San Diego, CA -- The state of the art Calit2@UCSD building was officially opened Friday, October 28, amid great enthusiasm. As part of the day-long event, 150 scientific research and art exhibits covering nearly two dozen disciplinary areas, were displayed and demonstrated, both inside and outside the building.
"This new building is a physical manifestation of our multidisciplinary agenda," said Ramesh Rao, Director of Calit2's UCSD Division. The shared facilities of the new building include clean rooms for nanofabrication, digital theaters for new media arts and scientific visualization, test and measurement labs for circuit design, smart spaces for experiments in augmented reality, testbeds for wireless and optical communications, and much more. At full capacity, the building will house 900 researchers, artists, engineers, students and staff, representing more than 20 departments across the campus.
Keynote speaker QUALCOMM Chief Executive Officer, Paul Jacobs said "QUALCOMM is pleased to have been there at the beginning when the California Institutes for Science and Innovation were first imagined. We need ground breaking programs like Calit2 to harness the critical mass of students and faculty that exist in the UC system, get them to work together, along with industrial partners, to do the visionary research that will continue to keep us competitive in the world."
"I am honored and excited to represent QUALCOMM at this dedication of the Calit2 building. I am especially honored because the building will be named for Dick Atkinson, who has been a long time friend and supporter throughout my career," continued Jacobs.
UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox spoke about the role that the new facility will play as a platform to engage students in new and exciting ways. At full capacity, it is expected that as many as 75% of the building's occupants will be students, many from Sixth College. The Sixth College is UCSD's first college to be founded in the 21st century. It is dedicated to interdisciplinary exploration of culture, art and technology in an integrated community environment.
"Calit2 is leading the way for research, development and delivery regarding societal problems that are too big for a single discipline to solve," said UC President Robert C. Dynes. Other dedication ceremony speakers included Calit2 Director Larry Smarr, Jacobs School of Engineering Dean Frieder Seible and UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake. A number of surprise announcements were also made (a link to the press release can be found below).
An interactive multimedia performance provided the finale of the dedication ceremonies. A special preview performance of SPECFLIC Version 1.0 was played in the courtyard. By way of introduction, master of ceremonies Ramesh Rao said "SPECFLIC is a story that is not just told, but experienced." In response to instructions from SPECFLIC: "Please turn on your cell phones" - a phrase not often heard these days, attendees began dialing to formally open the institute's doors. When 'critical mass' was achieved, the building was unveiled amid banners, balloons, and glitter swirling above the courtyard.
To convey his thoughts on the opening of this remarkable research facility, UCSD Division Director Ramesh Rao recounted the maxim “We have created Italy. Now all we need to do is create Italians.” The phrase is attributed to Massimo Taparelli d'Azeglio, a minister of Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, one of the architects of Italian unification. At the time (late 1800s) each historical region of Italy had its own dialect, with variants existing even at the township-level.
Overheard: As they lined up with the crowd queuing to enter the new facility, one undergraduate student enthusiastically said to another: Are you ready for this building?!?!
Yes, they are ready to work towards becoming the future 'Italians' - the new renaissance scholars, artists, and researchers.
Each of the arts and sciences asks their questions and seeks resolutions and answers from within their field - in their own language. But it is essentially the same question, regardless of how it is phrased. Only in a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment, can you pursue, develop and deliver the best answers to the question - What do you want the future to be?