SBU officially opens $40M computer center

Stony Brook University's $40 million computer science building will house centers studying national security, mobile computing, energy, visual computing and big data.

Stony Brook University is lifting the curtain on its new Computer Science Building.

The $40.8 million center – designed to accelerate SBU’s collaborative research in bioinformatics, smart energy, cyber engineering, physical sciences and biomedicine – unofficially opened in May, but SBU will celebrate its arrival Wednesday with an open-house event featuring laboratory tours, faculty demonstrations and discussions led by SBU President Samuel Stanley and Department of Computer Science Chairman Arie Kaufman.

Measuring over 70,000 square feet, the next-generation Computer Science Building was designed by New York City-based Mitchell/Giurgola Architects and is the result of a two-year construction effort. It was constructed to achieve LEED Silver certification, the second-highest ranked by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The building will house over 250 workers daily, according to Kaufman, who called the grand opening “probably the happiest day in the history of the Computer Science Department.”

“We are indeed excited,” the distinguished professor of radiology told Innovate LI. “This will allow us to branch into new areas.”

The building will house five distinct research centers: the National Security Institute, the Center for Mobile Computing, the Center for Smart Energy, the Center for Visual Computing and the Center for Dynamic Data Analytics. Kaufman – director of the CVC and chief scientist of SBU’s Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology – specifically noted the new building will facilitate expansions of the CVC and the National Security Institute, part of an interdisciplinary “cluster hiring” initiative that, under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s SUNY 2020 plan, aims to hire 250 faculty members across the SUNY system.

“We will also be able to expand our smart-energy technology center,” Kaufman added. “Another example is the Center for Dynamic Data Analytics, which has to do with big data. We really didn’t have space to accommodate that research before the new center.”

The new building includes 27,000 square feet of research laboratory space, including digital media and “wireless teaching” labs, and two teaching laboratories, as well as 60 faculty and post-doc offices and a number of collaborative working spaces. The state-of-the-art facility also includes several conference areas and a 4,000-square-foot atrium lobby, among other amenities.