UC Berkeley Receives $60 Million From Simons Foundation

UC Berkeley Receives $60 Million From Simons Foundation

The University of California, Berkeley has announced a $60 million grant from the New York City-based Simons Foundation to establish an institute for the theory of computing.

To be housed in UC Berkeley's Calvin Hall, the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing will invite the world's top computer theorists and researchers to explore and apply the mathematical foundations of computer science to new challenges relevant to everyday life, including how to fight diseases, create more accurate climate change models, and make people's social and commercial interactions on the Internet more secure and efficient. Slated to open in July, the institute will be lead by Richard Karp, professor at UC Berkeley and head of the Algorithms Group at the International Computer Science Institute and his colleagues, computer science professors Alistair Sinclair and Christos Papadimitriou.

Starting in January 2013, the institute will convene leading researchers and the next generation of outstanding graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to work on new computational topics in workshops, seminars, and informal collaborations. In addition to corporate partnerships with tech giants like Google, the institute will work with nonprofits such as Math for America and CalTeach, and will offer professional development workshops for K-12 teachers as part of its educational outreach component.

"We expect that, within the next two decades, every major field of science will have among its most significant achievements at least one that is computational in nature," said Karp. "And there's no better place than UC Berkeley for this endeavor, given our record of innovation in computer science over the last four decades and our deep experience with complex, interdisciplinary institutes."