UC Berkeley has won a $60-million grant from the Simons Foundation to establish the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing, the University announced Tuesday.
The institute, which hopes to draw top computer researchers from around the world, will be up and running in July. The first scientific programs are expected to start in January 2013.
Richard Karp, a Berkeley professor of computer science, will serve as the institute's founding director.
Computer theory is being used increasingly in scientific communities to help scientists analyze the huge quantities of data that better and cheaper technologies have made it possible to collect.
Although it all sounds a bit … well … theoretical, the institute will use algorithms and mathematical approaches to tackle tangible issues such as understanding how our bodies fight disease, creating more accurate climate change models, and making social and commercial interactions on the computer more secure and efficient.