UMass Lowell started a computer science school with the support of alum

LOWEL – UMass Lowell announced on Thursday that it will launch a new school of computer science, which will be named after alumna Rich Miner, co-founder of Android, a company acquired and launched by Google.

The UMass Board of Trustees approved the Richard A. Miner School of Computer and Information Sciences at UMass Lowell with a $ 5 million donation from Miner, along with a $ 2 million concurrent contribution from the state.

“We are deeply indebted to Rich,” UMass Chancellor Lowell Jackie Moloney said in a statement. “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 leaders in their careers.”

The statement said computer science is the largest academic program at UMass Lowell and one that has grown steadily over the past few years.

The enrollment of bachelor’s degrees in computer science programs at the university has increased by more than 50% from the fall of 2016 to the fall of 2021. In 2022, 12% of students in the candidate group indicated computer science as a major, which she planned.

UMass Lowell’s research spending on computer science has grown along with enrollment, jumping from $ 2.7 million in 2016 to $ 4.4 million in 2021. Faculties are authorities in several subjects, including artificial intelligence, visualization , robotics, natural language processing, data analysis, computer security and confidentiality and health informatics.

Miner received a bachelor’s degree (1986), a master’s degree (1989) and a doctorate (1997) in computer science from UMass Lowell. He is the co-founder of Android, the world’s most popular operating system with more than 3 billion users.

After selling Android to Google in 2005 and releasing the first few editions, Miner co-founded GV, Google’s first venture capital fund. GV has managed investments in a number of start-ups over the past decade. In his role with GV, Miner has supported some of Massachusetts’ top startups, including Recorded Future, Toast, Hubspot and Tamr.

During his undergraduate course, 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 Product Improvement has led to image breakthroughs, video digitization and video conferencing. Miner also helped incubate Avid Technology, the world’s first computer video editing platform. He later co-founded Wildfire Communications, the first voice personal assistant, patenting many of the concepts that are now common in today’s voice assistants.

Miner recognizes his education as the key to his success. He said he believes 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,” Miner said in a statement. “I am honored to be able to give back in ways that can encourage others to meet or surpass their dreams.”

Richard A. Miner School of Computer and Information Science will be housed at Kennedy University College of Science. According to the announcement, it will offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs, combining applied and theoretical study of calculations.

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 education and research opportunities for a variety of students and faculty,” said Kennedy Dean of Science Nureddin Melikechi in a statement. “Together, they will make significant discoveries and innovations that address many of the challenges facing our world. In an increasingly interconnected world, the school will enlighten our future and reduce our insecurities. “

UMass Lowell is planning an autumn dedication ceremony in honor of Miner and the new school.

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