Scholarships ensure that a UW CSE education remains accessible to Washington's outstanding students!

Top public research universities such as the University of Washington are in "the opportunity business."

UW CSE is ranked among the top ten programs in the nation - along with Stanford, MIT, Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Princeton, Texas, Illinois and Wisconsin. Every year, students admitted to these and other fine colleges choose to attend the University of Washington instead. When they look closely, they find that UW CSE offers an unbeatable combination: outstanding students, small classes, and a world-class faculty committed to providing a very special undergraduate experience in which research and education are seamlessly intertwined and students are brought to the forefront of the field as partners in discovery. It is not necessary to leave the Pacific Northwest to obtain one of the finest computer science educations in the nation.

Undergraduate scholarships ensure that a UW CSE education remains accessible to Washington's strongest students, regardless of their means. Washington's "innovation economy" companies should be created and staffed by Washington's brightest kids. This is our commitment, which we are able to fulfill because of your generosity.

In UW CSE, undergraduate scholarships are endowed at various levels. The "default" is $250,000, which provides a students with an annual award of $10,000. (The principal is invested in UW's Consolidated Endowment Fund, which has consistently performed in the top quartile of endowments nationally. Roughly 4% is available for expenditure every year; additional gains are re-invested to keep pace with inflation.) However, we have a number of smaller scholarship endowments, which are either awarded to students with lesser financial need, or pooled to provide greater levels of support.

Profile: The Gary Kildall Endowed Scholarship in Computer Science & Engineering

Gary Kildall, 1942-1994
As a student at the University of Washington, Gary Kildall received three degrees: a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics in 1967, a Master's degree in Computer Science in 1968, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1972. He was hired as an assistant professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, and later joined Intel Corporation to write programming tools for the Intel 4004 microprocessor.

A pioneer in the computer revolution, Gary developed CP/M, which became the dominant microcomputer operating system of the 1970s. He was one of the first people to recognize that even the early, simple microprocessors could support a complete minicomputer-style operating system, and he created an editor, assembler, linker, and loader, along with the first file system to use floppy disks as a general-purpose storage medium. As personal computers began to be used, he saw that their true potential would be in connectivity, so he developed extensions to CP/M that let computers share files and peripheral devices over a network.

Gary's company, Digital Research, Inc., introduced operating systems with windowing capability, preemptive multitasking, and menu-driven user interfaces years before Microsoft developed Windows. He also created the first practical open-system architecture, which allowed operating systems and application programs to be independent of the specific machines on which they ran. A firm believer that life and work should be fun, Gary also developed an early computer-based arcade game as well as precursors to current interactive multimedia.

Gary passed away in 1994, at the age of 52. His daughter Kristin established the Gary Kildall Endowed Scholarship in his honor in 1997, and it has been awarded every year since that time to an outstanding UW CSE undergraduate student.

Recognition of Gary's extraordinary accomplishments has increased with his inclusion in the wonderful 2004 book and PBS television series They Made America - brief excerpt from the detailed Kildall chapter here. Previous tributes here, here, here, here, and here.

Interested in learning more? Contact Ed Lazowska,, or Erin Walker, CSE Advancement Officer,

Lifetime endowment gifts of $25,000 and above are permanently recognized on the UW CSE Endowment Wall in the Allen Center atrium.

Named funds are available for gifts of $50,000 and above. Appropriate recognition, designed in consultation with each donor, is part of each gift that creates a named fund.

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