University of Washington to launch Computer Science school with $40 million gift from Paul Allen

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Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has just made a generous $40 million gift to the University of Washington (via Geekwire). The UW will use the donation (plus an additional $10 million gift from Microsoft) to elevate its computer science and engineering department into a full school, which will be named the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering.

“UW has always felt like home to me for several reasons,” explained the Seattle-born business magnate and philanthropist on LinkedIn. In a lengthy blog post, Allen revealed how he used to spent a lot of time in the university’s graduate computer lab when he was a high school senior… until he was kicked out after causing some trouble with the equipment. A few year later, Allen, Bill Gates and UW student Paul Gilbert also developed the Traf-O-Data machine, a computer designed to automate the traffic-measuring process.

Flash-forward to 2017, Allen now thinks that today’s computer science and engineering students have “a wonderful opportunity to put their skills and expertise to use solving the world’s biggest problems.” To begin, the University of Washington will use the donation to develop new research initiatives, hire new professors, purchase new equipment and more. “The gift is meant to give CSE flexibility in responding to short-term needs or taking advantage of fortuitous circumstances that can be highly leveraged with discretionary funds,” explained Ed Lazowska, Bill & Melinda Gates chair in the UW CSE department.

“I look forward to watching the new Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering continue to make profound contributions both to the field and to the world,” concluded Allen. You can learn more about the Computer Science school on the official website.