Paul Kube Honored as Computer Science Educator
Endowed chair created in Kube’s name at UC San Diego
Jennifer Lu took four computer science courses with Lecturer Emeritus Paul Kube at the University of California, San Diego. She clearly remembers her first computer science class on campus. It came after a less-than-positive computer science experience in high school, and Kube was her professor. “The subject actually made sense for the first time. Because of that, I ended up switching my major from economics to computer science. I am grateful to have had Paul Kube as my professor, especially during a time when I was still unsure about my major.”
Lu isn’t alone.
“Professor Kube was always one of my favorite professors,” said UC San Diego alumnus Lindsey Fowler, who is now a software development manager at Amazon. “He was able to explain the fundamentals in a way I consistently understood. In addition, I learned how to work with a partner to really get something big accomplished, which I do every day in my current profession.”
Kube is now being recognized and honored for his contributions to the lives of individual students at UC San Diego and for his vision for furthering the frontiers of computer science through education. Thanks to a generous gift from UC San Diego computer science alumnus Taner Halicioglu, the university was able to create a new endowed chair for a teaching professor. It’s the first of its kind at UC San Diego, and named after Kube. Creating the Paul R. Kube Chair of Computer Science is part of a $2 million dollar gift from this UC San Diego alumnus who is passionate about undergraduate computer science education at the Jacobs School of Engineering.
“Paul Kube was often the first face of computer science to our entering students,” said Rajesh Gupta, chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego. “Paul encouraged and inspired all students to do well, setting up transition classes when necessary. I cannot think of anyone more deserving to name our first teaching professor endowed chair after.”
As a newly appointed member of the Jacobs School of Engineering faculty in 1988, Kube conducted research in areas such as artificial intelligence and computer vision. Kube, however, said his deepest interests always lay in teaching.
“As a teacher, I am tasked with passing down the eternal truths of computer science—the fundamentals that every computer scientist needs to know— to new generations,” said Kube. “I am forever grateful to the CSE department at UC San Diego for their support as I transitioned into a full-time teaching role.”
Kube remained in that role for 25 years, until he retired in 2013.
Kube has a “free advice” section on his Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) website. With quotes from engineering proverbs, blog posts and well-known computer scientists, the collection demonstrates Kube’s love and respect for the field’s thought leaders.
“Computer science teaches the theory and practice of devices that can be programmed to do anything you can imagine,” said Kube. “And these devices are really quite new. We’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible. Giving students the knowledge and skills they need to push the frontiers—that’s our educational mission.”
Kube said he was speechless when Gupta, who holds the Qualcomm Endowed Chair in Embedded Microsystems, told him that an endowed chair would be named in his honor.
“I couldn’t imagine anything that would make me happier,” said Kube. “I am grateful for Rajesh’s support over the years, but most of all for his vision and efforts to further computer science and engineering education.”
The Jacobs School of Engineering offers a variety of ways to support the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
Honor your favorite teacher when you donate to the CSE Teaching Endowment Fund.