|From left: Computer Science and Engineering Department Chair Rajesh Gupta, Moxie Foundation CEO and Chairman Irwin Zahn, UC San Diego Construction Services Senior Director Jim Gillie, Jacobs School Dean Al Pisano and Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla|
San Diego, Calif., Nov. 3, 2015 -- The Department of Computer Science and Engineering marked a significant step in its history Friday, Oct. 9, with a groundbreaking for a 7,000-square-foot remodeling and expansion of the EBU II building. The project will include a Design Innovation Center, spaces for faculty and students to interact and more computer lab space.
“This space will open new opportunities for students,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla, who attended the ceremony. “This is an example of the actions our campus is taking to fulfill our Strategic Plan goals and vision as a student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public university.”
The project comes at a time of tremendous growth for the computer science department, now the largest in the University of California system, with 2,349undergraduates enrolled as of fall 2015. The department is currently ranked 7th in the United States and 9th in the world, according to U.S. News and World Report.
The project will help better integrate the computer labs that are in the building’s basement with the rest of the space—a priority for computer science chair Rajesh Gupta. “I’m on a mission to bring down that wall—more precisely that floor,” he said, referring to the divide between undergraduates and the rest of the computer science community residing on the upper floors.
The expansion will shift the building’s main entrance so that it provides access to both the basement and the top floors. The main entrance to the basement and its computer labs is currently located on the side of the building—essentially a back door. The basement is accessible from the building’s existing lobby via elevators, but those are locked on the weekend.
The expansion would not have been possible without the support of Jacobs School Dean Albert P. Pisano, Gupta added. The project will allow the Jacobs School to engage all of the school’s undergraduate computer science and engineering students in hands-on or experiential education, starting in their very first year, Pisano said. “I am glad we are moving forward on this project.”
Moxie Foundation CEO Irwin Zahn and computer science alumnus Taner Halicioglu were also instrumental in supporting and promoting the project, Gupta said.
The project was 2 ½ years in the making, time required to secure approvals and funding, most of which came from the $25 million Inspiring Imaginations campaign launched by the computer science department. Work is set to end by June 1, 2016.
|An artist rendering of the expansion was on display during the event.|