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Forging new frontiers in AI education: Diercks Hall opens at MSOE

Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) celebrated the grand opening of Dwight and Dian Diercks Computational Science Hall in September 2019. The 65,536-square-foot building was made possible with a $34 million gift from MSOE alumnus Dr. Dwight Diercks and his wife Dian and features an NVIDIA GPU-powered supercomputer.

The building was designed with students and the community in mind — providing modern classrooms, innovative laboratories, an auditorium, and spaces to support companies that partner with MSOE. Diercks Hall — and the courses taught and research undertaken there — position MSOE at the educational forefront in artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning, cyber security, robotics, cloud computing, and other next-generation technologies.

With its new B.S. in Computer Science degree focused on AI, and the supercomputer, MSOE is forging new frontiers in AI education. Unique to MSOE, the supercomputer, named “Rosie,” is available to undergraduate students, offering them the ability to apply their learning in a hands-on environment to prepare for their careers. Thanks to the university’s corporate partnerships, students will access this high performance computing to solve real-world problems in their course work.

The name of this number-crunching powerhouse was inspired by the women who programmed one of the earliest computers during World War II — the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) — and portrayed in the documentary “Top Secret Rosies – The Female Computers of WWII.”

Dr. Dwight Diercks earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering with a minor in business from MSOE in 1990. He also holds an Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from the university and is a member of the MSOE Board of Regents. Diercks joined NVIDIA in 1994, a year after its founding, as its 22nd employee and today serves as senior vice president of software engineering, overseeing more than 5,000 software employees.