Steve Ballmer Funds Harvard CS Expansion
Written by Sue Gee   
Monday, 17 November 2014

Harvard's computer science faculty is set to grow by fifty percent following a gift from former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who is himself a Harvard graduate.

“CS at Harvard today is small, but excellent,” Ballmer stated. “It already punches above its weight. With depth in systems, data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, it is focused on high-impact specialties that are literally changing the world. With this infusion of talent, I believe Harvard will be one of the preeminent, modern CS programs.”




The grant is to SEAS, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the newest of the University’s 12 degree-granting Schools, having transitioned in 2007 from a division to a separate school within Harvard, Since then undergraduate enrollment has increased by a factor of three and its introductory course computer science course, Computer Science 50 is the largest class at Harvard, with 818 undergraduate students this semester.

SEAS was already planning to expand into new state-of-the-art facilities on Harvard’s campus in Allston. A defining characteristic of SEAS is that the School does not have departments. Instead, interdisciplinary teaching areas and research interests guide the faculty and students and encourage collaboration. This injection of funds, which hasn't been specified but which is at least enough to fund eleven professorships, is going to have a big impact. David Parkes, the area dean for computer science at SEAS said: 

 “This is going to change the way people view computer science here.”




To give the last word to Steve Balmer:

“CS is the operating system for innovation at Harvard, I think Harvard has a unique opportunity. Whether it’s biology, history, public policy, or medicine, the ability to help people get more done through CS is an area where Harvard has the resources and the perspective across these disciplines to be a leader.”


More Information

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to Support Computer Science Expansion at Harvard

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Last Updated ( Monday, 17 November 2014 )