Carnegie Mellon University

The Gates Center for Computer Science

The Gates Center: Carnegie Mellon's New Home for Computer Science

Carnegie Mellon is home to one of the first departments of computer science in the nation. Debuting in July 1965, the department quickly became one of the leading centers for computer science education and research in the world. In 1988, the department officially evolved into the School of Computer Science (SCS), reflecting the status of the field and the emergence of a new national culture.

Gates Center for Computer Science Twenty years later the school has outgrown its home in Newell-Simon Hall, named for two of the founding fathers who helped put the field on the map, Turing Award winners Allen Newell and Herbert Simon. Now, as the School looks toward the future, another name will emerge as the marker of Carnegie Mellon's world-class program: Bill Gates.

As a cornerstone to the new SCS Complex, the Gates Center will be home to the school's undergraduate computer science programs. Made possible by a lead gift of $20 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the building will include new classrooms, graduate and faculty offices, conference rooms, labs, and open project space.

The revolutionary research that has defined the department and the school for over 40 years will be complemented by awe-inspiring architecture. In addition to "green roofs" and sustainable materials, space for common areas has been maximized to encourage collaboration and innovation. The complex will be situated at the gateway to the campus just south of Forbes Avenue, further reflecting the discipline's prominence at the university and beyond.

As founder, chairman and former CEO of Microsoft, Bill Gates is responsible for much of the computer and software solutions we rely on everyday. He has been an ardent supporter of the university, as Microsoft is one of Carnegie Mellon's top corporate sponsors, awarding numerous faculty and student fellowships and research grants. In March 2007, the university opened the Microsoft Research-sponsored Center for Computational Thinking to advance computing research and advocate for the widespread use of computational thinking to improve people’s lives.

The Gates Center will be coupled with the Hillman Center for Future-Generation Technologies to complete the SCS Complex. The Hillman Center was made possible by a $10 million gift from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.

For more information about the Gates Hillman Complex, check the project blog.

Carnegie Mellon’s original campus design is said to have been modeled after a ship by the campus’s initial architect Henry Hornbostel. An actual ship's prow taken from the historic cruiser, the USS Pennsylvania, rests atop Roberts Hall, which overlooks Panther Hollow and the Carnegie Museum complex.

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