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IBM's Watson Finds Home At Rensselaer Poly Tech

IBM's cognitive computer will let university do advanced computing research and expose students to big data analytics disciplines.

David F Carr

January 30, 2013

2 Min Read

20 Top Masters Degrees For Big Data Analytics Professionals

20 Top Masters Degrees For Big Data Analytics Professionals


20 Top Masters Degrees For Big Data Analytics Professionals (click image for larger view and for slideshow)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has secured a complete installation of the IBM Watson system through an IBM grant program.

RPI faculty, researchers, and students will get an opportunity to work hands-on with the latest iteration of the cognitive computing system that famously bested human champions at Jeopardy! in 2011.

"The notion here is that we want to take the Watson system and get it into the university academic world," said Michael Henesey, a VP of Business Development who works with IBM Research. "We think this is going to produce great things."

[ Ready to polish your crystal ball? Read To Avoid Nasty Surprises, Higher Ed Turns To Prediction.]

RPI was chosen partly because of its strength in cognitive computing research and because computer scientists there were involved in some of the original research projects that led to the creation of Watson. In addition, RPI has long provided talent to IBM, which is headquartered in New York State and has one of its principle research centers there. This is the latest in a series of IBM partnerships with universities aimed at training data scientists.

"We'll hopefully generate strong new professionals out of it," Henesey said. That's the focus of IBM's broader efforts involving more than 200 educational institutions globally in big data and analytics research and education, he said. "We want skills to flow and become available to us. Our customers are also telling us this is a top concern of theirs because of the vast amount of information they're coming into contact with from social media and sensor data. We're seeing that 90% of the world's data was created in the last two years -- that's a fun statistic -- so we know it's growing, but the trick is how do we work with it."

About the Author(s)

David F Carr

Editor, InformationWeek Government/Healthcare

David F. Carr oversees InformationWeek's coverage of government and healthcare IT. He previously led coverage of social business and education technologies and continues to contribute in those areas. He is the editor of Social Collaboration for Dummies (Wiley, Oct. 2013) and was the social business track chair for UBM's E2 conference in 2012 and 2013. He is a frequent speaker and panel moderator at industry events. David is a former Technology Editor of Baseline Magazine and Internet World magazine and has freelanced for publications including CIO Magazine, CIO Insight, and Defense Systems. He has also worked as a web consultant and is the author of several WordPress plugins, including Facebook Tab Manager and RSVPMaker. David works from a home office in Coral Springs, Florida. Contact him at [email protected]and follow him at @davidfcarr.

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