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Alumnus Rich Miner’s Gift Helps Establish School of Computer and Information Sciences

Miner’s Support Elevates Fast-growing Program

Android co-founder Rich Miner ’86, ’89, ’97 at Google corporate headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., in 2017
“I am honored to give back in ways that might encourage others to meet or exceed their dreams,” Rich Miner ’86,’89, ’97.

09/02/2022
By Jennifer Nejman Bohonak

UMass Lowell is launching a new school of computer science to be named in honor of distinguished alumnus Rich Miner ’86, ’89, ’97, co-founder of Android, the company and mobile operating system which was acquired and launched by Google.  

The Richard A. Miner School of Computer & Information Sciences was established with a $5 million donation from Miner as well as a $2 million matching contribution from the state. This will elevate the university’s fast-growing computer and information sciences department to a school within the Kennedy College of Sciences.

With nearly 1,600 undergraduate and more than 300 graduate students, computer and information sciences is the largest academic program on campus. 

UMass Lowell research expenditures in computer science have grown in tandem with enrollment, jumping from $2.7 million in 2016 to $4.4 million in 2021. Faculty are experts on a wide range of subjects, including artificial intelligence, visualization, robotics, natural language processing, data analytics, computer security and privacy and health informatics. 

“We are grateful to Rich Miner for this opportunity to significantly grow the school,” says Kennedy College of Sciences Dean and Physics Prof. Noureddine Melikechi.

As an undergraduate, Miner wrote computer programs for the Commodore 64, a first-generation gaming system. In that same lab, he helped incubate Avid Technology, the world’s first computer video editing platform. He later went on to co-found Wildfire Communications, the first voice-based personal assistant — patenting many concepts now common in voice assistants. Then, he co-founded Android, which Google acquired and launched. It is now the world’s most popular operating system. 

“UMass Lowell prepared me academically and entrepreneurially for a career where I was able to contribute to so many impactful innovations. I am honored to be able to give back in ways that might encourage others to meet or exceed their dreams,” Miner says.

To support the Miner School, please contact Danielle_Dugan@uml.edu.