Google and IBM join forces to support parallel web apps coding in colleges

Google and IBM have announced an initiative to promote new software development methods that will help students and researchers to more easily produce internet-scale applications.

Google and IBM have announced an initiative to promote new software development methods that will help students and researchers to more easily produce internet-scale applications.

IBM and Google are teaming up to provide hardware, software and services to augment university curricula and expand research into distributed computing solutions, including parallel programming.

With their combined resources, the companies are hoping to lower the financial and logistical barriers for the academic community to explore the distributed internet application model.

The University of Washington is the first to join the initiative. A small number of universities will also pilot the programme, including Carnegie-Mellon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Maryland.

In the future, said IBM and Google, the programme will be expanded to include additional researchers, colleges and scientists.

Fundamental changes in computer architecture and increases in network capacity are encouraging software developers to take new approaches to computer-science problem solving, said the pair.

For web software such as search, social networking and mobile commerce to run quickly, computational tasks often need to be broken into hundreds or thousands of smaller pieces to run across many servers simultaneously.

Parallel programming techniques are also used for complex scientific analysis such as gene sequencing and climate modelling.

IBM CEO Samuel Palmisano said, "We are aiming to train tomorrow's programmers to write software that can support a tidal wave of global web growth and trillions of secure transactions every day."

For the project, the two companies have dedicated a large cluster of several hundred computers. Students will access the cluster via the internet to test their parallel programming course projects.




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