EAST LANSING — A senior software engineer at Google has made a $2 million commitment to create an endowed chair of computer science at the Michigan State University College of Engineering.
The gift, established through an estate plan, is from Doug Zongker of Mountain View, Calif., who graduated from MSU in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the tools and training that I got during my years at Michigan State University,” Zongker said. “This gift is a small way that I can help my industry and my alma mater stay in the forefront of technology advancement.”
Said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon: “We are grateful to Doug Zongker for playing such a key role in our ability to attract future leaders in computing to MSU, which in turn drives our ability to be innovative in ways that contribute to the economic development of Michigan and beyond.”
Added Leo Kampel, acting dean of the College of Engineering: “Doug’s long-range vision helps our entire college and the computing community. His gift will provide a steady stream of income to advance MSU’s mission and help us sharpen our plan for adapting to the vast technological changes that await us in the future.”
After graduating from MSU, Zongker earned a doctoral degree at the University of Washington in Seattle in 2003 and joined Google. He was an early engineer on the Gmail email service, and worked on its first spam-detection system, systems to manage the service’s rapidly expanding production deployment, and other internal infrastructure.
Since 2007, he has worked on the Android mobile phone operating system, specifically for remote device management and over-the-air system update.
In February 2011, he established the Doug Zongker Endowed Discretionary Fund for Computer Science and Engineering at MSU. It has funded the purchase of devices for the department’s new mobile applications development class, which began in spring 2013. Students use the devices for the course’s programming projects.
The Michigan State University College of Engineering has six academic departments serving 4,400 undergraduate and 600 graduate students through 10 undergraduate and nine graduate degree programs. For more, visit: www.egr.msu.edu