Driving the Next Generation Academic Institution

Speakers

John O'Donoghue - Dell
Tim Horgan - CIT

Today the pandemic response is driving a paradigm shift into how education is delivered through all educational institutions. During this period, education institutions have had to become agile due to the constantly changing environment we live in. As students begin to return to a different educational landscape, academic institutions are working to deliver a multitude of services to keep students engaged on their academic journey. This includes the shift in the learning paradigm to a more blended learning approach, digitizing beyond just the lecture expanse but the access to what were traditionally on-campus resources such as computer labs, library, etc.

Prior to the pandemic, Cork Institute of Technology, Dell Technologies and VMware had being working closely together to build an approach that would deliver 21st century services. This was driven by the already changing landscape of students utilizing online learning services to satisfy their learning needs. This process has since been accelerated since the start of the pandemic.

What are these new services which we have being working on building out? Working closely with the Cork Institute of Technologies Faculty of Engineering and Science they had one objective - How do we offer complex services in a simple way to ensure easy access to all students and researchers?  The complex services we wanted to develop range from high end engineering applications to the emerging field of AI. The aim of developing these systems has being simple access and ease of use leaving the ‘Science to the Scientists’.

Working closely with the Head of the AI Course in CIT and with our AI & HPC Innovation Lab we developed a system for Student and Researcher Access which enabled users to run highly complex jobs with a faster return to results. This system utilized high complex HPC Technology with all the AI Software stack built in and from the user’s perspective delivered a simple GUI System in which they could focus on the coding of their AI models, removing the complexity of high-performance compute. Overall this system delivers a low TCO, breaks down the digital divide, delivers faster results, is accessible from anywhere enabling blended learning and as a result, empowers the next generation of Data Scientist and Research for Ireland.

Beyond delivering this AI System, CIT, Dell and VMware are continuing to work closely together, developing a long-term strategy to deliver more services which allows for the continued development of a blended learning approach and breaks down the digital divide allowing all students access to the highest quality of resources. We are currently working closely with CIT to develop a solution to deliver further applications through our Limerick Solution Center. The focus of these projects is to give students access to all resources required to have a successful academic journey.

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