Stanford University centers and institutes
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Stanford University has many centers and institutes dedicated to the study of various specific topics. These centers and institutes may be within a department, within a school but across departments, an independent laboratory, institute or center reporting directly to the Dean of Research and outside of any school, or semi-independent of the University itself.
- 1 Independent laboratories, institutes and centers
- 1.1 Center for the Study of Language and Information
- 1.2 Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
- 1.3 Stanford Humanities Center
- 1.4 Distinguished Careers Institute
- 2 Other research centers
- 2.1 Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
- 2.2 Stanford Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
- 2.3 Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics
- 2.4 Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SiCa)
- 2.5 National Performance of Dams Program
- 2.6 Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Independent laboratories, institutes and centers
These report directly to the Vice-Provost and Dean of Research and are outside of any school though any faculty involved in them must belong to a department in one of the schools. These include Bio-X and Spectrum in the area of Biological and Life Sciences; Precourt Institute for Energy and Woods Institute for the Environment in the Environmental Sciences area; the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS), the Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI) (see below), Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) (see below), Human-Sciences and Technologies Advance Research Institute (H-STAR), Stanford Center on Longevity (SCL), Stanford Humanities Center (see below), and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) in the area of Humanities and Social Sciences; and, for Physical Sciences, the Edward L. Ginzton Laboratory, the Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials, the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Photon Ultrafast Laser Science and Engineering (PULSE), Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences (SIMES), and W. W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory (HEPL).
Center for the Study of Language and Information
The Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI) is an independent research center at Stanford University. Founded in 1983 by philosophers, computer scientists, linguists, and psychologists from Stanford, SRI International, and Xerox PARC, it strives to study all forms of information and improve how humans and computers acquire and process it.
CSLI was initially funded by a US$15 million grant from the System Development Foundation (SDF) for the Situated Language Project, the name of which reflects the strong influence of the work on situation semantics by philosophers John Perry and Jon Barwise, two of the initial leaders of CSLI. This funding supported operations for the first few years as well as the construction of Cordura Hall. Subsequent funding has come from research grants and from an industrial affiliates program.
CSLI's publications branch, founded and still headed by Dikran Karagueuzian, has grown into an important publisher of work in linguistics and related fields. Researchers associated with CSLI include Ronald Kaplan, Patrick Suppes, the mathematicians Keith Devlin, and Solomon Feferman, the linguists Ivan Sag and Joan Bresnan, Annie Zaenen, Lauri Karttunen, and psychologists Herb Clark, B. J. Fogg and Clifford Nass.
CSLI houses the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
- Jon Barwise 1983–1985
- John Perry 1985–1986, 1993–1999
- Thomas Wasow 1986–1987, 2006–2007
- John Etchemendy 1990–1993
- David Israel c. 1999-2000
- Byron Reeves c. 2001–2005
- Stanley Peters 2008–2013
- Chris Potts 2013–Present
Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies is a university-wide research and teaching organization at Stanford devoted to understanding international and cross-border policies, problems and institutions.
FSI's core and affiliated faculty represent a range of academic backgrounds and perspectives, including medicine, law, engineering, history, political science, economics, and sociology. The faculty's research and teaching focus on a variety of issues, including governance, domestic and international health policy, migration, development, and security. Their work often examines regional dynamics in areas such as Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America. FSI faculty conduct research, lead interdisciplinary research programs, educate graduate and undergraduate students, and organize policy outreach that engages Stanford in addressing some of the world's most pressing problems.
The institute is composed of 12 centers and programs, including six major research centers:
- Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL)
- Center on Food Security and the Environment (FSE)
- Center for Health Policy, Primary Care and Outcomes Research (CHP/PCOR)
- Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC)
- The Europe Center (TEC)
- Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC)
The institute was founded in 1987 following a faculty committee review that concluded Stanford “should be leading the way in International Studies as we do in science and technology,” encompassing interdisciplinary teaching, research, public service and administrative functions. It was first called the institute for International Studies, and was created under the direction of former Stanford President Richard Wall Lyman.
The immediate past director of FSI was Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, the former Stanley Morrison Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, a former official in the Obama and Clinton presidential administrations, and current Justice of the California Supreme Court. Previous Directors include Stanford President Emeritus Gerhard Casper; Coit D. Blacker, who served as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Senior Director for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council under National Security Advisor Anthony Lake during the Clinton administration; David Holloway; Walter Falcon; and Stanford President Emeritus Richard Lyman.
