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.
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.
Photos by Marsha Miller/UT Austin