April 2, 2004  


Pierre Schwob Donates $1 Million to KIPAC

By Davide Castelvecchi

In December 2003, Pierre Schwob of Palo Alto endowed the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) and the Fred Kavli Building project with a $1 million donation for the foundation of the P. R. Schwob Computing and Information Center. The center will be housed on the second floor of the Fred Kavli Building and will include an interaction and collaboration area, a reading room, a video-conference room and two visualization studios.

Pierre Schwob (left) with Roger Blandford (Photo by Neil Calder)

“I have always been fascinated by the mysteries of our cosmos,” says Schwob, “and I am very happy to be able to make a contribution to furthering our understanding of these fundamental questions. One can say that cosmology is becoming an exact science and, as the instruments used to probe the universe and its history now gather such immense data sets, I have an interest in helping the development of the resources to store, analyze, visualize and share information.”

Schwob is a software engineer. He owns several patents and is a World Wide Web pioneer. In 1994 he started the Classical Music Archives, the largest collection of classical music files on the net. He is the author of an anthology of historical documents, a book on chess openings and a book on pocket calculators.

The Schwob Center plans include a ‘hyperwall’ for the large-scale visualizations crucial to astrophysics, and advanced graphics machines. The conference room will have stateof-the-art audio-visual equipment allowing on-line participation in international collaborations. The reading room will be devoted primarily to electronic resources for researchers.

“We at KIPAC are thrilled by Pierre’s generous gift,” said KIPAC Director Roger Blandford. Not only is he providing a focal point for the data-and simulationintensive research we will be carrying out, but he is also taking an active interest in how we equip and use it.”

Founded last March by physicist and philanthropist Fred Kavli, KIPAC is bringing together the traditions of astronomy, cosmology and particle physics—fields whose advancement is increasingly and inextricably linked. The Kavli Building will rise between the Research Office Building and Panofsky Grove.



The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy

Last update Tuesday March 30, 2004 by Emily Ball