UMass Lowell will launch a new school of computer science, named after the distinguished alumnus Rich Miner, co-founder of Android, the company and mobile operating system, which was acquired and launched by Google.
The university’s management turned to Miner, believing that his history and achievements would contribute to the vision they had for the new school. Today, the UMass Board of Trustees approved the establishment of the Richard A. Miner School of Computer and Information Sciences at UMass Lowell with a $ 5 million donation from Miner, as well as a $ 2 million concurrent contribution from the state.
“UMass Lowell’s newly renamed Richard A. Miner School of Computer and Information Science further elevates a program well known for transformative education and pioneering research in this area,” said Jackie Moloney, Chancellor of UMass Lowell. “We are deeply indebted to Rich. His latest gift reflects his ongoing generous donation of time, experience and resources to support students through entrepreneurial competitions such as UMass Lowell’s DifferenceMaker and prepare them to become career leaders.
Miner, who holds three degrees in computer science from UMass Lowell (BS 1986, MS 1989, Ph.D. 1997), illustrates the university’s long-standing investment and commitment to preparing students for the ever-evolving industry.
Today, the department, built next to a school with a vote of trustees, is home to nearly 1,600 students and more than 300 students, making it the largest academic program on campus with nearly 6% of the total UMass Lowell student population. From the fall of 2016 to the fall of 2021, the enrollment of UMass Lowell’s bachelor’s degree in computer science programs increased by more than 50%. This year, a record 12% of students in the UMass Lowell nominee group cited computer science as a major.
UMass Lowell’s research spending on computer science has grown in tandem with enrollment, jumping from $ 2.7 million in 2016 to $ 4.4 million in 2021. Faculties are authorities on a wide range of artificial arts topics. intelligence, visualization, robotics, natural language processing, data analysis, computer security and confidentiality, to health informatics, etc.
Miner is a co-founder of Android, the world’s most popular operating system with over 3 billion users. After selling Android to Google in 2005 and releasing the first few editions, Rich co-founded GV, Google’s first venture capital fund. GV has been managing investments in a number of the most successful startups over the past decade. In his role with GV, Rich has supported some of Massachusetts’ top startups, including Recorded Future, Toast, Hubspot and Tamr.
As a student at UMass Lowell, Miner wrote computer programs for the Commodore 64, a first-generation gaming system. In the years since his graduation, his work with the University Center for Productivity has paved the way for image breakthroughs, video digitization and video conferencing. In the same university laboratory, he helped incubate Avid Technology, the world’s first computer video editing platform. He later co-founded Wildfire Communications, the first personal voice assistant – patented many of the concepts that are now common in today’s voice assistants. He recognizes his education at UMass Lowell as the key to his entrepreneurial success and believes that his donation will help computer science students see how limitless their future is as they pursue their passion.
“UMass Lowell has prepared me academically and entrepreneurially for a career in which I have been able to contribute to so many impactful innovations. “I’m honored to be able to give back in ways that can encourage others to meet or surpass their dreams,” Miner said.
Miner returned to UMass Lowell to share his history and mentoring students, including those attending the Rist DifferenceMaker University Institute, a program that provides entrepreneurship training and opportunities. In 2012, he established the Innovation Fellowship of Professor Patrick D. Krolak. Named after Miner’s mentor, a former member of UMass Lowell’s Faculty of Computer Science who admired his collaborative approach to research, these scholarships are open to UMass Lowell’s computer science students.
The next generation
The establishment of the school illustrates UMass Lowell’s commitment to providing computer science students with the academic coursework, laboratory research, collaborative learning, and internship opportunities they need to succeed in a fast-growing field.
Located within the University College of Kennedy, Richard A. Miner School of Computer and Information Science offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs that combine applied and theoretical study of computing. The training course also includes options for minors in robotics, cybersecurity, data science and biochemistry. In partnership with the university’s Department of Graduation, Online and Professional Studies, the school also offers certificates in cybersecurity, system models and management and telecommunications.
“The new Richard A. Miner School of Computer and Information Science is designed to provide educational and research opportunities for a variety of students and faculty. Together, they will make significant discoveries and innovations that address many of the challenges facing our world. In an increasingly interconnected world, school will enlighten our future and reduce our insecurities. We are grateful to Rich Miner for this opportunity to significantly expand the school, “said Kennedy Dean of Science Kennedy Nureddin Melikechi, a physics professor.
The university is planning an autumn dedication ceremony in honor of Miner and the new school.
UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of the global community. The university offers its students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, healthcare, humanities, natural and social sciences. UMass Lowell provides high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on training, and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be leaders in their communities and around the world. www.uml.edu