Computer Science Instructional Lab moves to Crerar, supports growing College computer science program

The Computer Science Instructional Lab (CSIL), also known as the MacLab, will relocate this summer from Regenstein to Crerar Library, where it will offer expanded resources for teaching and student work to support a growing College computer science program.

A rendering of CSIL in Crerar

A rendering of CSIL in Crerar by MDC Architects, P.C.

The construction and operation of CSIL at Crerar will be the result of a partnership between the Department of Computer Science, the College and the John Crerar Library. “The College is pleased with a strong collaborative effort that will yield important resources for student learning and creative engagement with technology,” said John W. Boyer, Dean of the College.

CSIL in Crerar will offer 92 computers—up from 74 in the current lab in Regenstein—and will be designed as a more suitable space for individual lab sessions. “With 80 computers in four teaching areas and 12 additional small group and general user workstations next to the labs, CSIL in Crerar will be able to support a rapidly growing computer science program in the College,” said William Sterner, Director of CSIL.

Initially, the lab in Crerar will include 40 Linux computers and 52 Macintoshes. Over time, up to 40 dual workstations will be provided. An estimated 25 to 30 lab sessions will be held each week in CSIL in Crerar during its first year, an increase over the current average of approximately 18 sessions. These sessions will include several levels of introductory courses as well as more specialized courses in graphics, web programming, and other special topics.

CSIL staff will provide on-site support for course instructors, students and general users during all hours of operation. “Computer Science considers the live interactions between students and staff to be an essential component for the best educational use of the facility,” Sterner said.

The Lab will be located on the west side of Crerar’s first floor, with exterior windows on one side and interior glass walls on the other. “We worked with MDC Architects to design a Lab that complements Crerar’s lofty atrium,” said Barbara Kern, Co-Director of the Science Libraries. “It will be a highly functional space and a beautiful one.”

“The Library’s collections, services and spaces have always supported research and teaching at the University, said Andrea Twiss-Brooks, Co-Director of the Science Libraries. “We’re very pleased to participate in a partnership to support the growth of an important University program.”

Construction will take place this summer with an expected opening in fall 2013. The current lab will continue to operate in Regenstein until construction in Crerar is complete.

A rendering of CSIL in Crerar

A rendering of CSIL in Crerar by MDC Architects, P.C.



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