Department of Computer Science and Engineering launches capital campaign

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering launched its first fund-raising campaign in September.The campaign seeks to raise $1 million by September 2015 for scholarships, the CSE Institute, professorships and discretionary funds to attract and retain the best and brightest students and faculty."I am energized by our first departmental capital campaign and look forward to seeing the great things that will be accomplished when Aggies come together," said Dr. Valerie Taylor, the Royce E. Wisenbaker Professor and department head. "We have already raised close to $200,000 and are confident in our former students' and friends' dedication to excellence at Texas A&M University in the computer science and computer engineering fields."The campaign will support four areas of need: endowed scholarships, including the Lawrence "Pete" Petersen Endowed Scholarship; additional professorships; the CSE Consortium; and the Computer Science and Engineering Excellence Fund.The Petersen Endowed Scholarship is named after Dr. Lawrence Petersen, who joined the Department of Computer Science in the Dwight Look College of Engineering in 1989. He taught undergraduate computer science courses from 1993 to 2006. Between 1993 and 2005, Petersen was selected by students for annual teaching awards five times. He received the Association of Former Students Teaching Excellence Award for the college of engineering in 1996; and in 2004, he was one of five winners of the Texas A&M inaugural President's Award for Academic Advising. He passed away in 2007 after a courageous battle with cancer.Currently the Department of Computer Science and Engineering educates more than 800 students and is led by 38 tenure-track professors and four full-time lecturers. The department seeks to develop the human and intellectual resources needed to meet the future technological challenges in the field of computing. This includes developing computer scientists and computer engineers for positions of leadership in industry, government and academia.