According to an email just sent out by Dean Boyce, the Engineering Library on the 4th floor of Mudd will be replaced with the Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering during the next school year. That’s a fancy way of saying that it will become office space, with accommodations for 17 professors and 80 grad students.

While the Engineering Library is not as shiny as the Science & Engineering Library in NoCo, it’s a place to study and print things before class. According to Robert Ying, the student councils are still trying to find a way to replace the lost undergraduate space. Boyce mentioned that they’ll make the Costa Engineering Commons on the 7th floor of CEPSR available at night, which may help a little. (She also mentioned the new maker space in Mudd 1220, but that won’t really help students if they’re looking for a place to do homework. Bwog isn’t sure why that’s relevant.)

If there’s something good that comes of this for undergraduates, at least the Carleton Lounge will be renovated. Hopefully its tables won’t wobble as much.

Here’s the letter Dean Boyce sent to SEAS students:

Dear SEAS students,

As the spring semester comes to a close, I want to share with you some details about the first phase of our plans to provide a modern, reconfigured student space on the 4th floor of Mudd. When finished, the Carleton Lounge and cafeteria area will be completely renovated to create an entirely new student commons, featuring a combination of a casual soft seating area, individual work and group work areas, and a quiet study area, with a seating capacity for 160. The design provides more flexible, reconfigurable space for large gatherings and also will include a modern café.

During the summer, we will begin working on “behind the scenes” areas so you may not notice a big difference when you return to school in the fall. However, this initial phase will ensure that the following construction phases will be the least disruptive to student life as possible.

When the fall semester begins, we will provide additional quiet study space in the Costa Commons in CEPSR. This recently renovated flexible space, formerly Interschool Lab in 750 CEPSR, will be open evenings for student use. In addition, we also will be opening a new “Makerspace” in the Botwinick Lab on Mudd 1200.

As part of the overall renovations of Mudd, the former engineering library space will become a major hub for interdisciplinary theoretical and computational research in the Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering. This part of Mudd 400, together with part of Mudd 500, will be home for 17 faculty members and over 80 graduate students while also providing shared communal space for collaborative research and education discussions and interactions. Construction this summer will take place in this area and continue through the school year.

To allow us to go forward with these renovation plans, we will permanently close the Monell Engineering Library on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 5 p.m. Library services supporting SEAS students, faculty, and researchers will be relocated to the beautiful new Science & Engineering Libraries in the Northwest Corner building. The Engineering Reserves collection will be moved to this new location and will be available for circulation by May 27, 2014.

Library staff has identified high use monographs that already have been integrated into the collection in the Science & Engineering Libraries. A collection of heavily used mathematics materials have been moved to the Mathematics Library. The remaining monographs, print journals, and print reference materials will be moved to the Libraries’ offsite storage facility, ReCap, and will be available for campus delivery to the requestor’s library of choice for pickup. Usually, items requested before 2 p.m., Monday-Friday, will be available the next business day.

Access to online ejournal and ebook collections will continue uninterrupted. Columbia University Libraries will continue to enhance our collections and services for SEAS at the same research level. The primary library liaison to SEAS is Ellie Ransom, who is available for reference, instruction, consultations, and collection development issues. She can be reached at, and her office is 405 SEL. Should you have any questions concerning services or collections, feel free to contact Jane Winland, Director, Science & Engineering Libraries,, (212) 854-5588.

All of these changes promise to bring you, our students, an enriched and more pleasant and comfortable learning environment. I wish each of you all the best as you prepare for the close of the semester and a good summer.

Mary C. Boyce

Dean of Engineering
Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor