$ 25 million donation to help fund IT and information creation

A $ 25 million donation from the Leinweber Foundation, founded by software entrepreneur Larry Leinweber, will help fund a new, state-of-the-art 163,000 square foot facility on the North Campus.

Larry Leinweber

In recognition of this donation, the Board of Regents voted on October 21 to name the building Leinweber Computer Science and Information Building. This donation will bring together for the first time the Computer Science and Engineering Division of the College of Engineering and the School of Information under one roof.

This decision will strengthen collaboration between the two disciplines to develop cutting-edge technologies, conduct innovative research and facilitate an innovative learning environment for students.

Computing, data and information science are quickly becoming the backbone of the systems that connect society. Creating a space where the best academics in computer science and information can come together to help solve some of the biggest challenges of modern medicine, transportation, smart infrastructure and more will help UM stay ahead of the curve. advances in computing and information.

“Michigan has a long standing reputation as one of the leaders and best in computing and information,” said Leinweber. “We hope this new gift will advance these two areas and amplify the impact of UM by bringing together some of the brightest minds in engineering and information science in a collaborative setting.

CoE and SI 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 programs in the country.

Today, unified messaging continues to be at the forefront of advances in artificial intelligence, device architecture, human-machine interaction, social networks, quantum computing, data, etc.

Over the past 10 years, the number of students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs in CSE and IS 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.

“The Leinweber Foundation donation is a tremendous example of UM’s ability to unite philanthropy and multidisciplinary strength in the service of our students and innovative research that keeps us at the forefront of discovery,” said the president Mark Schlissel.

Leinweber IT and Information Building

Currently, CoE and SI are located on different campuses within a few miles of each other, but the new $ 145 million facility will house the entire Information School and expand space for the IT division. and engineering the CoE beyond its current home in the nearby Bob and Betty Beyster neighborhood. Building. In addition, it will help attract top talent for aspiring computer and information researchers.

The new facility will serve as a hub for computer and information students, with flexible classrooms and the latest technology, open spaces for group learning opportunities, collaborative spaces, laboratories and more. The board is expected to review the building’s construction plans later this year.

“Co-location is essential to initiate and maintain high impact interdisciplinary work,” said Thomas Finholt, professor and dean of the School of Information. “By bringing together professors and students from several disciplines in one place, we will accelerate, enrich and increase interactions that transcend borders and produce innovative research avenues.

“Thanks to the donation from the Leinweber Foundation, we will be better able to solve the problems of the future by combining knowledge from several disciplines in an innovative way. “

The new Leinweber Computer Science and Information Building will eliminate the need for top talent to choose between working in a CSE environment or an IS environment across the city, thereby removing barriers between like-minded colleagues. This convergence of disciplines will also strengthen the academic culture, fostering the fusion of technical and human-centered perspectives in critical areas, such as artificial intelligence, human-machine interaction and machine learning.

“Technology is increasingly dependent on information – our products are getting smarter and require human-centered and bias-free programming,” said Alec Gallimore, Dean of Engineering Robert J. Vlasic , Professor Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Professor of Aerospace Engineering.

“By combining these important areas with collaboration, this incredible investment by the Leinweber Foundation will help Michigan remain not only a leading university, but also a university that draws on a range of disciplines and perspectives to ensure that the innovation bridges societal gaps and has a positive impact on all populations.

In addition, the new building will play a key role in the university’s mission towards carbon neutrality. The university is planning a gradual campus-wide transition to geothermal heating and cooling systems, starting with this new building.

About the donors

Since 2010, Larry Leinweber and his wife, Claudia Babiarz, have supported UM students and programs including CoE, LSA, Medical School and Stephen M. Ross School of Business. They created the Leinweber Software Scholars program at CoE in 2013 and established the Leinweber Center for Theoretical Physics in LSA in 2017.

Leinweber founded and served as CEO of New World Systems Corp., a software company in Troy, Michigan, providing enterprise resource planning software for city and county governments, with a primary focus on software for public security for 911 dispatch centers, law enforcement, fire and ambulance services. Babiarz was legal counsel at New World Systems for over 27 years.

Leinweber and Babiarz have two children, David Leinweber and Ashley Leinweber, both former UM students. Ashley Leinweber is Vice President of the Leinweber Foundation. David Leinweber sits on the CSE advisory board in the engineering school and is CEO of Ascent Cloud, a Detroit-based sales technology software company. David Leinweber’s wife, UM alumnus Jessica Leinweber, is executive director of the Leinweber Foundation. Larry Leinweber’s three other children, Eric, Danica and Lezlee, also contribute to his work.

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