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Richard T. Cheng Professorship in Computer Science

Richard T. Cheng
Richard T. Cheng

Dr. Richard T. Cheng (MS EE '69, PhD CS '71) established a professorship in 2015 to help Illinois Computer Science retain and attract talented faculty. An influential educator, who founded the computer science departments at the Rochester Institute of Technology and Old Dominion University, Dr. Cheng's philanthropy at Illinois began more than 15 years ago when he established the Richard T. Cheng Endowed Fellowship in Computer Science. Dr. Cheng's influence also reached beyond CS departments in the United States. He helped establish the College of Computer Science and Engineering at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia, where he also advised the government about the nation's computer network.

An entrepreneur, he founded ECI Systems & Engineering in 1980. At its peak, the Virginia-based company was a leading integrated systems provider for the U.S. military and government, with annual sales of $50 million, more than 500 employees, and 32 offices around the world. In 2011, Cheng was recognized by the College of Engineering at Illinois with the Alumni Award for Distinguished Service for his outstanding leadership in education and in business.