Building a Hub for Tech Leaders

The University of Maryland's commitment to elevating computer science and driving fearless innovation has attracted the support of donors in the form of eight new endowed faculty positions in the Department of Computer Science. These positions have aided in the recruitment of world-class researchers to fill the new Brendan Iribe Center.

(L-R) Matthias Zwicker, Ming Lin, Dinesh Manocha.
(L-R) Matthias Zwicker, Ming Lin, Dinesh Manocha. Credit: John T. Consoli. Click image to download.
Three positions endowed by Brendan Iribe's mother, Elizabeth Iribe, have already been filled. Her $3 million donation received $2.15 million in matching funds from the state's Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative (MEI). These combined donations led to the creation of a position in her name and two others: one in honor of her brother, Paul Chrisman Iribe, for his leadership of the family, and another that honors Brendan's high school computer science teacher, Reginald Allan Hahne.

Soon, the department will fill five more endowed faculty positions. A $2.1 million gift from Capital One that was matched by the MEI will support an endowed chair and two professorships in machine learning, data science, and cybersecurity. Two endowed professorships in theoretical computer science will be supported by a $1 million donation from the Brin family, which includes Samuel Brin (B.S. ‘09, computer science); his brother and Google co-founder, Sergey (B.S. '93, mathematics and computer science); their father, Michael, a UMD professor emeritus in mathematics; and their mother, Eugenia, a former analyst at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The Brin family gift was also matched by the MEI.

 


"There are so many possibilities to do things very differently and creatively in the new collaborative classrooms. Part of what excited me to come here is that the university is becoming a hub for an emerging technology corridor. Any tech company, if they are thinking far ahead, should want to have a presence in the greater Washington area, including College Park."

Ming Lin
Elizabeth Stevinson Iribe E-Nnovate Chair for Computer Science

"The Iribe Center is, in my opinion, one of the most fantastic and state-of-the-art computer science buildings in the country, if not the world. The Iribe Center is going to enable some amazing new fundamental and experimental research in virtual and augmented reality, robotics, and other interdisciplinary areas. Moreover, it's going to be a big factor in attracting great people and top technology companies to the area."

Dinesh Manocha
Paul Chrisman Iribe Endowed E-Nnovate Professor


"The Iribe Center is a much more welcoming space to collaborate. It's actually a ‘place to be.' The new facility and faculty members coming in show that the department is committed to innovation, and I think that's very attractive to new undergrads, graduate students, and faculty."

Matthias Zwicker
Reginald Allan Hahne Endowed E-Nnovate Professor


 

Written by Kimbra Cutlip

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This article was published in the Spring 2019 issue of Odyssey magazine. To read other stories from that issue, please visit go.umd.edu/odyssey.

About the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences

The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland educates more than 9,000 future scientific leaders in its undergraduate and graduate programs each year. The college's 10 departments and six interdisciplinary research centers foster scientific discovery with annual sponsored research funding exceeding $200 million.