Marist/IBM Joint Study

Marist College has had a longstanding partnership with the IBM Corporation that has helped place Marist among the most technologically advanced liberal arts colleges in the country. A key component of the Marist/IBM partnership has been a 14-year Joint Study arrangement that has benefited both the College and IBM in many ways. Through the Study, IBM has been able to test concepts and applications that the company believes can be of value in the 21st century in education, business, digital media, communications and other fields. The Study has also helped develop a world class technology platform to support instructional, research and administrative initiatives.

The introduction of computers and computer science courses at Marist began in the mid 1960s, a time when few colleges the size of Marist had moved into this field. From the start, the approach has been that computers are a functional tool for everyone at the College as well as a scientific discipline to be mastered by those in the School of Computer Science.

The IBM/Marist Joint Study began in 1988 with the installation of a $10 million IBM 3090 mainframe computer in Donnelly Hall. Over the past decade, Marist has worked with IBM to carryout four major upgrades of its mainframe computer. In the Fall, 2002 semester, the College installed a new zSeries 900 mainframe that provides a level of computing power ordinarily associated with large research universities and Fortune 500 companies. The College collaborated with IBM to plan and equip the new $20 million James A. Cannavino Library with state-of-the-art technology. The partnership also collaborated on the development and implementation of a comprehensive Ethernet-based campus-computing network that reaches into every student room on campus and supports every faculty and administrative office and every academic building. Campus-wide connectivity means 24/7 access to the Internet, email, voice-mail, the mainframe computer and numerous database services.

The College's participation in the Joint Study provides the unique opportunity for Marist students, faculty, and IT staff to work collaboratively with IBM research and development staff on various emerging technology initiatives. For example, the website for the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum was developed through a joint initiative of FDR Library staff, IBM engineers, and Marist students and staff. The website, which is based on the latest digital asset management technology, has been recognized by Encyclopedia as one of the best Presidential Library sites in the country.

This past year, Marist and IBM embarked in three emerging technology research projects with applications in both the business and academic worlds. These projects include grid computing, e-learning applications and computing on demand. Current and planned activities provide Marist Students the opportunity to work closely with faculty from many disciplines.