Simons Institute propels Berkeley to vanguard of theoretical computer science

“There’s no better place than UC Berkeley for this endeavor, given our record of innovation in computer science over the last four decades.”

— Richard Karp, Founding Director, Simons Institute

“We expect that, within the next two decades, every major field of science will have among its most significant achievements at least one that is computational in nature,” says Richard Karp, a Berkeley professor who has received the Turing Award, the Kyoto Prize, and the National Medal of Science for his contributions to theoretical computation.

Now, thanks to a game-changing $60 million award from the Simons Foundation, Berkeley will be exactly where it belongs in the field of theoretical computer science — on the vanguard. The grant funds the creation of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing, where top computer theorists and researchers from around the globe — like Karp, the institute’s founding director — will converge. They will explore the mathematical foundations of computer science and extend them to tackle challenges in fields as diverse as mathematics, health care, climate modeling, and business.

“There’s no better place than UC Berkeley for this endeavor,” says Karp, “given our record of innovation in computer science over the last four decades, and our deep experience with complex, interdisciplinary institutes.”

The campus recently cut the ribbon of the new Simons Institute, housed in the newly redesigned Calvin Lab.

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