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IBM Teams With More Than 300 Colleges and Universities to Educate New Generation of Innovators

Power Systems Academic Initiative Delivers Technology for Cloud and Big Data Training Programs

ARMONK, N.Y., Feb. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that its Power Systems Academic Initiative (PSAI) has achieved a major milestone by enrolling more than 300 colleges and universities around the globe in the program, providing these institutions with access to IBM Power Systems technology and helping to arm students with skills to handle new workloads like Big Data, cloud, mobile and social, that are crucial in today's job market.

IBM Corporation logo.

The explosion of data and the cloud has fueled the need for employees with specialized talent. Between now and 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a faster-than-average increase in employment opportunities for computer and information research scientists. This means that employers in every industry are seeking job candidates who possess the skills to use the hardware that can uncover insights from data to solve problems, act on findings, enter new markets, and gain a competitive advantage.

"Linux and other open innovation platforms have become a primary source of development in today's technology marketplace, and companies are looking to colleges and universities to produce a workforce equipped with the skills required to innovate in these environments," said Terri Virnig, Vice President, Power Systems Ecosystem and Strategy at IBM. "IBM is committed to partnering with colleges and universities around the world to provide students hands-on experience with the technology that will make an impact in today's data-driven marketplace."

For professors teaching computer science, information technology, business, or marketing courses, IBM offers a wide range of products and solutions that can help enhance curriculum and enable students to develop competitive skills on the latest industry-standard software, systems, and tools. For example, Zend Technologies works with the PSAI to offer PHP courseware and related software development tools to university students learning how to code. Additionally, is developing an IBM i RPG programming course for members and COMMON - Users Group is also developing a student RPG certification exam. 

Relaunched in October 2012 with only 135 schools on the roster, IBM's Power Systems Academic Initiative has grown 152 percent over the last two years and continues to expand. Schools involved in the program include:

New York University's Polytechnic School of Engineering offers a graduate level course in enterprise data management that provides students access to data store technologies, including IBM's Power Development Cloud, DB2, nuodb/MySQL and MongoDB applications for processing very large datasets. With access to these platforms, students gain firsthand experience dealing with large data sets and gain important skills in data warehousing, ETL, optimization, and dealing with structured and unstructured data.

"Our goal for this course and the objective of IBM's Power Systems Academic initiative are the same – to create a unique learning environment and facilitate skills development for our students, allowing them to focus on the techniques and principles instead of infrastructure," said Raman Kannan, Adjunct Professor of Management of Technology at the NYU School of Engineering. "IBM's initiative provides us access to advanced technology necessary for this environment."

Meanwhile, researchers at Virginia Tech are using the Power Development Cloud to create and test parallel mathematical software for global and stochastic optimization.

"Global and stochastic optimization problems are ubiquitous in science and engineering," said Layne Watson, Professor of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Aerospace and Ocean Engineering at Virginia Tech. "IBM's Power Development Cloud allows us to create new algorithms and software to help optimize models in ongoing projects in systems biology, machine learning, and aerospace engineering."

These university partnerships support IBM's Academic Initiative, which includes a larger network of more than 16,000 unique partnerships between IBM and higher education professionals to help advance curriculum in areas including Big Data and Analytics, Cloud Computing, Security and Social Business. IBM also recruits from universities and business schools throughout the U.S. via career fairs and info sessions, leading classroom discussions and participating in student organization events.

IBM is committed to continuing to expand the Power Systems Academic Initiative around the world, equipping students with critical skills on Power Systems including Linux, AIX , IBM i and virtualization training, that will expand their job and career opportunities worldwide.

Academic Initiative members are eligible to receive professionally developed courseware, related software, access to technical libraries and subject matter experts, and remote virtual access for themselves and their students to a Power Systems environment - - all at no charge.

For a complete list of the schools participating or for more information on the Power Systems Academic Initiative, please visit:

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Contact: Ciri Haugh, (972) 345-4626, [email protected]

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