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Campus & Community

A Vision, Completed

Take an Illustrated Peek Inside the Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering; Dedication Set for Tomorrow

By Lauren Brown

Iribe Center gif

The gleaming, modern new building at the main entrance to the University of Maryland trumpets a message: This is where the future is happening.

The Brendan Iribe (pronounced ee-REEB’) Center for Computer Science and Engineering will be dedicated tomorrow at Maryland Day to support groundbreaking research and innovation in fields such as virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, algorithms, programming languages and systems, and computer vision. It’s named for the co-founder of virtual reality company Oculus who donated $30 million to launch the project; the state also provided significant funding.

In addition to its tech-infused classrooms, spacious labs and a student-focused makerspace, the center houses the Department of Computer Science—which offers the biggest and fastest-growing major on campus—and the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS), a group of 80-plus faculty and research scientists from 10 departments and six schools and colleges.

What’s going on inside now? It’s easy enough to see, through the striking floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the building designed by architectural firm HDR. But you can also take a look below, and you don’t need to strap on a pair of goggles, either.

The Antonov Auditorium, with 298 seats, is named for 2003 UMD graduate and Oculus co-founder Michael Antonov, who donated $3.5 million toward the project. The Maryland Blended Reality Center uses augmented and virtual reality in partnership with the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center and the University of Maryland School of Medicine to improve surgical training and practice, among other projects. The Jagdeep Singh Family Makerspace, supported by a $1 million gift from the 1986 graduate and his wife, Roshni Singh, is known as the Sandbox. Its six workshops have equipment like laser cutters, large-format and 3D printers, and an electronics fabrication shop. Bill Pugh, professor emeritus of computer science, and his wife, Lisa Orange, donated $1 million to the building, including to staff and operate the makerspace. The Maryland Robotics Center advances all areas of robotics, including components, novel platforms and autonomous systems such as drones for applications including rescue missions, environmental monitoring, surveillance and agriculture. Reisse Park, a rooftop garden with benches, is named for 2001 UMD graduate Andrew Reisse, who died in 2013. Reisse was an Oculus co-founder and lead engineer, nature photographer, and friend of Antonov and Iribe. Breakpoint Café was named by computer science major Ashwath Krishnan ’22, using the term for pausing computer code while debugging.

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