With federal funds for basic computer science research at universities in decline, the Microsoft Corporation is helping to fill the void at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science with a $4.5 million donation of software.

By M. Abraham

UCLA Engineering announced Thursday that Microsoft’s External Research and Academic Relations will donate the software to its computer science, engineering and information systems areas. The software will be used on departmental lab machines used for instructional and non-profit research purposes. Engineering students also will be able to use the software on their personal machines provided it is used for instructional and non-profit research purposes.

Computer scientists have grown increasingly alarmed that federal support for basic research is rapidly eroding. By stepping in to support innovative academic research, says Microsoft, the software industry benefits from more qualified job candidates, new breakthroughs in computing, and engagement with a broad pool of talent.

“When you look at our funding initiatives, you see that our goal in External Research and Academic Relations is to encourage innovative research,” says Sam Stokes, Microsoft’s Academic Relations Manager for the SoCal region.

“When Microsoft makes an investment in providing first-class computer science education to students at UCLA Engineering and around the world, the whole industry will see the benefits through highly skilled and well-rounded IT workers.”