Left to right: Ashley Leinweber, Claudia Babiarz, Larry Leinweber, Dean Alec Gallimore, Vice Provost Thomas Finholt, Acting Dean Elizabeth Yakel, David Leinweber, Jessica Leinweber
Computers, data and information science are rapidly becoming the backbone of the systems that connect society. The University of Michigan took a step toward accelerating its leadership in these critical areas at a ceremony to celebrate the construction of a new $145 million facility.
Starting in 2025, top computer and information scholars will come together in Michigan’s new Leinweber Computer Science and Information Building to help solve some of the biggest challenges in modern medicine, transportation, smart infrastructure, and more.
The building will bring Michigan Engineering’s School of Information (UMSI) and Division of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) together for the first time, breaking down barriers between like-minded colleagues. Currently, CSE and UMSI are located on different campuses within a few miles of each other, and UMSI is spread across five different locations in downtown Ann Arbor.
The building is named after software entrepreneur Larry Leinweber, who donated $25 million for its construction.
“Michigan has a long-standing reputation as one of the leaders and best in computing and information,” Leinweber said. “We hope this new gift will advance both of these fields and amplify UM’s impact by bringing together some of the brightest minds in engineering and information science in a collaborative setting.”
The four-story, 163,000 square foot complex will house reconfigurable classrooms, student creative labs, collaboration spaces, research labs and two of the largest lecture halls on North Campus.
Over the past 10 years, the number of students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs at CSE and UMSI has quadrupled, and the new building will provide much-needed space to meet the growing demand for computer science graduates and in information for research, industry and education.
CSE and UMSI have a long history of transformative collaboration. Michigan’s legacy of leadership in computing and information dates back to the 1950s, when its graduate degree in computer science was established, making it one of the oldest computer science programs in the nation. Today, Michigan continues to be at the forefront of advances in artificial intelligence, device architecture, human-computer interaction, social networking, quantum computing, data analytics, etc
“Today we celebrate not only a magnificent learning and research facility, but also years of collaboration between our two schools,” said Alec Gallimore, Dean of Engineering Robert J. Vlasic, Professor Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner, an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Professor of Aerospace Engineering.
This convergence of disciplines will strengthen academic culture, fostering the fusion of human-centered and technical perspectives in critical areas such as artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, and machine learning.
“This is our chance to create an environment that enhances student learning through the tools and exciting collaborations with CSE students, so that we can fully realize the innovative pedagogies we are now instilling in our curriculum,” said Elizabeth Yakel, Acting Dean and C. Olivia. Frost Collegiate Professor of Information at the School of Information.
“Collocation with computer science and engineering opens up new opportunities for teaching and collaboration,” said Thomas A. Finholt, UM’s vice provost for academic and budget affairs, professor of information and dean emeritus. from the School of Information. “By working together, we can more effectively create and share information through technology, toward our goal of building a better world.”