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Bill Gates donates $20 million for new LCS building

The William H. Gates Foundation has donated $20 million for construction of a building that will become the new home for MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS), President Charles M. Vest announced today.

The William H. Gates Building, as the new LCS home will be known, is being designed by architect Frank O. Gehry and should be ready by 2003. It will be part of the Stata Center for Computer, Information and Intelligence Sciences, also designed by Mr. Gehry.

President Vest made the announcement Tuesday (April 13) at the opening of a two-day conference titled "LCS35: Creating the Future World of Information" marking the 35th anniversary of the Laboratory for Computer Science. He was flanked on the Kresge Auditorium stage by Mr. Gates, chairman and CEO of Microsoft Corp., and Michael Dertouzos, director of LCS for the past 25 years. Mr. Gates gave the morning's keynote speech, "The Future of Software" (see story above).

"We are most grateful to Bill and Melinda Gates for this wonderful gift, which will not only bring our LCS colleagues back to the heart of the campus, but will also create new opportunities for interactions and innovations that will once again redefine the information sciences," said President Vest.

"At LCS, we are delighted and excited by this generous gift, which will improve the opportunities of future generations of LCS researchers and students to make forefront innovations in information technology for the benefit of all people," Professor Dertouzos said. "May those generations of students who occupy your building share and reflect your vision and your generosity."


"I feel very privileged to be able to contribute in this way," Mr. Gates said. "When people talk about the United States as a leader in advancing the use of the Internet, it will be because of institutions like MIT. The MIT Laboratory for Computer Science is one of the most important centers for computer research in the world. I'm happy that this gift will be used to support continued innovation in computer science and the groundbreaking research that LCS is known for."

The Laboratory for Computer Science has been at the forefront of computer science since its inception. LCS members were instrumental in the invention of time-shared computers, spreadsheets, RSA encryption, the Ethernet, X-Windows and the World Wide Web. The LCS is also the home of the World Wide Web Consortium, which strives to move the web forward to its full potential. In addition, LCS research has spawned some 50 companies including Lotus, 3Com, Open Market and RSA Data Security Inc.

A version of this article appeared in the April 14, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 43, Number 26).

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