Colleges Work With Industry Partner

By Wylie Wong Print this article Print

Universities partner with IBM to give students access to advanced technologies.

The Yale School of Management, in New Haven, Conn., has partnered with IBM to develop coursework that teaches MBA students analytics skills. Students at the school’s Center for Customer Insights, for example, are learning to take customer opinions from the Web (such as social media sites and company blogs), analyze that data and discover trends to improve customer service and marketing campaigns.

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“With social media, businesses are increasingly realizing that the strategic use of this data could be important for businesses,” says K. Sudhir, professor of marketing and director of the Yale China India Consumer Insights Program.

Sudhir’s students analyzed Intuit’s TurboTax Website to determine the biggest problems facing users, in terms of tax return and software questions. After completing their analysis, the students advised Intuit on the best way to restructure the Website, so users can more easily get the best answers to their questions.

Yale’s Center for Customer Insights, which is a member of the IBM Academic Initiative, receives free access to IBM technology, as well as course materials, training and curriculum development.

Touching the Cloud

Pace University’s School of Computer Science and Information Systems, in New York City, is one of 20
colleges using the IBM Academic Skills Cloud, which provides free development tools and software over the cloud. This is giving students hands-on experience with cloud computing.

Students in Christelle Scharff’s “Concepts and Structures of Internet Programming” class learn about database concepts, fundamentals of programming languages, networking, Web application architectures, and grid and cloud computing. In the past, her students had to install and configure software, development tools and operating systems on their own computers. Now, they simply log on and access the software from the cloud.

“Our students can access the software from wherever they are,” says Scharff, an associate professor of computer science. “Cloud computing is something they’ve heard about, but now they are interacting with it and are more productive.”

This article was originally published on 2011-07-28
Wylie Wong is a freelance writer for Baseline magazine.
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