The College of Creative Studies (CCS) at UC Santa Barbara has received a $400,000 gift for interdisciplinary undergraduate research from CCS alumnus David Watson and his wife, Vinitha Menon Watson, also a UCSB graduate.
The endowment will provide ongoing support that will enable two or more CCS students from different disciplines to pursue advanced collaborative research that builds upon their individual expertise and may lead to original contributions to their fields.
The Menon-Watson gift is one of the largest ever received by the College of Creative Studies.
"David and Vinitha Watson's gift mirrors the very spirit of CCS--a college dedicated to the concept that young able minds can achieve world-altering wonders when allowed direct access to the intellectual and physical resources of a major research university and invited to interact over the greatest breadth of intellectual subjects," said Bruce Tiffney, dean of the college.
"I have no idea what insights will arise from this prescient gift, but I imagine looking back in 20 years time to a string of notable accomplishments that will bring pride and honor to UCSB and CCS."
UCSB's College of Creative Studies is the only one of its kind in the UC system.
Talented undergraduates committed to advanced and independent work acquire a thorough comprehension of an art or science and are encouraged to begin making original contributions to their fields.
Instruction is carried out in small seminars and tutorials within CCS.
In addition, students are encouraged to work within academic departments in the College of Letters and Science and the College of Engineering, taking advantage of the full spectrum of courses, extensive research equipment, facilities, and faculty expertise across the disciplines.
David Watson earned a computer science degree from CCS in 1999.
Vinitha Menon Watson earned a sociology degree from UCSB's College of Letters and Science the same year.
The Watsons reside in Menlo Park and are employed by Google.