Conrad Wogrin Scholarship in Computer Science Established

  The establishment of the College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) brings new opportunities and key challenges. Recruiting the best undergraduate and graduate students in an increasingly competitive environment is a pressing issue. In comparison with most other colleges within UMass Amherst, CICS has very few scholarships, and the ones we do have are underfunded. This is particularly true for undergraduate scholarships, but providing financial assistance to our prospective undergraduates from Massachusetts is where we could have the most impact. Nearly 60 percent of the college's considerable in-state undergraduate student population qualify for need-based aid.

  To address this issue and to emphasize the importance of providing top-quality education to undergraduates at UMass Amherst, we have established our first new college undergraduate scholarship, the Conrad Wogrin Scholarship in Computer Science. The scholarship has the goal of providing full scholarships to undergraduate UMass Amherst students in the College of Information and Computer Sciences who show particular promise and demonstrate financial need. Preference will be given to students who are underrepresented in computer science.

  The scholarship has been named after Emeritus Professor Conrad Wogrin, one of the major figures involved in establishing, nurturing, and growing computer science at UMass Amherst. Bruce Croft, distinguished professor and CICS interim dean, commented, "In my first years here, Connie was running the rapidly developing University Computing Center but was also involved in all the main discussions and decisions in our department as we developed into a nationally recognized program. He encouraged and mentored the junior faculty, including me, and was a big supporter of my research in information retrieval."

  Wogrin came to UMass Amherst in 1967 as a professor of Computer Science and director of the Research Computer Center from 1970-1988. Along with the general responsibility of the Center at UMass Amherst, his research interests were in image processing, computer-based education, and computer-aided design. Wogrin was one of the first seven faculty hired for the program and was instrumental in the growth of computer science at UMass Amherst. 

  Dr. Wogrin was the acting chair of the Computer Science Program at UMass Amherst from 1969 to 1970 and took on the responsibility for the search for a new chair. With Dr. Wogrin's help, the program was upgraded in 1972 to the Department of Computer and Information Science (COINS), which expanded its offerings to include both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.

  The Wogrin Scholarship was established by Professor Emeritus Wogrin's family, but significant additional funding is needed to bring it to a level where full scholarships can be awarded each year. If you are interested in contributing, contact Julie Stubbs at stubbs@cics.umass.edu or 413-545-1220 .

  For online donations, go to: cics.umass.edu/wogrin