Senior representatives of IBM Canada met with members of the York University community to discuss IBM’s academic initiatives and potential opportunities for collaboration with researchers. The meeting took place Thursday, May 22 at York’s Keele campus.
The presentation highlighted IBM’s current participation in research-relevant programs, including areas of high performance computing and cloud computing. It also considered the scope of teaching and learning technologies in an academic environment.
“As York has recently joined the Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP), a consortium of several universities in Southern Ontario with IBM as the key industry partner, this presentation offered a great opportunity for interested researchers in all fields to learn more about potential cooperation and assistance, in particular within the SOSCIP framework,” said Walter Tholen, associate vice-president research.
IBM representatives discussed a number of resources available to York researchers as part of the SOSCIP consortium, including its academic initiative, which provides in-kind software to researchers at no charge to help strengthen educational programs, and the Worldwide Analytics Knowledge Exchange (WAKE), a community of researchers who share best practices around curriculum development. Both resources are also available to anyone on campus for the purpose of teaching and learning.
They also discussed innovative new technologies at IBM, including Watson, a cognitive technology that processes information more like a human than a computer by understanding natural language, generating hypotheses based on evidence and learning as it goes, and its ability to analyze and work with big data.
SOSCIP is a research consortium that was established in April 2012. The consortium pairs academic and industry researchers with high performance computing to analyze big data and fuel innovation leadership in Canada, originally within the areas of computing, health, water, energy and cities, but now also including digital media, cyber security, mining and advanced manufacturing.
The consortium members include the IBM Canada’s Research and Development Centre as well as seven Ontario universities, led by University of Toronto and Western University. Other participants include McMaster University, Queen’s University, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, University of Ottawa and University of Waterloo. York University joined the consortium on April 1.