The largest financial gift in the University of
California at Berkeley’s history will help build a new center to house the
fast-growing Division of Computing, Data Science and Society, UC officials said
The anonymously donated $252 million, combined
with a-yet-to-be raised $300 million in private funds, will be used to build a
new “Data Hub” at the intersection of Hearst Avenue, Arch Street and
Macfarlane Lane, according to UC Berkeley officials.
The center will primarily host computing and
data science research, faculty offices and labs, workrooms, public spaces, a
large auditorium and classrooms.
“The Data Hub will be a magnet, bringing
together scholars from disciplines across campus to forge new collaborations
and take on some of the most critical questions facing society today, from
biomedicine, to climate change and sustainability, to making data-informed
public policy on issues of societal significance,” Jennifer Chayes,
associate provost for the division and dean of the School of Information, said
in a news release Tuesday.
The Data Hub will enable researchers from a wide
array of disciplines to collaborate on the ethical, legal, social and technical
questions surrounding machine learning and artificial intelligence, according to
A detailed timeline for the project has yet to
be developed but officials anticipate construction could begin sometime in
2022, according to Kyle Gibson, spokesman for UC Berkeley Capital Strategies.
And while the project won’t be subject to the
city of Berkeley’s planning process, it will need to undergo an environmental
review and win approval from the University of California Board of Regents,