UMD's new computer science center has space for machine learning, makers and drones - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Apr. 22, 2019 5:59 pm

UMD’s new computer science center has space for machine learning, makers and drones

The University of Maryland's Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering is officially opening in College Park this month.

The Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering.

(Photo courtesy of John T. Consoli/University of Maryland)

The University of Maryland is getting ready to open a new computer science center in College Park.

The Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering, named after the Oculus cofounder who has made multiple gifts toward tech education at the university, will officially be dedicated on April 27 at the corner of Baltimore Avenue and Campus Drive. The 215,600-square-foot building looks to provide room for students to work together and test out new ideas in classrooms and a variety of instructional space. Plus, there are common spaces and study-break areas with natural light.

Here’s info about a few more of the spaces found around the center, per the university:

The Antonov Auditorium has 298 seats, and will play host to the first four semesters of lectures in computer science and computer engineering majors. Named after Oculus cofounder Michael Antonov, it’s designed with swivel tables and chairs to enable students to work together. It’s one of two auditoriums.

Research labs inside the building are designed with high ceilings specifically for flying drones or large, immersive experiences. There’s a capability to hang nets for UAV or camera purposes. One of the labs is where a future major in immersive media design will call home. There are a total of 13 research labs.

Classrooms at UMD's Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering. (photo courtesy of John T. Consoli/University of Maryland)

Classrooms at UMD’s Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering. (photo courtesy of John T. Consoli/University of Maryland)

Further underlining that the building isn’t only concerned with software, the Jagdeep Singh Family Makerspace covers 5,300 square feet, providing access to a wood shop, 3D printers, electronics fabrication, laser cutters and a sewing machine.

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On the roof, Andrew Reisse Park has 6,400 square feet of outdoor space. Honoring the memory of the Oculus cofounder who died in a 2013 accident, it has a rock garden, a waterfall and other elements encouraging students to take a break and experience the outdoors.

Andrew Reisse Park at UMD's Classrooms at UMD's BerThe Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering. (Courtesy photo)

Andrew Reisse Park at The Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering. (Photo courtesy of John T. Consoli/University of Maryland)

Iribe, Antonov and Reisse attended the university before founding Oculus, the virtual reality company that was acquired by Facebook.

In 2014, Iribe made a $31 million donation toward the center and the university’s computer science program.

“This is how Brendan, Michael, and Andrew pass on to the next generation their passion for learning, creativity, and startups,” UMD President Wallace Loh wrote of the center at the time of Iribe’s donation. “UMD could become the epicenter of tomorrow’s virtual world.”

Among its programs, the building will also house the recently launched UMD Center for Machine Learning, which is designed bring the university’s research and work in the area into one space.

Earlier this month, a new $1 million donation created the Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing, which supports programs for students at the university as well as K-12 students. The initiative will also have space in the building, along with the Maryland Center for Women in Computing.

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