Today the University of Washington published a “Request for Qualifications for Architectural Services for Computer Science & Engineering II” – a second building for UW CSE that will enable a dramatic expansion of our activities in education, in research, and in interaction with the campus, the region, and the nation.
The University is requesting a state appropriation, and will seek significant private donations for the remaining funding of the project.
Eleven years ago – in October 2003 – UW dedicated the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering, funded through a public/private partnership. Coupled with investments by the state since that time, the Allen Center has enabled remarkable strides by UW CSE.
The state has funded further growth for UW CSE, and additional investments seem likely. However, the Allen Center is filled to capacity. Additional facilities are necessary if additional growth – demanded by students, by industry, and by our economy – is to be accommodated.
Construction of CSE II will enable (assuming continued state funding for enrollment increases):
- Doubling the number of CSE degrees granted annually, from roughly 300 to roughly 600. More in the long term.
- Continued growth in introductory course enrollment; extrapolating recent trends and examining some of our national peers suggests that demand could grow by 50-100% in the next 5 years, easily to more than 6,000 students/year.
- Dramatic expansion in the availability of current and newly-designed upper-division CSE courses for non-majors. These students will then be positioned for far greater success in whatever career they may choose (because every field is becoming an information field!), and additionally will be well qualified for employment at the many hundreds of companies in the region that are challenged in competing with the Amazons, Microsofts, Facebooks, Googles, and hot startups for top computer science majors.
- Continued growth in research activities and funding, and in the technology transfer and startups that are a byproduct of CSE’s research activities. (CSE’s annual research funding increased from $7 million in the year prior to the dedication of the Allen Center, to $20 million as of the 10th anniversary. In recent years, UW CSE startup companies have raised more than $200 million in venture funding; they employ hundreds of people in the region.)
Expansion of UW Computer Science & Engineering an essential investment in the future of our region, and will provide a dramatic increase in the opportunity for kids who grow up here to be first-tier participants in our innovation economy.
(Read a case statement here.)