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New Campus to Open in Doha, Qatar
Thorpe Leads Undergraduate Campus in Education City
Final arrangements for the initiative on the Arabian Peninsula were reached in mid-February. The new campus, located at Education City in Doha, will offer undergraduate programs in computer science and business to an initial class of 50 students. It will offer programs leading to Carnegie Mellon degrees based on the same admission standards and curricula as its main campus in Pittsburgh. Charles E. “Chuck” Thorpe, one of the world’s leading robotics researchers and current director of Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute, will be the first dean of the Qatar campus.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Qatar and for Carnegie Mellon, and I am delighted to be a part of it. My whole family is excited about moving to Doha and helping to start this new campus,” Thorpe said.
The move underscores the university’s emerging role as a driving international force in the use of information technology to advance the human condition worldwide. Carnegie Mellon’s strengths in cognitive science, artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction provide it with the unique opportunity of leading a sea change in the way learning is achieved in developing nations.
The Qatar initiative was launched at the request of the Qatar Foundation For Education, Science and Community Development, a nonprofit organization founded in 1995 by the Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, to support development of quality human resources through centers of excellence in education, research and technology. Qatar's capital, Education City, is the largest, comprehensive world-class campus established in Qatar and the region. The goal of Education City is to create a new culture of excellence to meet the challenges of the new millennium, foundation officials said.
"Carnegie Mellon made its reputation as one of the nation's best institutions — particularly in the fields of computer science and business — with interdisciplinary collaboration. We are pleased to offer two of our best programs to a new audience in an important part of the world," said Carnegie Mellon Provost Mark Kamlet.
“If there’s ever going to be engagement between the western world and the Islamic-Arab world, higher education is a natural place to start,” Kamlet added. “I think that we have an institutional opportunity that’s really quite rare in terms of trying to make a positive difference in an important domain.”
Carnegie Mellon joins Cornell, Texas A&M and Virginia Commonwealth University at the 2,400-acre Education City site. Although Carnegie Mellon conducts graduate programs in several countries, Education City will be home to the university's first comprehensive undergraduate residential program outside of Pittsburgh. As with the other programs, all costs associated with the development of the Carnegie Mellon campus are being borne by the Qatar Foundation.(Continued …)