Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
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The Beckman Institute is a unit of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign dedicated to interdisciplinary research. A gift from scientist, businessman, and philanthropist Arnold O. Beckman (1900-2004) and his wife Mabel (1900-1989) led to the building of the Institute which opened in 1989. It is one of five institutions which receive support from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation on an ongoing basis.〔 Current research at Beckman involves the areas of nanoscale structures and processes, biological intelligence, imaging science, and human-computer interaction. Researchers in these areas work across traditional academic boundaries in scientific projects that can lead to the development of real-world applications in medicine, industry, electronics, and human health across the lifespan.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=About the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology )〕
== History ==
The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology has its origins in a 1983 meeting in which chancellor John E. Cribbet, Theodore L. Brown, Mort Weir, Lewis Barron and Ned Goldwasser strategized about approaching private sources to fund new large-scale science projects and centers on the University of Illinois campus.〔 Two committees were formed, chaired by Bill Greenough (psychology) and Greg Stillman (electrical and computer engineering) (later Karl Hess) to develop ideas for a broadly multidisciplinary research facility.〔 Thomas Eugene Everhart, who succeeded Cribbet as chancellor in 1984, and Sarah Wasserman, assistant vice-chancellor for research, helped Brown and Weir to review and develop the final proposal.〔 The committee reports were combined to propose an institute with two main divisions, a center for biology, behavior, and cognition, and another center for materials science, computers and computation. The institution's research program would explore intelligence in the broadest possible sense, extending "from artificial systems invented by man to natural systems found in the biological world".〔
Arnold Beckman was approached with the proposal by university president Stanley Ilkenberry, Lew Barron, and Mort Weir. Beckman estimated that the proposal would require the unprecedented sum of $50M.〔 On October 5, 1985, the university officially announced that Arnold and Mabel Beckman had made the largest donation ever given to a public university at that time – $40M, with a $10M supplement from the state of Illinois – to build a research center at Illinois that would encourage scientists and engineers from different disciplines to work together.〔 By December 10, 1985, the university had chosen the architectural firm of Smith, Hinchman and Grylls (SH&G) and architectural designer Ralph Youngren for the project.〔 A symbolic ground-breaking ceremony took place October 10, 1986. Theodore L. Brown. who had been actively involved in the project as vice chancellor for research and graduate dean, became the first director of the institute as of March 12, 1987.〔 Bill Greenough and Karl Hess became associate directors, with half-time appointments, in the fall of 1987.〔
By December 1988, the building was sufficiently advanced that faculty groups could begin to move in.〔 Administrative offices were temporarily located in the basement. An official inauguration ceremony was held on April 7, 1989, to open the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology as one of the first research centers in the world dedicated to interdisciplinary research.〔 Theodore Brown was succeeded as director in the summer of 1993 by chemist Jiri Jonas.
According to the 2013-2014 Annual Report of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, more than 200 faculty members from 11 colleges and over 50 different departments are involved in the Beckman Center. They work with postdoctoral and research scientists, and graduate and undergraduate students doing science in a wide variety of areas.
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