‘Smarter Planet’ tour comes to Notre Dame

Author: Carol Elliott

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The University of Notre Dame will become part of a “Smarter Planet” during a day of campus activities sponsored by IBM from 3:15-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 14.

The activities are a part of IBM’s "Smarter Planet Comes to You" University skills tour scheduled to visit more than 30 universities in the United States and Europe in 2011. The objective of the tour is to introduce students to the skills and technology needed for the global marketplace. It’s part of IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative, a comprehensive approach to integrating complex systems to be more instrumented, intelligent and interconnected.  This involves a wide arrange of topics, from sustainability, to management of city growth, to advanced computing technology.

"IBM works deeply with universities and their students to help make the world a smarter place –  one where we live in smart cities that have advanced technology in key areas like healthcare, energy and transportation," said Jim Corgel, general manager of IBM’s Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and Development Relations. "The Smarter Planet Comes to You Tour is a fun way to raise student awareness around the Smarter Planet initiative and make it real to our next generation of business and technology leaders."

The event kicks off at 3:15 p.m. with a scavenger hunt starting at Heritage Hall that is open to all Notre Dame undergraduate and graduate students. Registration is required. Participants in the 60-minute hunt or “trek” earn points by fulfilling a number of tasks, such as shooting a photo, scanning a QR code or solving a puzzle.  Prizes will be awarded for the first- through fourth-place teams, with the first-place team winning a $400 grand prize. Students also will have the opportunity to visit IBM kiosks to learn more about jobs and skill development, play the CityOne city-planning game online, and learn about the analytics behind Watson Jeopardy! experience.

The hunt is followed by a 5:30 p.m. talk by Corgel in the Monogram Room located in the Joyce Center, who will give an overview of the Smarter Planet initiative.

Corgel’s talk is followed at 5:45 p.m. by a panel discussion, "Building a Smarter Planet for Future Leaders," involving several Notre Dame faculty members, IBM experts and Gary A. Gilot, the director of public works for the City of South Bend, who was named the nation’s 2010 “Public Works Leader of the Year.”

Additional panelists include:

·        Tim Ruggaber, director of Operations, EmNet

·        Suzanne Coshow, professional specialist, Mendoza College of Business

·        Robert Dunn, professional specialist, Notre Dame Center for Nano Science and Technology

A networking reception closes the evening. For more information or to register, visit http://www.smarterplanetcomestoyou.com/

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