June 14, 2009
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore Campus
The IBM Academy of Technology, an exclusive group of about 300 of IBM’s top technical leaders, provides technical leadership and helps shape IBM’s technical strategy. The Vice-Chair of the Academy, Dr. Jai Menon, was in Amrita recently to discuss opportunities for collaboration. Dr. Jai is also the global Vice-President of IBM’s University Collaboration programs. An IBM Fellow (an honor attained only by about ten people in IBM, a company of over three hundred thousand employees), Dr. Jai has over 50 patents to his credit.
Dr. Jai was accompanied by his colleague Sudar Oli, Program Manager of IBM-India University Relations. The visitors met with senior Amrita administrators and were taken on a tour of the campus. “We were honored to host the IBM team here at Amrita,” stated Amrita’s Vice-Chancellor Dr. Venkat Rangan. “In addition to fostering high-impact research initiatives, IBM also sponsors several contests for university students and Amrita students participate in these. In 2008, our students emerged champions in the IBM – Great Mind Challenge Contest beating thousands of other teams.”
On this visit, the IBM team, in addition to a general presentation about IBM’s vision for collaborative institution programs, made a presentation about cloud computing. This cloud computing architecture is currently being tested in Amrita’s virtual lab setup with the IBM Shared University Research (SUR) Award. The lab is powered by an IBM Blade Server HS21 with 36 blades, each having 4 GB memory RAM and 3 TB storage space. Among Indian universities, this provides one of the most powerful virtual computing environments.
“The rapid pace of growth in the IT industry provides numerous opportunities to develop applications that will directly have an impact and help with the upliftment of society,” stated Dr. Venkat Rangan. “Our virtual lab environment provides students and researchers a rapidly scalable environment that can allow for many such applications to be easily designed, developed and deployed. Business or consumer services can be delivered with unbounded scale.” Amrita takes pride in the fact that initiatives that can benefit society are actively promoted here. It is also proud to partner with institutions that have a similar vision.