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Date: January 14, 1999
Princeton's Computer Science Chair Appointed First Goldman Professor
PRINCETON, N.J. -- David P. Dobkin, chair of Princeton University's Department of Computer Science, has been named to the Phillip Y. Goldman '86 Professorship in Computer Science. The professorship was created through a gift from Dobkin's former student and WebTV Networks, Inc. founder Phillip Goldman. Last year, Goldman, together with his wife, Susan, donated $2 million to the University, making him the youngest alumnus ever to endow a chair at Princeton.
Dobkin, a distinguished investigator of the application of mathematics to computer graphics, is the first to hold the Goldman Professorship, which supports advanced research and teaching in computer science. His research focuses on the development of sophisticated methods for visualizing and computing the interactions among complex geometric objects. Goldman, a pioneer of Internet television, studied with Dobkin when he was an undergraduate at Princeton.
"This appointment celebrates the close, ongoing relationship between an outstanding teacher and one of his finest students," said University President Harold T. Shapiro. "It is a splendid example of the kind of educational environment that is among Princeton's strongest traditions."
Goldman, who was first in his class at Princeton's distinguished School of Engineering and Applied Science, developed leading edge system software at Apple Computer (including MultiFinder and Virtual Memory) and at General Magic (including Magic Cap) before founding WebTV Networks in 1995 with his colleagues Steve Perlman and Bruce Leak. He is now senior vice president of engineering for WebTV, Networks, Inc. which was acquired by Microsoft in 1997. The firm operates the WebTV Network service, based in Mountain View, California, which reaches about 700,000 subscribers in the U.S., Canada and Japan.
After Goldman graduated from Princeton, he remained in touch with his former mentor. "This appointment is extremely gratifying to me personally because it was a pleasure to teach Phil, and it has been a pleasure to follow his career progress," said Dobkin. "I remember well his excitement about WebTV Networks when he was first starting the company."
Dobkin, a graduate of MIT, received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Harvard University. He taught at Yale University and the University of Arizona before joining the Princeton faculty in 1981. As an expert in computational geometry, he received a fellowship from the prestigious Guggenheim Foundation in 1988, is a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery and has been an adviser and visiting researcher at such renowned technology firms as Bell Labs, AT&T Research and Xerox. He also has served on the Executive Committee of the National Science Foundation's Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science.
Goldman's gift is part of the Anniversary Campaign for Princeton, launched in 1995 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the signing of the University's charter. The Campaign, which now has raised more than $687 million, is seeking to raise a total of $900 million by the year 2000 to strengthen the University's programs of teaching, scholarship and research.