UMD wants to be the Harvard of virtual reality research - DC


UMD wants to be the Harvard of virtual reality research

The University of Maryland is creating new math and computer science chairs after receiving $2.1 million from the Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative Fund.

Oculus CEO and UMD alum Brendan Iribe.

(Photo by Flickr user eVRydayVR, used under a Creative Commons license)

The University of Maryland is creating two new STEM chairs after winning $2.1 million in state grants from the Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative Fund.

One of the new positions afforded by the grant, which matches private donations, will be a computer science professorship with a focus on virtual reality.

The Reginald Allan Hahne chair is named after the high school computer science teacher of Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe, who grew up in Columbia, Md., and attended UMD.

The new position will sit alongside the Paul Chrisman Iribe chair, founded through a $1.5 million donation by Iribe’s mother, Elizabeth Stevinson Iribe, in honor of her brother.

The Iribes have made several large donations to the school — including a $31 million gift to create a new center for VR research that was the largest in the university’s history.

The other chair created by the E-Nnovation grant will be in mathematics, and is matching a $2.5 million gift from Michael and Eugenia Brin, the parents of Google cofounder Sergey Brin, who also attended UMD.

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