A Bold Experiment
Cornell University undertook a bold experiment in 1999 when it created its combined Faculty of Computing and Information Science (“CIS”) as an interdisciplinary unit that would ultimately see its people, programs, and projects embedded throughout the university. That integration—envisioned and executed decades ahead of its time—evolved from the understanding that data, computation, and emerging technologies would transform virtually every area of academic inquiry and every aspect of our lives. It built on Cornell’s longstanding, behemoth, and continuing strengths in computer science as well as in artificial intelligence and in the social and behavioral sciences that inform the full range of CIS’s innovative, cross-disciplinary teaching and research.
In forging its path over the last two decades, CIS has continued to develop new understanding, ethical approaches, and technologies for the information age and created the blueprint for the field of computing and information science that others still emulate today.
Leading the Way in Tech Innovation
A transformative partnership has launched Cornell’s Faculty of Computing and Information Science into its next phase of groundbreaking inquiry and impact.
The nine-figure commitment made by Ann S. Bowers ’59, an early Silicon Valley leader, philanthropist, and longtime Cornell supporter, established the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science and cemented the college’s status as a leader in tech innovation, radical collaboration, and world-class scholarship.
The gift builds on a legacy of pioneering work in computing, information, and data science at Cornell that was seeded in 1965 when Cornell founded one of the first computer science departments in the country, and then catapulted forward almost 25 years ago when the university undertook the bold experiment to create a combined Faculty of Computing and Information Science (“CIS”). That integration, envisioned and achieved decades ahead of its time, evolved from the understanding that data, computation, and emerging technologies would transform virtually every area of academic inquiry and every aspect of our lives. It brought the social sciences and tech innovation into conversation and collaboration in ways previously unheard of, and leveraged Cornell’s behemoth strengths in computer science and in the social and behavioral sciences.
A Powerhouse College
Cornell Bowers CIS comprises three departments—Computer Science, Information Science, and Statistics and Data Science — with top-ranked programs in computer security, web information retrieval, computational social science, economics and computation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data mining. Combined, and in their interactions with adjoining fields, these disciplines position Cornell as a leader in developing and driving the visionary research and technological advances that connect people, information, and ideas.
The college’s academic footprint extends well beyond the university’s Ithaca campus—including into New York City, where its ties with Cornell Tech have created a powerful technology ecosystem that is unique in all of higher education. That ecosystem supports a growing range of cross-campus initiatives and highly engaged, impact-focused research and instruction.
A New Era
Empowered by Ann Bowers’ investment, the college is pursuing a growth strategy that will expand Cornell Bowers CIS’ impact on higher education, technology, and society.