Press Release: DBED matches funds to Paul Chrisman Iribe Chair of Computer Science
College Park, MD, September 9, 2015,— The Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland is one of six recipients of matching funds to endowed professorships made through the Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative Fund (MEIF) to universities in the state of Maryland. Established by The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), this initiative matches private donations (individual or bundled) of at least $500,000. The program was established to catalyze private donations for “basic and applied research in scientific fields.”
Ms. Elizabeth Iribe’s gift of $1.5 million to the department on September 12, 2014 to establish The Paul Chrisman Iribe Chair of Computer Science will be matched by DBED for $1.05 million to create an additional chair in the Computer Science Department. The new chair will be named for Mr. Brendan Iribe’s high school Computer Science teacher, Mr. Reginald Allan Hahne, who taught for 32 years in Howard County Public Schools. Mr. Iribe was Mr. Hahne's student at Atholton High School. Mr. Iribe gave $31 million towards the establishment of the Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Innovation at the University of Maryland.
In a statement about having a Computer Science Chair named after him, Mr. Hahne said, "I’m honored and, to be quite frank, overwhelmed by such a significant financial endowment to the University of Maryland to be recognized in my name. This endowment enters us into a new horizon enhancing computer science methodologies in all educational pursuits. My hope is that the endowment will support not only the present opportunities that the study of computer science can offer, but future opportunities as well."
The Paul Chrisman Iribe Chair will promote advances in Virtual Reality and related disciplines. The CS Department, along with the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS), is in the midst of a search for an established faculty member engaged in inter-disciplinary research including computer perception and graphics, computational geometry, robotics, and artificial intelligence. His or her work will involve the “multi-sensory perception of behavior, including the measurement, interpretation, and visualization of human activity.”
Professor of Computer Science Amitabh Varshney, who currently serves as the Director of UMIACS, emphasized the importance of the field of Virtual Reality when asked about the matching funds: "The addition of new faculty focused on virtual and augmented reality will greatly enhance our efforts in establishing the University of Maryland as a worldwide leader in these immersive, interactive technologies. We are very excited for the future."
Ms. Elizabeth Iribe also established the Elizabeth Stevinson Iribe Chair of Computer Science, with a gift of $1.5 million in September of 2014. The current recipient, CS Department Chair Professor Samir Khuller, praised Ms. Iribe’s forward thinking about the needs of the Computer Science Department. “[Ms. Iribe’s] gift to Computer Science came at a crucial time as interest in Computer Science and VR is accelerating. The matching chair program allows the department to build significant strength in this burgeoning area, where we currently have only one faculty member. Her gift is a game changer for the department, and will only help us in our endeavor to remain one of the top Computer Science Departments in the country and in the world.”
University Press Release
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