Miami, FL- 06 May 2014: IBM and IBM Business Partner Flagship Solutions Group, Inc. today announced that St. Thomas University (STU) is delivering new innovative classroom curricula and collaborative research projects utilizing infrastructure from SoftLayer, an IBM Company. The cloud-based solution gives students and faculty from disciplines across the university the ability to launch initiatives in scientific research, mobile banking, sports administration and electronic medical recordkeeping.
Located in Miami Gardens, Florida, St. Thomas University (STU) is a private Catholic university renowned for leadership development in justice, science, business and ministry. With approximately 5,000 students, the university offers a diverse learning environment and a wide variety of extracurricular, spiritual and community-oriented programs. As part of its ongoing efforts to establish itself as the leading Catholic university in the Southeast, STU has been focused on bolstering its School of Science, Technology and Engineering Management (STEM).
As part of STU’s transformation effort, IBM will deliver six virtualized servers as well as work with STU to educate and train students on how to utilize cloud computing, provision servers, and move workloads. Access to IBM Business Analytics software will give students the ability to work on real industry projects, like exploring use of analytics tools to analyze sports stadium statistics and operations for Sun Life Stadium, an IBM customer.
The SoftLayer platform will also help give students unprecedented hands-on experience in applying technology to specific industry challenges through access to case studies, technology-based white papers and other teaching materials through the IBM Academic initiative portal which is an IBM hosted website with 3 million students, 25,000 faculty staff from 5,000 institutions globally.
“We want to invest dramatically in computer science, and with new faculty interest in cloud computing we sought IBM’s help to do something hands-on and that expands our research possibilities and collaboration at the same time,” said Dr. Wim Steelant, Dean of Science at STU. “The project with IBM is precisely the type of quality education we’re eager to offer our students; undergraduates at other universities don’t have opportunities like this. It’s amazing at what our students can do now using SoftLayer and how enthused they are about it already.”
With its new cloud computing enabled research facility providing lab capabilities for all students, STU is already attracting attention—and new students. Enrollment in physical sciences has increased by 30 percent, and the university credits its cloud computing investment for helping it retain more students as well. In a single year, the retention rate across STU’s science disciplines has increased by 30 percent as well.
“We are very proud to shepherd STU in their embrace of cloud computing in the university’s curriculum and research projects,” said Michael D. King, Vice President, Global Education Industry at IBM. “Education technology solutions via the cloud are a great way for educators to connect with students in the new age of computing. It’s already clear that our SoftLayer platform is helping STU engage with students in a more meaningful way, and ultimately better prepare them for success in the workforce.”
For more information on IBM education, visit ibm.com/education.