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College of Engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio Online Magazine

UTSA announces creation of Open Cloud Institute

The University of Texas at San Antonio has announced the creation of the Open Cloud Institute, an initiative to develop degree programs in cloud computing and big data and foster collaboration with industry, positioning UTSA and San Antonio as world leaders in open cloud technology. The Open Cloud Institute is administered out of the College of Engineering, with the intension to provide ample opportunities for engineering, business, and science faculty and students to participate in charting future UTSA open cloud computing research and education

“We are thrilled to know the college played a major part in establishing the institute and look forward to working with the institute in making UTSA a world renown leader in open cloud computing,” said Daniel Pack, chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “With its broad and strategic partnerships with industry and government agencies, the institute will enable our students and faculty to engage in solving the most challenging and relevant cloud computing research problems of our society. As the faculty incorporates the research problems and technologies to solve those problems into engineering curricular, we expect that UTSA will become and will be known as the place to obtain the avant-garde cloud computing education in the world.”

Through the 80/20 Foundation and other industry supporters, the Open Cloud Institute will launch with initial gifts and in-kind investments of $9 million. The foundation has committed $4.8 million to support four endowed professorships, up to two faculty research positions, 10 graduate student endowments, and research funding.

Additionally, UTSA has received in-kind donations from industry leaders such as Rackspace, AMD, Intel, Mellanox Technologies and Seagate, and support from the Open Compute Project and the OpenStack Foundation. The investment re-affirms industry’s belief that UTSA is the nation’s academic leader in open cloud computing education and research.

“By recruiting the nation’s most sought-after scholars, UTSA has developed tremendous expertise in cloud, cyber, computing and analytics. The Open Cloud Institute further builds on that strength,” said UTSA President Ricardo Romo. “With the support of our industry partners, UTSA students and researchers now have unparalleled opportunities to collaborate on projects that will lead to new innovations in this dynamic field.”

UTSA is already recognized as the top university in the country for cybersecurity education, with education and research programs that span its College of Business, College of Engineering, and College of Sciences. The Open Cloud Institute further distinguishes UTSA as a top-tier research institution.

“UTSA is the nation’s academic leader in cloud computing education with its innovative cloud computing programs in three different colleges, pioneering faculty, and intensional pedagogical strategies to engage students. The industry and government partnerships the institute brings will further strengthen the cloud computing education at UTSA,” said Pack.

The Open Cloud Institute will actively engage with industry partners such as Rackspace and others to facilitate technology transfer and provide a platform for industry projects in next-generation cloud technology.

“As adoption of cloud computing accelerates, the next industry that will get to harness this powerful and complex resource is academia. This will allow for increased innovation in scientific research and help to solve some of society’s grand challenges,” said Graham Weston, chairman at 80/20 Foundation and Rackspace. “UTSA is emerging as a global leader in academic research built upon open technologies. The Open Cloud Institute will enhance UTSA’s capabilities, while boosting the supply of cloud engineers that all of our businesses need in order to power the technology companies of the future.”

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