Like any organization, the Department of Computer Science has milestones in its growth that mark moments of unusual significance. We are approaching just such a milestone. For many months now, we have been awaiting the department’s move into our new home: the Bill and Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex and Dell Computer Science Hall (GDC). That move is nearly here. I am distinctly happy to report that by this time next month, our doors will be open, and UTCS will have all of its faculty, staff, and students under a single roof for the first time in the department’s history. It is hard to overstate the impact that GDC will have on the quality on the classroom experiences, the ability of our faculty to conduct research, and the collaborative experience and community of the department as a whole.
The timing of the completion of this project is in some sense symbolic. GDC gives the department a new external face to show the world at a time when it is also experiencing remarkable internal growth and evolution. Fall 2012 marked the implementation of one of the most extensive undergraduate curriculum overhauls in departmental history, which will better position our students for success in both graduate school and today’s job market. We will need both a modern curriculum and our new facilities to accommodate the explosive growth of the past several years. Nearly 2,000 graduate and undergraduate students will join us in GDC—double our enrollment from only five years ago.
Clearly, this is a moment for to celebrate not only a new home, but also a bright future for UTCS. We intend to do just that. Expect an invitation early next spring with all of the details on our grand opening, >goto_GDC; where we’ll invite all of our alumni and the general public to campus to experience the Gates Complex and Dell Computer Science Hall first-hand. It will be an event you won’t want to miss!
Bruce Porter, UTCS Chair