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The Milwaukee School of Engineering plans to build a new academic center in the middle of its downtown Milwaukee campus, university officials announced on Monday.
The $34 million, 64,000-square-foot Dwight and Dian Diercks Computational Science Hall will go up near the corner of Milwaukee and State streets, directly east of the German-English Academy. The building will be used to expand MSOE’s educational offerings in artificial intelligence, or AI, as well as cyber security, robotics and cloud computing, among other things.
The building will include classrooms, laboratories, an auditorium and space to support companies that work with the university. A prominent feature of the center will be a state-of-the-art data unit housing a supercomputer.
MSOE’s new building is being paid for using a donation from Dwight and Dian Diercks, who are providing the largest single gift the university has received from one of its own graduates in its 114-year history. Dwight Diercks earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from MSOE in 1990, and also holds an honorary Doctor of Engineering from the university.
Dwight Diercks is senior vice president at NVIDIA, a California-based technology company that specializes in AI, supercomputing and visual computing.
“Just as the modern computer transformed technology 30 years ago, AI will transform technology as we know it for the next generation and across all industries,” Diercks said. “I wanted to give MSOE a gift that would position this incredible university as a major application-focused computer science and artificial intelligence center for the Midwest and U.S. for years to come.”
John Walz, president of MSOE, said the new building “is the first step in transforming the heart of campus to ensure current and future students, faculty and staff, and industry leaders and employers are at the forefront of evolving technology.”
“Simply put,” he said, “MSOE is positioned to be a national leader in artificial intelligence education.”Follow @alexzank