NVIDIA CEO Hails New Data Science Facility As ‘Starship of The Mind’

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NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang and NVIDIA co-founder Chris Malachowsky inaugurated the Malachowsky Hall for Data Science & Information Technology at the University of Florida (UF). The 263,000-square-foot structure in Gainesville, FL, cost over $150 million. The state of Florida provided $110 million for the construction of the building. The rest of the funds came from private and college funds. 

The seven-story building will be used as a multidisciplinary space for engineering, medicine, and pharmacy. One of the key objectives of investing in the Malachowsky Hall is to advance the University of Florida’s efforts to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) across the curriculum and to reinforce the stature of the university as one of the nation’s leading public universities. Along with advancing AI on-campus, Malachowsky Hall is set to bring AI growth to Florida’s economy and continue to build a competitive AI workforce in the U.S.  

The hall offers innovative collaboration spaces, labs, computing study spaces, a rooftop terrace, and a 400-seat auditorium. The building is designed with sustainability in mind. It features rainwater harvesting facilities and energy-efficient systems. 

“Steve Jobs called (the PC) ‘the bicycle of the mind,’ a device that propels our thoughts further and faster,” Huang said while in conversation with UF President Ben Sasse and more than 100 students. “What Chris Malachowsky has gifted this institution is nothing short of the ‘starship of the mind’ — a vehicle that promises to take our intellect to uncharted territories,” Huang said.

Discussing the impact of AI, Sasse underscored the importance of adaptability in the rapidly evolving world. He urged students to work in different organizations and explore different careers as the AI revolution is going to change the workplace and some industries might come to an end in our lives. 

According to the UF Board of Trustees Chair Mori Hosseini, the new data science facility will help propel AI education and research that will boost economic growth and improve lives across the globe. 

“The fields of AI and data science are of central importance in building a better world,” Malachowsky said, in a statement. “I’m honored to further UF’s world-class capabilities in these areas by supporting the talent and interdisciplinary collaboration that will allow the university to lead during this time of unprecedented opportunity.”

The inauguration of the new building marks a milestone in the partnership between NVIDIA, the state of Florida, and UF. In 2020, NVIDIA and Malachowsky donated just under $60 million to UF for the HiPerGator – one of the most powerful AI supercomputers in the country. The supercomputer is powered by 1,120 NVIDIA A100 GPUs and is available to the UF’s 55,000 students. The HiPerGator helps advance AI research at scale and supports equal access to AI technology and training for students. 

UF recently added 100 new AI faculty members to 300 already engaged AI faculty on campus. The inauguration of the Malachowsky Hall opens exciting new opportunities for the UF staff and students to realize the potential of AI innovations across disciplines. 

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