The University Record, September 3, 1997

$6 million Intel grant funds high-performance communications and computation research

By Nancy Ross-Flanigan
News and Information Services

A $6 million grant from Intel Corp. will advance research in the College of Engineering, the School of Information, and the Medical Center.

Among the projects that will benefit are:

 

Electronic "collaboratories" and digital libraries that allow researchers all over the world to work together as if they were just down the hall from one another.

 

"Telemedicine" resources that make it possible for doctors at one hospital to diagnose patients miles away.

 

Artificial intelligence systems that mimic human behavior in complex learning situations, such as military flight training.

The grant is part of Intel's "Technology for Education 2000" initiative, a three-year, $85 million program to donate high-speed multimedia computers, workstations, servers, and networking hardware and software to American universities. Intel selected the U-M because of its academic excellence and the expected impact of the project on faculty and students. Twelve universities received awards ranging from $2.3 million to $6.2 million.

"The generous Intel grant will help support major projects to understand how the marriage of computing and communication enables teams of people to work together in new ways that dramatically reduce constraints of distance and time," says Daniel E. Atkins III, dean of the School of Information and professor of information and library studies and of electrical engineering and computer science. "Technology is offering new opportunities for 'knowledge networking,' which we expect will have a profound impact on how people engage in scientific research, education and commerce, as well as how they build and sustain communities. The School of Information is pursuing a multi-disciplinary, 'human-centered' approach to understanding the uses of information techn ology and also is educating a new type of information professional. We greatly appreciate this tangible vote of confidence from the Intel Corp."

In addition to supporting research on specific applications of computer systems, the grant will allow researchers to explore the basics of microprocessor design. It will also benefit the College of Engineering's new Financial Engineering Program, aimed at developing Windows-based tools for the financial services industry.

"In today's world of 24-hour continuous global electronic trading, where capital freely flows between different markets in search of high returns, technology is the key," says John Birge, professor of industrial and operations engineering. "The Intel platforms will enable us to demonstrate the most computationally intensive financial engineering applications."