NJIT Information Technology Grant Enhances Industry-Student Links
NEWARK, April 10- New Jersey Institute of Technology
(NJIT) recently received a $2.5 million, three-year grant from the
New Jersey Commission on Higher Education. The New Jersey Information
Technology Opportunities for the Workforce, Education and Research
(NJ-TOWER) aims to increase student and faculty collaboration with
New Jersey high-tech industry plus enhance the university's capacity
to meet workforce needs.
"Digital convergence has moved from promise to
practice. Boundaries between historically separate fields of computer
science and telecommunications are now blurred.
"Legitimate concern exists that industry will
have an ample supply of highly educated professionals to assure
New Jersey's continuing pre-eminence in our technology driven state.
NJIT's program is directed squarely at this need," says NJIT
President Saul K. Fenster.
The grant features four main thrusts. It aims to connect
New Jersey technology companies to graduate and undergraduate research
projects. Currently, 22 undergraduate and graduate student projects
have joined with high-tech New Jersey-based companies, such as Lucent
Technologies and United Parcel, says Deek.
Students involved with particular research projects
are also partnering with companies who participate in the NJIT Enterprise
Development Center (EDC). The EDC, more commonly known as a business
incubator, is located in two office buildings near the NJIT campus.
Within the EDC are 40 start-up, high-tech tenant companies, who
turn to NJIT facilities, staff and faculty for technical, academic
and business support.
"Although the grant has only just begun, EDC
companies have sponsored NJIT student research into areas such as
Web-based XML translators, e-commerce database models, and a new
basic Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) server," says Deek.
Disseminating information technology research and
development will be another target. Professors and instructors will
have access to a new electronic newsletter filled with information
about information technology research and development. Cutting-edge
research results will be disseminated through seminars, workshops,
and international conferences, plus the advantage of information
available on the Internet," says Ansari.
The grant will enable an honors quality experience
in information technology courses to be available to more undergraduate
students. It will also enhance the information technology portion
of the distance learning program sponsored by the NJIT Division
of Continuing Professional Education.
Finding and nurturing technology talent in community
colleges will be another targeted goal. "The grant focuses
on strengthening the articulation agreements between community colleges
and NJIT. It's often difficult for community college students to
transfer all their credits to a four-year institution," says
grant administrator Robert Friedman, research professor, information
technology program. New agreements will enable students not to lose
credits earned prior to transfer.
NJIT is a public research university enrolling over 8,200 bachelor's, master's and doctoral students in 80 degree programs through its five colleges: Newark College of Engineering, New Jersey School of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, the School of Management and the Albert Dorman Honors College. Research initiatives include manufacturing, microelectronics, multimedia, transportation, computer science, solar astrophysics, environmental engineering and science, and architecture and building science. According to Yahoo! Internet Life magazine rankings, NJIT has been America's most wired public university for three consecutive years.