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Monday, October 25, 2021
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UW-Madison announces $175 million commitment for new School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences building

The University of Wisconsin-Madison announced last Friday plans to build a $225 million building for computer, data and information sciences funded entirely by private donations, according to the university’s press release.

The School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences (CDIS) will primarily encompass majors in computer science, statistics and information sciences. It will home the Center for Throughput Computing, American Family Insurance Data Science Institute and the Department of Biostatistics & Medical Informatics.  

According to the university, the computer science major has grown from 200 students to 2,000 students over the past decade, a sign of significant student interest in computer science and related areas. 

“The School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences is a place where our faculty and students will shape the way technology influences and enriches our lives,” said Chancellor Rebecca Blank. “This is an investment that is central to the future of the university, as these fields are infusing and changing all other academic disciplines.” 

UW-Madison also has extensive plans for supporting cutting-edge research within CDIS. Public research funders for the school include NASA, the National Institutes for Health and the U.S. Department of Defense, along with private sector funding from Facebook, Google, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle.

The plans are being touted as an investment in the technology ecosystem of the State of Wisconsin, while supporting rising student interest in the subject area and fostering academic research.

The university has already received $175 million towards the completion of this project 

John and Tashia Morgridge, UW Alumni and long-time donors, donated $125 million for the establishment of the new school. John Morgridge, who graduated from UW-Madison in 1955, is the former chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Cisco Systems. 

“This is an investment in UW-Madison and the state of Wisconsin that will help secure their place in our shared future,” said John Morgridge. 

The other $50 million in funding comes from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. WARF is a nonprofit that assists UW-Madison in patenting, licensing and developing technology for research.

The building will be 300,000 square feet with spaces to support instruction, student activities and research. Its design will also play into the university’s greater sustainability goals, with the building planned to be the most sustainable on campus.

Construction is slated to begin in 2023 and will conclude by the end of 2024, with the quick construction time credited to the boost in private funding.

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