The University of Maryland (UMD) has opened its new Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering, a 215,600-square-foot facility that will serve as a hub for technology, collaboration and discovery at the heart of a new innovation district.

The center brings together the university’s Department of Computer Science and its Institute for Advanced Computer Studies to facilitate previously unimaginable creation and discovery on campus. Specifically, the center will support team-based, interdisciplinary research in virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, computer vision, algorithms, programming languages and systems.

The center was made possible by the generosity and vision of Brendan Iribe, alumnus and Oculus co-founder; the state of Maryland; and more than 110 additional donors, including Michael Antonov, alumnus and Oculus co-founder, and 38 faculty and staff members.

Six floors of specialized research labs, collaborative classrooms, auditoriums, and a fully-equipped makerspace provide students and faculty with unprecedented opportunities to innovate bold new applications for computer science. The classrooms were designed to foster teamwork and innovation, eschewing traditional rows of seating in favor of round tables and display screens on all four walls.

The 100-seat Gannon Auditorium and the 298-seat Antonov Auditorium feature shared tables and swivel chairs that enable students to alternate between lecture-based presentations and collaborative teamwork. In addition, the facility’s Reisse Park, a rooftop garden that honors the memory of alumnus and Oculus co-founder Andrew Reisse, offers views of UMD’s campus and downtown College Park.