Access to a range of IBM software enables, empowers University

By Janette Neuwahl Tannen

Access to a range of IBM software enables, empowers University

By Janette Neuwahl Tannen
In a continuing affiliation between the University of Miami and IBM, students and faculty and staff members now have a gateway into technological tools from the computer giant.

Students, faculty, and staff at the University of Miami now have access to a range of digital tools from IBM thanks to a growing partnership between the global computer corporation and the University’s Institute for Data Science and Computing (IDSC).

Late in the fall, IBM donated cloud accounts to all University students and faculty and staff members for educational and research purposes. These accounts also offer access to IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence tool, Internet of Things, blockchain, and cybersecurity software, along with storage and access to more of the company’s software, which many other institutions must purchase.

“This gives the University the ability to use the best technology in the world from a leading computer corporation, and it will also give us access to resources that enable and empower our research—to make it more competitive both nationally and internationally,” said Yelena Yesha, a Knight Foundation endowed chair of artificial intelligence and machine learning, professor of computer science, and IDSC’s innovation officer and head of international relations. “By training on this infrastructure, our students will become even more competitive in the workplace.” 

The technology also comes with a commitment from IBM to offer workshops and training on the cloud software for anyone interested, which will likely happen during the spring semester, Yesha said.

“IBM is interested in collaborating more broadly with all faculty and students across the campus, supporting the use of cloud, and the services it delivers in their research and teaching,” said Andy Rindos, IBM’s head of cloud university relations, program director of cloud platform client success, and head of its Center for Advanced Studies based in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. “We are interested in building long-term relationships that lead to deeper collaborations with both professors and students.”

Rindos also hopes that students and IBM researchers can collaborate on projects and research grants in the coming years.

The University has maintained a relationship with IBM—in 2019, the University purchased its custom-built supercomputer, Triton, from IBM, which drastically accelerated data processing speeds—however, the donation solidifies a bond between Yesha and IBM that spans more than two decades. As a former professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Yesha began working with IBM in 1997 as a fellow in its Center for Advanced Studies. She still serves as a fellow and regularly collaborates with the company’s researchers on grants funded by the National Science Foundation, among others.

Yesha said that she looks forward to cultivating an even stronger connection between the computing giant and the University in the future. “We hope this is the beginning of a broad relationship with UM and IBM,” Yesha noted.

To learn about how to gain access to these IBM tools, contact IDSC at idsc@miami.edu or 305-243-4962.