Diebold Inc. and the University of Akron want students’ eyes and brains on the cloud.
As in “cloud computing,” a phrase that refers to processing and storing computerized information using remote services.
Think of it as a way to get different computers, operating systems and smart phones — things that can’t speak directly with each other — to communicate over cyberspace. Cloud computing is critical technology that operates largely behind the scenes.
The Green maker of ATMs and security systems and the university have teamed up for three specialized cloud computing courses this fall. There are only a handful of other similar programs nationwide, the company and university said.
Twelve University of Akron computer science students will study and work alongside six Diebold software engineers as part of the cloud computing curriculum, the company and university announced Friday. The program will also involve internships at Diebold and possibly jobs after graduation. Some students will team up with the Diebold software engineers to work on non-Diebold projects as well.
The University of Akron program will teach cloud computing fundamentals, tools and platforms; cloud “mashups,” or website pages or applications that use or combine data; best practices in cloud applications; and cloud security, the company said in a news release.
“It’s not taught as a specific course of studies” at colleges, said Frank Natoli, Diebold’s executive vice president and chief innovation officer. In many places, people find they need to learn cloud computing technology on the job, he said.
The program will give college students state-of-the-art skills and help Diebold’s engineers with their professional development, he said.
“The technology is evolving so rapidly,” Natoli said.
Plus, it is a way for Diebold to give back to Ohio, he said.
“This is a pretty portable skill set,” Natoli said. The University of Akron program will help create a pool of skilled students who can stay and work in Ohio on cutting- edge technologies, he said.
Diebold is using and developing cloud technology to easily and securely deliver products and services to its customers, Natoli said. That means those businesses will be able to use the cloud to update and manage their hardware and software products and services, he said.
“This partnership will help fill identified work-force needs and contribute to innovative technological advances. The interactions our students will have with Diebold engineers, both in the classroom and through co-ops and dedicated projects, will help create for them an outstanding academic experience — a true Akron experience,” said William M. Sherman, university senior vice president, provost and chief operating officer.
The curriculum co-developer and instructor is Kathy Liszka, University of Akron professor of computer science. Chien-Chung Chan, professor of computer science, and Michael Collard, assistant professor of computer science, are also part of the program, the university said.
Diebold is part of the university’s Computer Science Advisory Board.
Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or email@example.com.