Montana State University's computer science offerings are going to benefit from a $5.6 million gift from Larry and Anne Hambly. The money will establish the Hambly Chair in Computer Science at the MSU campus in Bozeman, funding an endowed professorship.

John Paxton, Director of the Gianforte School of Computing, said the additional faculty member would start in the fall 2023 semester. In an MSU news release, Paxton outlined the type of person he's looking for. "The Hambly Chair will be an accomplished professor who can help our organization better serve students, expand our research portfolio and better meet workforce needs."

Larry Hambly earned a physics degree at MSU in 1968, when the university had only one computer that was used in a one-credit class, which was the only computing course offered. Hambly went on the get a master's in physics at California State University and was an executive at Sun Microsystems. He said, "Computer science has such a high impact in today's world, and MSU in making great strides to grow its educational capacity in one of the most critical intellectual disciplines of the 21st century...My physics degree provided an excellent foundation for my career in aerospace and computer systems development."

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MSU has 530 students in computer science this spring. And thre is a growing demand for those with computing experience. As an example, the UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research expect Companies in the Montana High Tech Business Alliance might have added up to 1,500 job last year.

It's been a good year for computer department donations at MSU

MSU is adding courses and degrees, including a Master of Science in Cybersecurity and a Bachelor of Science in Data Science. All these computing classes will find homes in the Gianforte School of Computing, which is being built with a $50 million pledge earlier this year from the Gianforte Family Foundation. Hambly said, "MSU is going to have a new computer science building, and it's important that we fill it with the best talent possible."

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