University Projects Demonstrate Value Of Cloud Computing, IBM Says

IBM said the projects demonstrate the value of cloud computing to solve "real-world problems."

In what IBM said is one of the first cloud-computing projects in the Middle East, IBM worked with Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Qatar University and Texas A&M University at Qatar to assemble the Qatar Cloud Computing Center, which, according to IBM, is now operational at the Carnegie Mellon facility.

The Qatar system will be used for a range of scientific modeling and simulation, data mining, computational biology, and financial modeling and forecasting applications, according to IBM. The system is already engaged in several pilot projects including seismic modeling and exploration for oil and gas, integrated production operations for the oil and gas industries, and an Arabic language Web search engine. IBM is also helping develop a curriculum for teaching cloud computing at the universities.

IBM also is working with the Computational Intelligence Research Group at the University of Pretoria in South Africa to assemble a cloud-computing system for next-generation medical research. The system, for example, would be used by students to study drug absorption rates and how drugs interact with a patient's DNA. The system will also help students better manage their research projects.

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IBM is similarly working with a consortium of seven universities in East Africa known as the Higher Education Alliance for Leadership Through Health for training public health students. And a cloud-computing system that's been operational since late last year at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, is being used for a range of compute-intensive jobs and for training IT engineering students.