FSI appoints faculty and research staff, funds research and scholarly initiatives, directs research projects, and sponsors lectures, policy seminars and conferences. By tradition, FSI undertakes joint faculty appointments with Stanford's seven schools and draws faculty together from the University's academic departments and schools to conduct interdisciplinary research on international issues that transcend academic boundaries.
The institute is home to 40 billeted faculty members – most with joint appointments – and 115 affiliated faculty members with a wide range of academic perspectives.
In addition to its six centers, the institute sponsors the Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies, the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies, the Program on Energy & Sustainable Development, the Rural Education Action Program, the Stanford Center at Peking University, and the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education.
Stanford Humanities Center
The Stanford Humanities Center is an institution of advanced humanities research located at Stanford University, Stanford, CA, U.S.A. Founded in 1980, it is an integral part of Stanford’s internationally renowned research community, bringing together scholars from across disciplinary boundaries to work on projects that advance understanding of human experience.
The Stanford Humanities Center sponsors advanced research into the historical, philosophical, and cultural dimensions of human experience. The Center’s research workshops, fellowships, and public events contribute to the intellectual and creative life of the University, foster innovative scholarship and teaching, and enrich the community’s understanding of what it means to be human.
The Stanford Humanities Center was founded in 1980 to spearhead new initiatives in humanities research at Stanford, as the result of one of former Stanford President Donald Kennedy's first acts in office. The Humanities Center's early goals remain central to its mission. These include: providing state-of-the-art research and writing facilities for humanities scholars; initiating studies that examine the nature and function of the humanities; focusing on interdisciplinary issues; and contributing to the intellectual life of the Stanford community as a whole through lectures, seminars, conferences, and research workshops.
In 1980, Ian Watt was named first director, and by 1982–83 the Humanities Center had welcomed its first thirteen fellows. Since then, it has undergone several notable changes, including the introduction of the research workshops by Director Keith Baker in 1995. To accommodate the continuing expansion of the Stanford Humanities Center, it moved in September 2001 from the Mariposa and Rogers Houses and the Annex — originally private residences — to the newly vacated Bowman House (which had been home to the Alumni Association), where it remains today. To supplement the fellowships already offered to high-level scholars, the Center introduced undergraduate research assistant fellowships in the same year to provide resources for advanced humanities students. The Center’s Humanities Archive Lab, a computer lab that offers easy access to the tools necessary to produce digital content, opened in 2004, in accordance with the increasing emphasis on the digital humanities.
The Center has now grown into a veritable research hub, with up to thirty fellowships awarded every year, almost twenty year-long research workshops, numerous public events, and new digital initiatives.
The Stanford Humanities Center offers numerous fellowships to Stanford faculty, Stanford graduate students, external faculty, and, beginning in 2001, Stanford undergraduates. Since its founding in 1980, the Center has awarded external fellowships to more than 550 faculty from nearly 100 universities in the United States and in other countries. It also offers six to eight internal fellowships annually to Stanford faculty and approximately eight Geballe Dissertation Fellowships to Stanford graduate students. Finally, it offers research assistant fellowships to advanced undergraduate students, fostering communications between the Humanities Center and the Stanford undergraduate community.
Begun in 1995 by former Director Keith Baker, Research Workshops at the Stanford Humanities Center strive to support the development of humanistic research and teaching. These workshops bring together faculty and advanced graduate students at Stanford, as well as scholars from other institutions, to present their research and explore topics of common intellectual concern. One major aspect of the workshops is the unique interdisciplinary engagements that explore a multitude of research topics, encouraging faculty in their research efforts and training graduate students to participate in scholarly dialogues.
Public events and lectures
The Stanford Humanities Center also offers a number of public events and lectures. The renowned Presidential Lectures were established in 1998 and are funded by the President’s Office and endowments. Administered under the auspices of the Humanities Center, they have brought distinguished scholars, artists, and critics to Stanford for a variety of interactions with faculty, students, and the community at large. Speakers have included Isabel Allende, Roger Chartier, Stephen Jay Gould, Douglas Hofstadter, and Gayatri Spivak, among other well-known scholars.
