President McRobbie presents Bicentennial medal to Fred Luddy during groundbreaking

President McRobbie said the Luddy Center will put IU at the forefront of Artificial Intelligence research and education.  Photo by Eric Rudd, Indiana University
From left: President McRobbie, IU Trustee Donna Spears, IU Trustee MaryEllen K. Bishop and IU alumnus Fred Luddy participate in the ceremonial groundbreaking of the Luddy Center for Artificial Intelligence.    Photo by Eric Rudd, Indiana University
President McRobbie presents a Bicentennial Medal to alumnus Fred Luddy, who gave the second-largest private gift in the university's history to establish the Luddy AI Center.  Photo by Eric Rudd, Indiana University

IU President Michael A. McRobbie presented alumnus and information technology pioneer Fred Luddy with a Bicentennial Medal during a groundbreaking ceremony for the Luddy Center for Artificial Intelligence Feb. 24.

Luddy gave the second-largest private gift in IU's history to establish the Center, which will provide state-of-the-art facilities for pioneering work in AI and machine learning. It will take a broad, multidisciplinary approach to the field and focus on digital health.

"Health and medicine are among the fastest-growing research domains for advanced AI and machine learning applications and the use of high-performance computational systems," McRobbie said. "The Luddy School is already home to many faculty members who are national leaders in AI and digital health. This initiative will catalyze their collaboration with other researchers in IU's extensive range of health and life science schools, departments, and programs both in Bloomington and Indianapolis."

McRobbie said AI has long been an area of strength for IU, and the university has established a major initiative in the area. The first phase included the acquisition of Big Red 200, the fastest university-owned AI supercomputer in the country. The second phase was the announcement of Luddy's gift to ensure the Luddy School grows and remains a national leader in the AI arena. 

"I want to offer our most sincere thanks once again to Fred Luddy for his dedicated service to the school, and for his willingness to support a major initiative in artificial intelligence at IU through his extraordinarily generous gift," McRobbie said. "His gift will have a transformative impact on the mission of the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering."