IBM announced that the University of Texas has joined IBM's Academic
Initiative to help better prepare students for the information
technology (IT) and computer science jobs of tomorrow. IBM has
chosen UT to participate in the program, which it is also making
available to select schools around the country.
The announcement was made at the IBM Austin Center for Advanced
Studies' Sixth Annual Conference where IBM supported researchers from
more than 20 universities worldwide presented their innovative
techniques and cutting-edge research results in the areas of hardware,
software, systems technology and business management.
The university will collaborate with IBM on several levels, including
skills- building, curriculum development, and academic research and
recruitment. This initiative will expand upon ongoing partnerships that
IBM has established with the University of Texas which already are
achieving results in Austin. In fact, UT is among IBM's top schools for
recruitment, a testament to the caliber of education students are
IBM also announced a new Shared University Research (SUR) grant awarded
to UT to support a second phase of research on the UT Grid project
which will secure two IBM employees to work full-time on Phase II of
the project with UT.
Led by the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), the goal of the UT
Grid project is to facilitate advanced research and new educational
applications by developing and deploying software technologies to
integrate the diverse computational, storage, visualization, data and
instrument resources of The University of Texas. The project evaluates
and uses existing distributed and Grid computing technologies and
develops additional software to integrate these resources. A major
thrust of the project is to integrate from "personal- scale to
terascale" to provide software that links people's laptops and desktops
directly into the campus Grid and facilitates easier usage of the
distributed large-scale resources around the campus.
The second phase of the project will focus on expanding the Grid and
extending the applications deployed on the Grid to new areas such as
oil exploration using visualization of seismic data. This SUR grant is
part of the latest series of Shared University Research (SUR) awards,
bringing IBM's contributions to foster collaborative research to more
than $75 million over the last three years.
"Our relationship with IBM is firing on all cylinders. Every year UT
computer sciences faculty members receive IBM awards, which help them
start innovative research programs in architecture, compilation,
networking, AI, formal methods, and others", said J. Moore, chairman of
the computer sciences department at the University of Texas. "IBM has
long been one of the most active recruiters of our graduates and we
work closely with IBM on several major projects, including IBM's PERCS
project and our own TRIPS project -- a revolutionary new microprocessor
architecture designed to help industry stay on Moore's curve."
"The number of people training in computer sciences is dropping
nationally even as the US Department of Commerce projects that science
and engineering job growth will be largest in the IT sector," continued
Moore. "IBM's pro- active Academic Initiative is an excellent example
of an industry-academic alliance to help solve a major problem for the
State and Nation."
The IBM Academic Initiative is an innovative program offering a wide
range of technology education benefits to meet the goals of most
colleges and universities. IBM will work with schools that support open
standards and seek to use open source and IBM technologies for teaching
purposes both directly and virtually via the Web.
As part of the Academic Initiative, IBM will work with select schools
that support open standards to achieve three key objectives:
- Training an IT workforce to fill the new kinds of jobs that are emerging at IBM and across the industry.
- Providing the right skills to the next generation of IT workers to ensure they are qualified for the jobs of tomorrow.
- Ensuring that universities have the most current, relevant
curricula that map to the kinds of jobs that are expected, so schools
can be attractive for enrollment, funding and growth.
"We must help ensure that the students of today are prepared to be the
technology leaders of tomorrow," said Margaret Ashida, director of
corporate ecruitment at IBM. "As new high-value, high-paying jobs
continue to emerge, we are pleased to be working with UT in our mutual
commitment to fill the skill pipeline. Through the IBM Academic
Initiative, UT can infuse open technology throughout their IT
curriculum and provide their students with the relevant skills,
training and open standards knowledge so they can succeed."
In an increasingly competitive global economy, the IT leaders of
tomorrow will be pursuing innovations that will come from a fusion of
several different disciplines. IBM, which champions open standards as
the technology of choice for independent software vendors (ISVs), the
leading influencers of today's marketplace, now seeks to advance open
standards among the next generation of IT professionals. At the same
time it is helping reverse a troubling trend, the lack of enough
qualified science and technology students with skills to lead the
future of the IT industry.