Brown CS News

Brown CS Launches A $10,000,000 Fundraising Campaign For An Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Endowment

    Brown University's Department of Computer Science (Brown CS) today announces the start of a fundraising campaign to build a $10,000,000 endowment for its Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (UTA) program. The campaign's web site, with testimonials from former UTAs such as Mike Fredrickson of Pixar and Philip Levis of Stanford University, is at

    Announced by President Christina Paxson, Provost Vicki Leigh Colvin, and Department Chair Ugur Cetintemel, the endowment will be a landmark investment in a key element of the Brown CS educational mission. UTAs contribute to all aspects of instruction and play a mentoring role that's vital to the quality of coursework, the educational experience of their peers, and their own personal growth. 

    One in nine Brown undergraduates is a CS or joint CS concentrator and one in seven took a CS course this year
    Brown CS employs almost 200 UTAs each semester, with some courses requiring over 30 assistants
    At last count, over 60% of CS concentrators have been a UTA at least once
    Until last year, the Brown CS UTA budget hadn't changed since 2006, while enrollment grew 273%.

    "Our UTA program," says Ugur Cetintemel, "is the most distinctive of its kind. It creates a highly interactive and social learning environment that helps students master the technical material by teaching it, while allowing them to develop important interpersonal skills such as communication, team work and leadership. It's the combination of these ingredients, which are often absent from the standard diet of undergraduates, that prepare them remarkably well for whatever they choose to pursue in their future careers."

    "We would like to continue to offer this opportunity for generations to come. There is also a real need now for an expanded UTA program due to the exploding interest in CS courses. This endowment will be a permanent source to secure the health and future of this unique program. It's one of the best investments we can make in the education of our students, many of whom graduate to become leaders and innovators in information technology and other fields."

    Brown CS is looking forward to an exciting campaign that will permanently benefit our students and any industries, disciplines, and communities where they contribute. Please send any questions to