Prof receives record $4 million technology gift

A Purdue University Calumet professor has received what is believed to be the largest single award in Purdue Calumet history: $4 million in technology access to IBM’s wealth of resources and information.

Named an IBM Scholar, Ruijian Zhang, Purdue Calumet assistant professor of computer science, has received access to secure IBM content available only to Scholars Program members.

The IBM Scholars Program is an innovative initiative to partner with colleges and universities to better educate millions of students for a more competitive information technology (IT) workforce. The program provides a broad range of offerings and benefits to professors and students, including the latest technologies in IBM software, hardware, course materials, training and other resources.

“While I am extremely pleased to be accepted into the IBM Scholars Program, I also am excited about what it means to Purdue Calumet students,” Zhang said. “Those who look forward to becoming skilled, software engineering leaders will develop valuable skills for succeeding in the competitive world of information technology. Being able to partner with a computing giant like IBM in a program of this nature will help position our graduates to have a leg up on other graduates entering the IT work force.”

Zhang will have access to complete IBM course material covering IBM products and technologies including Grid, e-business, WebSphere, Rational, DB2, Lotus, iSeries and zSeries. He uaed the IBM Rational Suit computer software in a Korean students training program held recently at Purdue Calumet and several software developing projects.

Zhang instructed 18 Korean students from the Seoul National University of Technology as part of an international educational cohort program to receive instruction in the new computer science specialty field of component based software engineering. The students were at Purdue Calumet from September through March.

Additionally, Zhang will use DB2 database computer software in a database system course to be offered this fall.

“For computer science students to reach their greatest level of achievement they must have cutting-edge software,” said Michael Gealt, “This gift to Dr. Zhang from IBM enables Purdue University Calumet students to work with the very latest tools available. Dr. Zhang, our newest faculty member in computer sciences, works with other computer science faculty to prepare and deliver the most advanced programs available to their students.”

By visiting the IBM Scholars Program portal, Zhang will have access to: free software and educational materials; access to discounted hardware and course materials; resources such as certification, discounts, books and other materials; and the latest news, upcoming events and other related information.

Zhang, who came to Purdue Calumet in 2002, holds bachelor’s degree from Shanghai Second Polytechnic University (China) and master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science from the University of Houston. He teaches such computer science subjects as software engineering, database system and Java programming. His research areas include computer architecture, compiler and AI programming.