PACE STUDENTS HELP THINK UP A ‘SMART PLANET’ IN ONLINE JAM WITH IBM AND THE WORLD
The release below describes the collaborative participation of Pace University classes in Computer Science and Environmental Science during a three-day, on-line, global jam session (AKA ‘crowd sourcing’) that produced interesting findings about worldwide student attitudes. Taylor Vogt, a Pace political science major, was one of 20 students among the nearly 2000 participants to earn a merit award for “insightful and innovative contributions to the Jam discussion on how technology and business can help build a smarter planet in areas such as energy, traffic, water, education and healthcare.”
The release was sent today by IBM.
Media contact: Tim Willeford IBM 914-766-3389 firstname.lastname@example.org
Students See into the Future during IBM Jam; Faculty and Students from 40 Countries Collaborate with IBM to Build a Smarter Planet
IBM to Launch Facebook Student Mentoring Program, Unveils New Faculty Awards for Leading Jam Contributors
ARMONK, N.Y. – July 29, 2009: Eight of 10 students want universities to revamp traditional learning environments while over 90 percent want to join or start a Green Advocacy group at their campus. 64 percent of students believe that the world has a chance to reverse carbon emissions by 2025, and 60 percent believe that education and efficient transportation offer the best hope for sustainability of our cities.
These are just a few of the findings of a remarkable crowdsourcing process held by IBM (NYSE: IBM) called the Smarter Planet University Jam.
Nearly 2,000 students from more than 200 universities from 40 countries around the world took part in the Jam, showing that students around the world are eagerly seeking opportunities to work together with industry to create a Smarter Planet, and they are extremely optimistic about the future.
“The Smarter Planet University Jam was the first time that so many university-aged students came together in an online forum to brainstorm ideas to better our world,” said Jai Menon, vice president of technical strategy and university programs, IBM.
“Students are confident that their future will be a smarter place – a world where they will drive cars that get 100 miles per gallon, learn in virtual classrooms connected with students across the globe, and where they can run their businesses on a secure, energy-efficient and interconnected grid. They are boldly challenging the industry to transform that vision into their reality, and IBM is committed to meeting that challenge.”
In view of the Jam’s findings, following IBM’s announcement in June of a remote mentoring program for university students by IBM employees in India, IBM plans to expand remote mentoring worldwide after refinement of the pilot program in India.
IBM also announced plans to launch an online employee/student mentoring program on Facebook.
“Jammers” contributed hundreds of progressive insights during the massive crowdsourcing session, brainstorming on topics including the skills students need to be competitive in the globally integrated economy; environmental protection, water management and conservation; fostering pollution-free and inexpensive energy; and providing advanced healthcare as the world’s population continues to grow rapidly, especially in developing nations.
IBM’s report highlights the results of the Jam, which pointed to the positive outlook that students have about how they can affect the future as well as confirmed their incredible thoughts on education, going green, and other ideas to build a smarter planet.
Skills for a Globally Integrated Economy
Jammers foresaw the need to create a new model of university education around smarter campuses, which are interconnected, enriched and fed by on-the-ground knowledge being developed over social networks. Universities would incorporate broader use of virtual environments and videoconferencing to enhance learning, interaction, networking and communication.
In a poll conducted during the Jam, 82 percent of those polled believed that “virtual worlds” are a great place to learn these future skills.
Jammers also discussed that success in the services-based global economy requires academia, government, and industry to work together to create “T-shaped” people with deep knowledge in one discipline and broader knowledge in other areas. To meet this need, IBM has pioneered an interdisciplinary curriculum called Service Science, Management and Engineering (SSME), and is currently working with 250 universities around the globe.
Jammers identified project-based teams – across geographical, disciplinary and institutional boundaries – as the preferred model for this interdisciplinary education, ensuring a mix of business, technical and liberal arts knowledge for the development of richer, more innovative solutions.
Green and Beyond
The report also showed that this generation is definitely going green. Faculty and student jam participants contributed over 100 examples and ideas of how their universities are, or could be, “going green”, including:
• Using deterrents like expensive campus parking to encourage walking, extra charges for plastic bags in all campus shops, and setting weekly printing limits.
• Solar powered and LEED-certified campus buildings, and electric campus vehicles, to promote smart energy use.
Other Jam Highlights
Other highlights from the Smarter Planet University Jam emerged from the following areas:
• Smart Water Management: Jammers discussed the need to change the cost structure of water usage and to make policy changes to address the current lack of incentives to save water.
• Smarter Healthcare: Great discussions focused in on personalized health via mobile devices, which could be equipped with specialized diagnostic tools useful in chronic diseases management, specifically mentioned in the context of improving healthcare in developing countries.
• Smart Grid: Jammers saw the need for incentives for the private sector to innovate “in the open” and share via open source technology when appropriate, yet still be able to generate profits. Jam participants also voiced the need to create secure, attack resistant networks.
• Smart Cities: Jammers highlighted the potential use of Online Gaming, Augmented Reality, and 3D Worlds for involving citizens in planning the future of their cities. They agreed that virtual reality enables faster and cheaper assessment of ideas about Smart Cities than with real implementation.
Jammers contributed other insights around creating Smarter Transportation systems – including vehicles running from solar, electric, and other alternate energy sources including manual human leg power – and Smart Evacuation Systems.
Several universities held Jam sessions during class or hosted special events on campus.
Pace University combined Computer Science and Environmental Studies classes to jam together on its campus in Pleasantville, New York. “The Smarter Planet University Jam was one of the most exciting and innovative experiences I have ever been a part of. IBM is setting the standard for the corporate world to start learning from the people that depend on them,” said Taylor Vogt, a student majoring in political science at Pace University. “This kind of free-flowing forum is extremely vital to the sustainability movement, where far too often good ideas are never shared or worse, never listened to. I was proud to be a part of this experience.”
Both university faculty and administration were actively involved in the Jam. “The IBM Smarter Planet University Jam provided an excellent forum for our students and faculty to explore using technology to drive smart growth and innovation with people around the world,” said Dr. Yi Deng, director and professor, School of Computer Science, Florida International University. “I am happy to see IBM once again take the lead in combining business with social responsibility.”
Faculty Awards and Student Recognition
Two faculty members stood out as Jammers with unusual perception and ability to think forward. The top faculty contributor was Dr. Ismail Ari, assistant professor of electrical engineering at Ozyegin University in Instanbul, Turkey. Dr. Ari will receive an IBM Faculty Award to seed collaborative research with IBM in Smarter Planet topic areas of mutual interest. Some of his notable contributions included metrics for smart cities, the use of augmented reality to involve citizens in city planning, and development of smart evacuation systems.
A second IBM Faculty Award for research in Services Science, Management and Engineering (SSME) went to Ravi Nemana, executive director of SSME of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) at the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Nemana contributed key ideas and insights, including discussion on smarter healthcare for emerging regions and ideas for mobile applications that integrate social networks to help individuals manage their healthcare.
IBM also recognized 20 students for their insightful and innovative contributions to the Jam. The full report, including the list of top student contributors from around the globe, and podcast interviews with Jai Menon and the Faculty Award winners, is available at www.ibm.com/university/smartplanet_jam.
In addition, a blog with a deeper view from Jai Menon is available at www.asmarterplanet.com. More information about IBM’s Smarter Planet Education and university efforts is available at www.ibm.com/press/smarterplaneteducation or www.ibm.com/press/university.