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Associate Dean and Computer Scientist Christine Alvarado Named Paul R. Kube Endowed Chair

With the latest chair, alumnus and benefactor Taner Halıcıoğlu has generously created four chairs in the Computer Science and Engineering department.

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Christine Alvarado, the associate dean in UC San Diego’s Division of Undergraduate Education and a Teaching Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Department, will hold the inaugural Paul R. Kube Endowed Chair of Computer Science. She is the first teaching professor at UC San Diego to hold an endowed chair, one of the most prestigious honors given to university faculty.

“Growing up, a career in computer science was the last thing I thought I would have,” said Alvarado. “The problem was that I had no idea what computer science was.”

Alvarado’s path changed when she took her first AP computer science course in high school, followed by a few undergraduate courses. She discovered the innate connection between computing and problem solving. That’s what hooked her. Alvarado has invested nearly two decades creating similar opportunities for others.

Christine Alvarado portrait
Christine Alvarado, associate dean in UC San Diego’s Division of Undergraduate Education and a Teaching Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Department, will hold the inaugural Paul R. Kube Endowed Chair of Computer Science.

The Paul R. Kube Endowed Chair recognizes Alvarado for all of her teaching and research efforts, including the design of computing curriculum and programs that are accessible to more students. Her specific goal is to increase the number of women and minorities who study computing, including Black, Latinx, Native American and Pacific Islander students. She also works to retain CS students from these underrepresented groups with the help of data analytics.

“Professor Christine Alvarado has worked tirelessly to advance diversity and inclusion in the computer science field—an effort that is central to UC San Diego’s mission,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Bolstered by generous support from Taner Halıcıoğlu, Professor Alvarado will continue to inspire the next generation of women and minority computer scientists to push the boundaries of computer science research in pursuit of innovative, world-changing discoveries.”

CSE Department Chair Sorin Lerner said, “Christine Alvarado’s scholarly efforts are on improving inclusion and diversity in computer science education. In addition, the praise that students have for Professor Alvarado’s teaching is inspiring – she truly exemplifies the student-centered values that our institution stands for.”

Alvarado’s impact at UC San Diego has been tremendous. In 2014, she developed the CSE Early Research Scholars Program (ERSP), an inclusive, year-long apprenticeship program for second-year computing undergraduates. To date, 390 students have participated in ERSP, including 231 women and gender-marginalized students and 86 students who identify as Black, Latinx, Native American and/or Pacific Islander and has been adopted at seven additional universities, including UC Santa Barbara and Stanford.

In 2022, Alvarado’s contributions to diversity in computer science garnered her the Joanne McGrath Cohoon Service Award from the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). She has also earned a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (2005) and the UC San Diego Chancellor’s Associates Faculty Excellence Award for Undergraduate Teaching (2019).

Named in honor of longtime CSE professor Paul Kube, the Paul R. Kube Endowed Chair was funded by a gracious gift by longtime UC San Diego supporter Taner Halıcıoğlu (CSE ’96) to enhance the CSE department’s educational mission. The endowed chair provides the recipient with a dedicated source of funds to facilitate novel education and research programs.

Halıcıoğlu’s gift has also created the Halicioğlu Chair in Computer Architecture, which is held by CSE Professor Hadi Esmaeilzadeh, the Ronald L. Graham Chair of Computer Science held by CSE Professor Ravi Ramamoorthi, and most recently the Halıcıoğlu Chair in Memory Systems held by CSE Professor Steven Swanson.

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