Computing at Stanford

Stanford houses one of the most extensive computing environments of any university worldwide.

SUNet, the Stanford University Network, includes 258,400 active devices with Internet protocol addresses. SUNet transports 100 terabytes of incoming data and 95 terabytes of data outgoing between Stanford and the Internet each day. Stanford has 49,600 email accounts and delivers about 1.6 million incoming mail messages daily.

Students are not required to own computers at Stanford, although an estimated 99 percent own at least a laptop and/or other mobile device such as a smartphone. In addition, about 1,000 public computers provide access to hundreds of software and courseware packages, including in every campus residence. Public computers had more than 366,000 logins and were in use about 250,000 hours by 14,000 unique users during 2015–16.

Stanford has been a leader in computer use, research and instruction and the evolution of MOOCs, or “massive open online courses,” as well as flipped classes and technology-rich learning spaces. More than 6 million people have enrolled in Stanford’s free online courses since they were first offered in 2011.

In 2014, the Stanford Research Computing Facility opened to support the computing needs of the university and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. Researchers use the computing power for projects such as genome sequence analysis, protein modeling, computational fluid dynamic simulations and economic modeling.

Notable dates:

1953 High-speed electronic calculator installed on campus
1956 First computer installed
1957 First faculty member specializing in computers hired
1965 Computer Science Department founded
1968 Computer mouse, hypertext linking debuted at Stanford
1987 First residential computing program established at Stanford
1988 Stanford’s network is one of the first to connect to the Internet
1991 SLAC creates the first U.S. website
2005 Stanford is the first university to launch a public site on iTunes U
2013 Stanford engineers build computer using carbon nanotubes

This page last modified Feb 27, 2017.