News at the University of New Brunswick

UNB and IBM Collaborate to Bring IBM Centre for Advanced Studies to Atlantic Canada

Author: Communications

Posted on Oct 14, 2011

Category: myUNB

The demand for faster access to large volumes of data through computers, mobile phones and cameras is on the rise.  To address this issue, UNB and IBM are teaming to establish an IBM Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS Atlantic) on the UNB Fredericton campus. Physicians, government organizations and retailers alike must be ready to handle the big data flood being generated every single second from external and internal sources, make sense of it in real time and be able to predict on it. Yet, as hardware processing speed continues to increase exponentially, software systems need to also keep pace. Working with IBM, UNB will create a set of software tools and techniques to help produce meaningful commercial and research gains such as helping “big data” analytics teams attack more complex challenges more quickly or enabling cloud computing environments to get more work done on each watt of power consumed. “Computer companies link computer processors together to increase performance and better manage large amounts of data,” said Ken Kent. “The challenge is that the software needed to run these multiple processors, or multi-core systems, is lagging behind.  Through CAS Atlantic, our team will work with the researchers and staff at IBM to speed up and develop new software to run the multi-core systems, and in turn, make computer systems run faster.” Java is one of the most popular programming languages in use today, and the CAS Atlantic team will concentrate on improving Java performance and scalability on multi-core systems.  By making Java better suited for cloud environments and big data analytics researchers can advance the state of the art in these field. In its first three years, the $5M joint IBM-UNB research centre, will involve at least five faculty and approximately 30 graduate students and research assistants at UNB. These researchers will collaborate closely with IBM research and development staff in compilation and virtual machine technology so the software ultimately takes utmost advantage of the latest hardware: making “big data” workloads run faster, and more efficiently than ever before. “This partnership is really a win-win,” said Dr. Kent. “IBM gains the research expertise and capabilities of our experts in Java technologies, and our students in return receive hands-on, real-world experience that provides them a foot in the door with one of the largest technology companies in the world.” In addition to bringing an advanced studies centre to UNB, IBM will offer three CAS Fellowships to support top graduate students undertaking thesis research at UNB Fredericton. ”IBM has a long history of working with the best research minds in Canada, “ said Marcellus Mindel, head of academic partnerships, IBM Canada. “This collaborative work will help us continue to address the demands for faster processing speeds so both commercial and research clients can continue to quickly turn mountains of data into opportunity.” For more information about IBM’s Centre for Advanced Studies, please visit: . -30- Contact: Carrie Bendzsa Manager, External Communications IBM Canada 613-356-5917 Lori Tozer UNB Faculty of Computer Science 506-452-6321