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Guyot Hall, 1909. Photo: Princeton Library Division of Rare Books and Special Collections

The future of American philanthropy, according to former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, is massive contributions to computer science education — and to artificial intelligence in particular.

Driving the news: Schmidt and his wife, Wendy, donated an unspecified amount to Princeton to create a single, large computer science building.

  • The context for the Schmidt donation was a $350 million contribution by Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman for a new college at MIT focusing on the study of AI and computing.
  • "Steve's donation triggered an arms race among all the universities to match him. This is the next trend in philanthropy, in my view," Schmidt told me.

At Princeton, computer science has gone from a major that barely existed to the biggest on campus, the school said. It's spread over nine buildings with 44 full-time tenure-track faculty. The Schmidt donation will go to consolidate all that into a renovated building currently called Guyot Hall.

  • Gone will be the homage to Arnold Guyot, Princeton’s first professor of geology and geography (1854–1884), for whom the building has been named until now. (In a news release, Princeton said Guyot will be honored in a new environmental science space to be built elsewhere on the campus.)
  • The renovated building will be named the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Hall.

Go deeper

Starbucks drops worker vaccine mandate after SCOTUS ruling

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Starbucks announced in a memo to employees Tuesday that it has dropped plans to implement a vaccine mandate for all U.S. workers, AP reported on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The company's decision comes in response to the Supreme Court's ruling last week to block the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

1 hour ago - Health

Omicron hits American hospitals disproportionately hard

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

America is seeing more COVID hospitalizations than other wealthy countries during the Omicron surge, according to Our World in Data.

Why it matters: Vaccines keep the vast majority of COVID cases out of the hospital, but vaccination rates are also lower in the U.S. than these other countries.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: The end of the Omicron wave is in sight — Transplants rebound from COVID lull.
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden to announce plan to distribute 400 million masks for free — Government website for free COVID tests launches early.
  4. World: WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker