University News

University of New Haven Professor Makes $2 Million Gift to Support Computer Science Education

Longtime professor Alice Fischer, Ph.D. and her husband, a computer science professor at Yale, are making a significant financial commitment to establish the Alice E. and Michael J. Fischer Teaching Chair in Computer Science Endowed Fund at the University of New Haven.

May 16, 2022

Alice Fischer, Ph.D.
Alice Fischer, Ph.D.

As part of the University of New Haven's Spring Commencement on Sunday, May 15, President Steven H. Kaplan, Ph.D., announced that Alice Fischer, Ph.D., a 40-year member of the faculty, and her husband are making a $2 million donation to establish the Alice E. and Michael J. Fischer Endowed Teaching Chair in Computer Science.

The gift will be used to recruit and retain a prestigious faculty member who will teach core computer science skills and champion computer science education at the University. In recognition of her generosity and her distinguished career as an educator, researcher, and scholar, the University awarded Dr. Fischer, an honorary Doctor of Engineering during its morning Commencement ceremony.

"This is an incredibly generous gesture by the Fischers," said President Kaplan. "Alice has long been one of our most distinguished professors, and she is beloved by generations of students. She has made a far-reaching impact on countless graduates, and her legacy is unmatched. On behalf of our entire community, and our future students who will benefit from the Fischers' inspiring philanthropy, I thank Alice and Michael for their most worthwhile investment."

Alice Fischer joined the University in 1982. The following year she created and launched the University's undergraduate program in computer science and has led the program since then.

Alice Fischer, Ph.D.
Alice Fischer, Ph.D., addresses the Class of 2022.

Throughout her tenure at the University, she developed and re-developed myriad courses, including those exploring operating systems, data structure and algorithms, C++, discrete mathematics, and social and professional issues in computing.

She co-wrote "Applied C: An Introduction and More," released in 2000, which was published in traditional Chinese for use in Taiwan and Hong Kong and in simplified Chinese for use in the Republic of China.

She was also a co-author of "The Anatomy of Programming Languages," published in 1992, which provided a comprehensive discussion of the components of a programming language and how a programming language is built and translated.

Dr. Fischer earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics with distinction from the University of Michigan, where she was a part of Phi Beta Kappa and Delta Phi Alpha. She earned both a master's degree in applied mathematics and a Ph.D. in computer science from Harvard University. The Fischers have three grown children and seven grandchildren.