Purdue University was founded as a land grant university on May 6, 1869, when the Indiana General Assembly accepted the donation of land and money from John Purdue, the Lafayette businessman, in order to create a college of science, technology and agriculture in Purdue’s name. The act was taking advantage of the Morrill Act, which is the U.S. statute allowing the creation of land-grant colleges.
On September 16, 1874, the first classes were held at the institution, with six instructors and 39 students. Now, the West Lafayette, Indiana based university, aside from being the Flagship University of the six-campus Purdue University system, admits the second largest number of students of any university in the state of Indiana. It is also the second largest public university in terms of international student population in the country today.
The university offers undergraduate and graduate programs with 210 major areas of study. Highly recognized as being the first college credit offered in flight training, the first four year bachelors degree in aviation and to have the first university airport, Purdue University is greatly credited for its influence in the country’s aviation history.
Also, the university is known for their competitive engineering programs. Recently, researchers at its College of Technology unveiled its partnership with two Korean robotics companies and a Korean University in developing a firefighting robot. This robot would benefit not only the university but also the Lafayette-West Lafayette area.
Purdue University, in collaboration with DRB Fatec, Hoya Robotics and Kyung Hee University are geared towards extensive robotics research aside from researching US-based commercialization and manufacturing opportunities in the area.
Purdue’s ART Lab, or Assistive Robotics Technology Laboratory, is the university’s multidisciplinary robotics research laboratory. It concentrates on researching and developing technologies that would enable assistive robots to have several applications. To date, the laboratory is researching mobile robotics and multi-robot systems like the Darwin and RAMI robots.
From its humble beginning of being a land-grant university, Purdue University is fast becoming a major research university in the U.S. today.