Two years after giving $5 million to establish a new computer and data sciences department at Case Western Reserve, alumnus Kevin Kranzusch (CWR ‘90) has committed an additional $5 million to accelerate its progress—and catalyze increased engagement with other disciplines across the campus.
“The thing that attracted me to Case Western Reserve was the collaboration that happens across the university,” recalled Kranzusch, vice president at NVIDIA, the multinational technology company renowned for inventing the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). “And when you talk about the things we wanted to introduce to the computer sciences department—things like AI and machine learning and big data—those elements are perfectly lined up for cross pollination.”
Kranzusch’s additional support will create two endowed professorships and establish a program designed to bring high-potential graduate students to the department. These students, to be known as Kranzusch Fellows, will contribute to cutting-edge research and also assist in the engineering school’s educational efforts.
“Through his latest gift, Kevin Kranzusch has recognized the advancement of our work in computer and data sciences and is continuing his investment in our groundbreaking research and in the development of tomorrow’s engineering leaders,“ said Venkataramanan “Ragu” Balakrishnan, the Charles H. Phipps Dean of the Case School of Engineering.
While adding faculty, increasing student support and improving facilities are core aspects of the commitment’s purpose, Kranzusch said he is most excited about the CDS Initiative Fund—a resource designed to encourage greater collaboration and innovation across the department and university. The fund will enable the school to bring in visiting professors, launch a speaker series, and allow new extracurricular activities, including travel for hands-on experiences.
The ultimate goal of the fund, Kranzusch said, is to give more students the opportunity to better understand how advances in technology can impact and influence a broad array of other fields—including those that may seem far removed from circuits and semiconductors.
“Whether it be the medical school or the sociology department or any of the other engineering programs,” he explained. “Everyone is going to be influenced by this stuff.”
In addition to providing essential components necessary to launch the computer and data sciences department, Kranzusch’s previous gift established an endowed professorship held by the department’s chair, Vipin Chaudhary.
“Kevin’s ongoing commitment to this department and its work allows us to provide the resources necessary to improve the student experience,” Chaudhary said. “He has shown repeatedly that he has an uncanny ability to see the correct areas of growth and catalyze them. His close and continuing involvement with the department is truly appreciated.”