-term goal of integrating the Department of Computer Science with other computational initiatives around the University. The Department of Computer Science has been adding other perspectives to its theoretical focus.

In January, the University hired Franklin to lead the Department of Computer Science. When Franklin was hired, Shan Lu, an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science, told The Maroon, “We are already very good in theoretical computer science, but I think the University realizes we need other parts…we’re hoping that, because we have been progressing toward the right direction…we can have another hire that will lead us to an even higher level.”