The UC Davis Center for Quantum Mathematics and Physics, or QMAP, finally has its permanent home on the two upper floors of the Physical Sciences and Engineering Library. Next, the first and lower floors of the standalone building will be renovated for the campus’s growing research programs, including those associated with data sciences and artificial intelligence.
“By co-locating these initiatives, the hope is to facilitate cross-campus and interdisciplinary collaboration among them,” Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Mary Croughan wrote in a March 18 letter to the Council of Deans and Vice Chancellors, members of the Academic Senate and Academic Federation, and all students. “In order to best respond to emerging interdisciplinary research needs in the future, the space is planned to be flexible enough to evolve as programs grow and shift.”
Seismic and fire safety retrofit
QMAP construction began in 2018, coupled with extensive retrofitting of the entire building for seismic and fire safety. The Physical Sciences and Engineering Library, or PSEL, stayed open on the first and lower floors until it too vacated the building due to the construction.
By the summer of 2019, all library collections and circulation functions had been integrated with other campus libraries. “I am grateful to the library staff for their commitment to addressing the collections needs of various disciplines that previously relied on this space,” the provost wrote. “In addition, the campus added 300 new study seats at Shields Library — more than were displaced at PSEL — to mitigate the loss of study space for our students at PSEL.”
While there are no plans for the building to resume operations as a library facility, the UC Davis Library will retain a footprint for a satellite DataLab collaborative office.
Meanwhile, the QMAP floors are ready for occupancy, said Tracy Ligtenberg, assistant dean for executive administration in the College of Letters and Science. “While a few faculty have moved in, it is not operating as we would expect due to the COVID-19 restrictions,” she said.
Distinguished Professor Andreas Albrecht, Department of Physics and Astronomy, expects more activity this spring and certainly by summer and fall, according to Ligtenberg. “The research group is excited to move in and start collaborating,” she said.
The provost said she had appointed a committee to oversee completion of the building systems and renovation of the first floor and lower level. She listed some of the programs in line for space in PSEL: the TETRAPODS Institute for Data Science; the Center for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Research, or CeDAR; and the AI Institute for Next Generation Food Systems. Study and office space for other emerging AI or data science programs and for the new data science major may also be included as plans develop.
The PSEL Renovation 2020 Project Implementation Committee includes representatives from the College of Letters and Science, Office of Research, library and TETRAPODS, along with the relevant campus units for planning, facilities and construction management.
— UC Davis Dateline staff