Public events also include other endowed lectures and the New Directions series, as well as events co-sponsored with other organizations. The New Directions lectures strive to present future trends in humanities research, and in particular the ways in which research is changing with advances in information technology.
The administrative structure of the Stanford Humanities Center is as follows:
- Director: Appointed by the Provost of the University, the Director is the chief executive officer of the Center and reports to the Dean of Research. Normally the appointment of the Director will be for not more than two three-year terms.
- Associate Director: Appointed by the Director, subject to the approval of the Dean of Research. Normally the appointment of the Associate Director will be for not more than two three-year terms.
- Advisory Board: Appointed by the Provost, the Advisory Board consists of up to twenty members. Members include representatives of the Stanford faculty, and scholars from outside the university. It may also include public members from the wider Stanford community and the fields of philanthropy and public service. Terms of office on the Advisory Board will normally be for three years, renewable once.
- Ian P. Watt, 1980–1985
- Bliss Carnochan, 1985–1991
- Herbert Lindenberger, 1991–1992 (interim)
- Wanda Corn, 1992–1995
- Keith Baker, 1995–2000
- Peter Stansky, 2000–2001
- John Bender, 2001–2008
- Aron Rodrigue, 2008–present
Distinguished Careers Institute
The Distinguished Careers Institute (DCI), established in 2014, is a year-long residential fellowship for approximately 20 individuals who have already established leadership careers. Fellows are selected based on "how their participation in the program will shape their future life journeys" as well as "what future Fellows will contribute to the program and the broader global community."
Other research centers
Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
The Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (also known as Stanford AI Lab or SAIL) is the artificial intelligence (AI) research laboratory of Stanford University. The current director is Associate Professor Fei-Fei Li.
SAIL was started in 1963 by John McCarthy, after he moved from Massachusetts Institute of Technology to Stanford. Lester D. "Les" Earnest, also previously of MIT, served as executive officer (self-deprecatingly, "Chief Bureaucrat") at SAIL from 1965 to 1980. During the same years, SAIL was housed in the D.C. Power building, named not for "Direct Current" but rather for Donald Clinton Power, who held the positions of president, C.E.O. and chairman of General Telephone & Electronics Corporation (later GTE Corporation) between 1951 and 1971. GT&E donated the unfinished building to Stanford University after abandoning plans to establish a research center there. During this period SAIL was one of the leading centers for AI research and an early ARPANET site.
D.C. Power was on a hill overlooking Felt Lake in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains overlooking Stanford. It was about 5 miles (8 km) from the main campus, at 1600 Arastradero Road, midway between Page Mill Road and Alpine Road. This area was, and remains, quite rural in nature. Combined with the rather extreme 1960s architecture of the place, this remote setting led to a certain isolation. Some people who worked there reported feeling as if they were already in the future. The building was demolished in 1986; as of 2003, the site is home to Portola Pastures (an equestrian center adjacent to the Arastradero Open Space Preserve).
SAIL created the WAITS operating system on a computer called SAIL. WAITS ran on various models of Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-10 computers, starting with the PDP-6, then the KA10 and KL10. WAITS also ran on Foonly systems at CCRMA and LLL. The SAIL system was shut down in 1991.
SAIL, the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Language, was developed by Dan Swinehart and Bob Sproull of the Stanford AI Lab in 1970.
Demise and rebirth
In 1980, its activities were merged into the university's Computer Science Department and it moved into Margaret Jacks Hall in the main Stanford campus.
SAIL was reopened in 2004, with Sebastian Thrun becoming its new director. SAIL's 21st century mission is to "change the way we understand the world"; its researchers contribute to fields such as bioinformatics, cognition, computational geometry, computer vision, decision theory, distributed systems, game theory, general game playing, image processing, information retrieval, knowledge systems, logic, machine learning, multi-agent systems, natural language, neural networks, planning, probabilistic inference, sensor networks, and robotics.
SAIL alumni played a major role in many Silicon Valley firms, becoming founders of now-large firms such as Cisco Systems and Sun Microsystems as well as smaller companies such as Vicarm Inc. (acquired by Unimation), Foonly, Elxsi, Imagen, Xidex, Valid Logic Systems, and D.E. Shaw & Co. Research accomplishments at SAIL were many, including in the fields of speech recognition and robotics.
Stanford Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
The Center for Entrepreneurial Studies (CES) at Stanford University is a multidisciplinary business oriented program targeted to both undergraduate and graduate students. It incorporates courses from Stanford University School of Engineering and Stanford Graduate School of Business. It also incorporates Stanford Mayfield Scholars Program that seeks to give select undergraduate students an opportunity to take business related coursework and to intern in high tech startups. CES was founded by Tom Byers and Charles A. Holloway.
Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics
The Stanford University Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), founded by John Chowning, is a multi-discipline facility where composers and researchers work together using computer-based technology both as an artistic medium and as a research tool. CCRMA's director is Chris Chafe. CCRMA's current faculty includes a mix of musicians and engineers including Julius Smith, Jonathan Berger, Max Mathews (emeritus), Ge Wang, Takako Fujioka, Tom Rossing, Jonathan Abel, Marina Bosi, David Berners, Jay Kadis, and Fernando Lopez-Lezcano. Emeritus professor Max Mathews died in 2011 
Widely used digital sound synthesis techniques like FM synthesis and digital waveguide synthesis were developed CCRMA and licensed to industry partners. The FM synthesis patent brought Stanford $20 million before it expired, making it (in 1994) "the second most lucrative licensing agreement in Stanford's history".
Almost 100 years ago, this Spanish Gothic residence, known as the Knoll, was originally built as a residence for the University's President. In 1946, the building became home to the Music Department, and then in 1986, CCRMA took over residency.
Damaged in 1989 during the Loma Prieta earthquake, the Knoll nonetheless housed CCRMA in its damaged condition until a complete internal reconstruction between 2004–2005. The reopening of the facility was celebrated in the Spring of 2005 with the CCRMA: newStage Festival. This unique building now comprises several state-of-the-art music studios and top-notch research facilities, hosting a variety of students, artists and scientists.
CCRMA is affiliated with the Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities (CCARH), also located at Stanford. CCARH conducts research on constructing computer databases for music and on creating programs that allow researchers to access, analyze, print, and electronically perform the music.
Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SiCa)
The Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SiCa), established in 2006, serves as the core programmatic hub for the Stanford Arts Initiative, leading the development of new undergraduate arts programs, hosting artists in residence, awarding grants for multidisciplinary arts research and teaching, incubating collaborative performances and exhibitions with campus partners and other institutions, and providing centralized communication for arts events and programs at Stanford University.
National Performance of Dams Program
The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering maintains the National Performance of Dams Program, a national database of structural and operational data related to dam systems in the U.S. Begun in 1994, this program provides data to the dam engineering and safety community about the in-service performance of dam systems. The analysis of this data covering both successful operations and incidents, including failures, is intended to lead to improvements in design and requirements, engineering processes and standards, operational procedures and guidelines, and public policy development. 
Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research
Founded in 1974, the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University is one of the nation’s oldest research organizations focused on the study of gender. The Clayman Institute designs basic interdisciplinary research, creates knowledge, networks people and ideas at Stanford, nationally, and internationally to effect change and promote gender equality. The Clayman Institute plays an integral role in the Stanford community by bringing together local, national and international scholars and thought leaders from across disciplines to create knowledge and effect change. The Clayman Institute is located at Serra House at Stanford.
In 1972 faculty and graduate students in the feminist movement were the impetus behind the formation of the Institute. In 1974, the Center for Research on Women (CROW) was the first interdisciplinary center or institute of its kind and quickly built a strong reputation under the direction of Myra Strober, the founding Director. The reputation of CIGR grew outside of Stanford, and the University of Chicago Press chose Stanford as the base of the second five-year rotation of its new interdisciplinary journal, Signs. In 1983 the Institute was renamed the Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWG) and continued to expand the gender conversation with the “Difficult Dialogues” program, which ran in the 1990s through 2004. In 2004, the new Director, Professor Londa Schiebinger, a historian of science, formed a plan to create a series of research initiatives on gender issues, backed by a research fellowship program, that would attract scholars from Stanford and abroad. With the help of matching funds from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and strong support from the Institute’s Advisory Council, Schiebinger spearheaded a fundraising drive to create an endowment for the Institute. IRWG was renamed in honor of Michelle R. Clayman, the major donor in the campaign, who serves as the Chair of the Institute’s Advisory Council.
