Duncan Hall

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We welcome your interest in the Department of Computer Science at Rice University and encourage you to visit us in Anne and Charles Duncan Hall. Please email the department at to schedule your visit.

Anne and Charles Duncan Hall

Rice University
Houston, Texas, USA

Duncan Hall serves as the home of Computer Science as well as other Computational Engineering programs at Rice University. Computational Engineering also includes Computational and Applied Mathematics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and several others.

Where is Duncan Hall?

The building is situated north of Lovett Hall, the oldest and most photographed building on campus. Visitors can enter the campus via Entrance One (1) on the corner of Main Street and Sunset Boulevard or Entrance Two (2) on Main Street. For deliveries, use Entrance 23 on Rice Boulevard.

Who Occupies Duncan Hall?

Duncan Hall is one of the flagship buildings of the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University. The building's offices and labs are occupied by members of departments like:

What Classrooms are in Duncan Hall?

Duncan Hall houses five classrooms ranging in occupancy from 35 - 73 students. All five classrooms are clustered around the main foyer space named Martel Hall. McMurtry Auditorium also opens into Martel Hall. The combination of the auditorium and hall allows Rice to host numerous professional meetings and guest lectures. The Symonds Digital Teaching Center is located outside the main building and is accessible from the front porch.

  • DCH 1042 - Shell Classroom - 46
  • DCH 1046 - Carroll Classroom - 46
  • DCH 1075 - Kieschnick Classroom - 35
  • DCH 1064 - Pollard Lecture Hall - 73
  • DCH 1070 - Mabee Lecture Hall - 73
  • DCH 1055 - McMurtry Auditorium - 240
  • DCH SYM II - Windows Computer Lab - 66

Thanks to generous support from several alumni, three of Rice University's residential colleges (Duncan College, McMurtry College, and Martel College) share similar names to this building and its most popular spaces. Visitors sometimes become confused that the front entrance for Duncan Hall is very close to McMurtry College, while McMurtry Auditorium and Martel Hall are located inside Duncan Hall rather than in those residential colleges.

More about Duncan Hall

The architect, John Outram, is known for his provocative use of interior and exterior decoration. Outram believes in an architecture of ideas and themes. He uses these themes to create thought-provoking interiors. He believes that buildings and their inhabitants interact in fundamental and subconscious ways. Bricks, mortar, concrete and wallboard are employed to foster a sense of community and to imbue Outram's buildings with a sense of energy and of purpose.

Thus, Duncan Hall is designed to encourage interaction across academic disciplines, specifically disciplines focused on applying computation to problems in engineering and science. It contains private spaces for concentration and public spaces for collaboration. It has laboratories and classrooms for education and auditoriums for presentation. Its interior vistas catch the eye and its exterior accents harmonize with the campus.

The ceiling mural in Martel Hall, Duncan Hall's main open space, is entitled "The Birth of Consciousness." It aptly conveys this message as envisioned in the mind of Outram. Viewing the mural is a regular stop on many Rice campus tours.

Keith Cooper, the L. John and Ann H. Doerr Professor of Computational Engineering and Associate Dean for Research in the George R. Brown School of Engineering, served as the faculty representative on the design team for Duncan Hall. For an inside look at the building's concept and construction, see Cooper's website: