About the Computer Science Department

Stanford University's Computer Science Department is part of the School of Engineering. The department offers the degrees Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy. It also participates in the following undergraduate inter-disciplinary programs: Computer Systems Engineering, Symbolic Systems, and Mathematical and Computational Sciences.

Founded in 1965, the Department of Computer Science is a center for research and education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Strong research groups exist in areas of artificial intelligence, robotics, foundations of computer science, scientific computing, and systems. Basic work in computer science is the main research goal of these groups, but there is also a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary research and on applications that stimulate basic research.

Fields in which interdisciplinary work has been undertaken include chemistry, genetics, linguistics, physics, medicine and various areas of engineering, construction, and manufacturing. Close ties are maintained with researchers with computational interests in other university departments. In addition, both faculty and students commonly work with investigators at nearby research or industrial institutions. The main educational goal is to prepare students for research and teaching careers either in universities or in industry.

Strategic Plan As Of 2006


Gates Computer Science Building

The Gates Computer Science Building was completed in January 1996 and is the home of the Computer Science Department (CSD) and the Computer Systems Laboratory (CSL). The 150,000 square foot building houses 550 faculty, staff and students and cost $38M to build and furnish. Robert A. M. Stern Associates of New York and Fong and Chan of San Francisco were the architects, selected following an invited national competition. Rudolph & Sletten of Foster City was the general contractor. There were 47 subcontractors working over a 16-month period.

The Gates building is named for Bill Gates, co-founder and CEO of Microsoft Corp., who gave a $6M gift to the project. The rest of the funding was donated by individuals and corporations and the Stanford School of Engineering Venture Capital Fund.

The Gates Building was designed to promote interaction. Previously, CSD and CSL were located in 11 different buildings, both on campus and off. Now scientists can exchange ideas with colleagues by walking just a few steps.

The Gates Building offers two new state-of-the-art tele-classrooms which are equipped with computer presentation tools and equipment, large screen projectors and accommodation for multiple computer platforms. In addition, there are three public computer labs in the building, which house a set of Windows workstations in room B02 and two sets of Linux workstations, in B21 and B08.

A coalition of Stanford computer scientists and the Computer History Museum has installed exhibits within the Gates Computer Science building containing historical equipment and documents focusing on Stanford's role in the history of computing. The exhibits are being changed and updated as time permits. The first exhibit, installed November 1997, focuses on the early history of the Stanford Computer Science Department. and its founder, George Forsythe.Further exhibits are found on all floors of the building and all can be viewed on-line if you can't make it to Stanford.


Stanford University's new William Gates Computer Science Building has been made possible by the generous donations of Mr. William H. Gates and


Allied Signal Inc. A T & T Foundation
Digital Equipment Corporation Engineering Venture Fund
Fujitsu Limited William R. Hewlett
Hewlett-Packard Company J. Erik Jonsson
Lockheed Martin Corporation Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
N E C Corporation Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Michael and Lenore Roberts Rockwell
Southern California Edison Company 3M Company
Toshiba Corporation TRW Foundation

We would also like to recognize the generousity of the School of EngineeringVenture Fund investment volunteers:

William K. Bowes, Jr. Brook H. Byers
Reid W. Dennis William C. Edwards
Thomas W. Ford Franklin P. Johnson, Jr.
Glenn M. Mueller Denise M. O'Leary
Donald T. Valentine