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Inspiring Imaginations Initiative

This $18.5 million gift from the anonymous computer science alumnus puts the Computer Science and Engineering Department (CSE) more than halfway to its $25 million Inspiring Imaginations fundraising goal. Inspiring Imaginations is a three-year initiative focused on strengthening undergraduate computer science education at the Jacobs School. Driven in large part by the explosive growth in undergraduate enrollment, the initiative is designed to improve the undergraduate experience via infrastructure improvements and permanent increases in funding – through endowments – for student support, faculty and new programs. Elements of the initiative are listed below.

“This gift is not about me. It is about the computer science and engineering department – and most importantly, the students. I made this gift to recognize the wonderful education I received and to assist the department in its efforts to reach even higher levels of excellence.”

Anonymous computer science alumnus

This individual made the $18.5 million lead gift for the Inspiring Imaginations Initiative.

Tutors, Tech Staff and TAs

Many more tutors (see more), technical support staff and teaching assistants will interact with computer science undergraduates thanks to the new gift. The ultimate goal is to provide one tutor for every six undergraduate students in key introductory classes.

More Labs

The gift provides just over half of the estimated $5.5 million needed to create the Design Innovation Center within the Computer Science and Engineering building. The remodel and expansion will add 7,000 square feet in teaching laboratories, and better integrate the undergraduate labs on the lower level with the CSE research enterprise (see more).

New Classes

Advanced undergraduate courses will be created that follow introductory courses in many areas, including networking, distributed computing and embedded and mobile computing systems.

Better Equipment

Better equipment is on the way such as state-of-the-art hardware and software to model computer architecture. There will be new equipment to build prototypes of new computers using design and prototyping tools including 3D printers. There will be facilities for in-house printed circuit board design and FPGA assembly – as well as technical staff to run labs and mentor students.

Endowed Chairs

Five new endowed chairs will enable UC San Diego to attract the highest caliber computer science professors in growth areas such as big data, computer systems and cyber-physical systems. Three of the chairs are specifically marked for attracting topmost junior faculty to the department.

Inspired? Learn more.

Investing in the Jacobs School

You can specify how gifts to the Jacobs School will benefit students, faculty, programs or departments. There are many ways to maximize your gift's impact, make your giving experience meaningful and enjoyable, and realize tax benefits.

If you would like to explore giving options such as stock transfers, multi-year pledges, or including the Jacobs School in your estate plans, please contact Lisa M. French at (858) 246-0593 or

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