Good news from across the University

Stampede PI photo

Stampede’s principal investigators: Tommy Minyard, Bill Barth, Jay Boisseau, Dan Stanzione, Karl Schulz of UT’s Texas Advanced Computing Center

Every day I see firsthand the importance of having strong national research universities in Texas. Three Texas congressmen — Lamar Smith, Michael McCaul, and Roger Williams — joined us yesterday on our campus to dedicate Stampede, our newest supercomputer. It’s capable of processing nearly 10 quadrillion mathematical computations per second. Stampede is currently the largest system available to scientists across the United States, thousands of whom will use the supercomputer to conduct scientific research and make discoveries as diverse as isolating new drug compounds, modeling the effects of climate change, searching for gravitational waves, and developing more efficient energy resources.

UT Austin won a nationwide competition for a $51.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to build Stampede. That’s good for your university, good for the advancement of science, and good for Texas.

We’ve had a lot of good news lately:

  • Microsoft founder Bill Gates was on campus to dedicate the Gates Computer Science Complex and Dell Computer Science Hall, made possible by a $30 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and $10 million from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
  • Our men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both won Big 12 championships. Good luck to the men, who will be competing for the national championship this weekend.
  • Former Regent Robert Rowling and his wife, Terry, pledged $25 million for a new home for the McCombs School of Business graduate programs to be named Rowling Hall.
  • A record 38,000 students applied for the 2013-14 freshman class.

I hope you are as proud as I am of all that the University is accomplishing every day with the help of alumni, students, faculty, and staff.

Hook ’em!

 

Bill's Signature

 

 

Bill Gates speaks to Longhorn students, UT’s Gates Computer Science Complex and Dell Computer Science Hall open their doors

Gates, Bill and the Bill and Melinda Gates building dedication 2013

 

Wednesday was a big day for UT Austin. In a ceremony attended by Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, we officially dedicated the Gates Computer Science Complex and Dell Computer Science Hall located in the heart of campus on the east side of Speedway. It was a great honor to have Bill Gates on our campus, an occasion made even better by his speaking to our students after the dedication. He shared his thoughts with students about the interplay between technology and philanthropy for social good.

He also wanted to highlight the work of our own faculty and selected professors Calvin Lin and Lauren Ancel Meyers to talk about their work during the same session. Dr. Lin is a computer science professor and director of the Turing Scholars Honors Program, and Dr. Meyers is a professor of integrative biology who works on mathematical models to predict the spread of infectious diseases.

In thanks for his visit, the College of Natural Sciences and UT alumnus Bob O’Rear (Microsoft’s seventh employee) and his wife Cathy have funded a research stream in the college’s Freshman Research Initiative in Bill and Melinda Gates’ honor. A total of 90 freshmen over three years will research technologies that will help people diagnose their own health. This research stream, conceived by our College of Natural Sciences, combines Bill Gates’ three biggest areas of interest: education, public health, and technology.

Sustainability feature, Gates and Liberal Arts buildings 2013

The atrium of our stunning new Gates Computer Science Complex. Abundant daylight will help keep energy use low.

 

It was a great day that marked the beginning of three years of high-impact research in honor of Bill and Melinda Gates, and many decades of advancement in computer science thanks to them, Michael and Susan Dell, and many other donors. My thanks too to Dean Linda Hicke and her team in the College of Natural Sciences, Computer Science Chair Bruce Porter, his predecessor Dr. J. Moore, and all the faculty and staff who helped make UT Austin home to this state-of-the-art facility.

What starts here changes the world.

Bill's Signature

 

 

 

Photos by Marsha Miller/UT Austin