The University of Sydney is the first university in Australia to have a computing science department. From its inception at the forefront of the computing age, the university has always provided strong support to computing teaching and research.
The origins of computing at the university started with the building of a high speed computer for the physics school in 1954. The funds for the high speed computer, SILLIAC, were from a generous donation from Adolph Basser, one of the university’s leading benefactors.
By 1961 research and teaching of computer science had increased to such an extent, that a computing science department was created within the physics school. In 1979 the Department of Computer Science separated from the School of Physics, and moved into the Madsen Building which formerly housed the CSIRO National Measurement Laboratory, the laboratory that had constructed Australia's first computer, CSIRAC.
In 2001, the Department of Computer Science was renamed the School of Information Technologies in recognition of the size and quality of the programs offered by and research conducted in the area.
In June 2006 the School of IT moved to a new purpose built building which has enabled it to maintain its position as one of the key institutions in information technology teaching and research.