The Clayman Institute designs basic research and supports the creation of knowledge through its Fellowships and interdisciplinary programs. Recent reports/publications include:
- Gendered Innovations in Science and Engineering, Londa Schiebinger, ed., 2008.
- Dual-Career Academic Couples: What Universities Need to Know. The Michelle R. Clayman Institute, 2008. This Clayman Institute research study shows that over 70% of faculty are in dual-career relationships. This report tackles tough questions and recommends policies to maximize options.
- Climbing the Technical Ladder: Obstacles and Solutions for Mid-Level Women in Information Technology. The Michelle R. Clayman Institute and the Anita Borg Institute, 2008. This report provides an in-depth look into the barriers to retention and advancement of technical women in Silicon Valley's high tech industry and provides practical recommendations to employers on overcoming these barriers.
The Clayman Institute runs two fellowship programs. The Faculty Research Fellowships seek to drive intellectual and social innovation through interdisciplinary gender studies. They include residential fellowships for tenured, tenure-track, and postdoctoral scholars from Stanford University, and U.S. and foreign universities. The Clayman Institute also offers Graduate Dissertation Fellowships for Stanford University doctoral students. Fellowships are awarded to students who are in the writing stages of their dissertations, and whose research focuses on women and/or gender.
- 1974–77 Myra Strober
- 1977-79 Diane Middlebrook
- 1979-84 Myra Strober
- 1984-85 Marilyn Yalom (Deputy Director, as Acting Director)
- 1985-86 Judith Brown (Acting Director)
- 1986-90 Deborah Rhode
- 1990-97 Iris Litt
- 1997–2001 Laura Carstensen
- 2001–04 Barbara Gelpi (Acting Director)
- 2004–10 Londa Schiebinger
- 2010- Shelley J. Correll
- Hoover Institution, a public policy think tank and library founded in 1919 by U.S. president Herbert Hoover. It has a great degree of independence from the University though on the same campus.
- SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, a particle physics research facility. Run by Stanford University under the programmatic direction of the United States Department of Energy
- SRI International, originally the Stanford Research Institute, but independent since 1970
- "Centers, Laboratories, and Institutes". Stanford Bulletin. Stanford University. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- "FSI - About the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies". stanford.edu.
- "Stanford Institute for International Studies gets new name". Stanford University.
- "Stanford law prof, security expert to lead university's international studies institute". Stanford University.
- Eisenberg, Richard (May 23, 2014). "Stanford Is Looking For A Few Good Midlifers". Forbes. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
- "FAQ". Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- "Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory -". stanford.edu.
- "Biography of Les Earnest". http://www.stanford.edu/. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
- "GTE Corporation - Company History". Fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
- "AI Lab people". stanford.edu.
- "SAIL History & Photos". Stanford University Archives. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- Oral history interview with Raj Reddy at Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Reddy discusses his work in artificial intelligence (AI), especially speech recognition, from his graduate work at Stanford University through his research as a principal investigator on Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) grants at Carnegie-Mellon University. Other topics include: the interaction of researchers at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
- "Palo Alto Planning and Transportation Commission Minutes" (PDF). November 12, 2003.
- The autobiography of SAIL, a copy of a 1991 email about SAIL, from a Stanford website
- "FOLDOC - Computing Dictionary". foldoc.org.
- "Max Mathews, Computer Music Pioneer, R.I.P.". Synthtopia.
- Paul Verna (August 2, 1997). "Yamaha, Stanford join forces. Licensing program offers new technologies". Billboard: 56.
- "Music synthesis approaches sound quality of real instruments". News release (Stanford University News Service). June 7, 1994. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
- "About the National Performance of Dams Program". Retrieved 2015-08-18.
- "Programs and Research". Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
- Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, University of Chicago Press
- "Stanford University Press". sup.org.
- Dean of Research list of Independent Laboratories, Institutes and Centers
- Research Centers (not independent)
- SAIL homepage
- CCRMA homepage
- Searchable CCRMA archive: http://www.nabble.com/CCRMA-f2875.html
- CSLI's website
- Official Web Site of FSI
- Arts Initiative/SiCa Website
- Stanford Humanities Center main website
- National Performance of Dams Program (NPDP)
- Michelle R. Clayman Institute
- Oral history interviews with Terry Winograd, Raj Reddy, Bruce Buchanan and Allen Newell. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.