When the College of Engineering launched its virtual application platform last year –Citrix XenApp– thousands of engineering students gained access to specialized software (e.g., MATLAB) from the comfort of their own device. The only requirement? An Internet connection.
Now students will enjoy a whole lot more processing power when they use Citrix because of a generous donation from Micron Technology. Micron designs and builds some of the world’s most advanced memory and semiconductor technologies, so it was fitting when Tony Veches, a product manager with the company, agreed to donate 8 Terabytes of server RAM to the OSU College of Engineering — worth just over $202K. The additional memory will improve the performance and speed of application streaming, said Todd Shechter, director of the college’s information technology department. As he explains, “the processing power is not done on the device. It’s done on servers in the data center, and that requires a lot of memory. We wanted to offer our students a better experience, and more processing power.”
Application streaming has been a well-received service since its launch. At any given time, more than 2,000 engineers, including students at OSU-Cascades and those enrolled in distance education programs, use the service. Students save money since they don’t have to buy pricey software, and faculty save time because they don’t have to configure complex programs.
Shechter said application streaming is part of the college’s “Bring Your Own Device” strategy that allows students to enjoy the full range of engineering programs using a personal PC, Mac, iOS device, Android tablet, or whatever device is most comfortable. He is grateful for the Micron donation, and for Veches’ endorsement of the College of Engineering.
“We would really like to thank Tony for his realization of how important and expensive computer memory is, and for his willingness to support the OSU engineering program,” he said.
Sandra Woods, dean of the College of Engineering, also expressed her thanks. “On behalf of the nearly 6,000 undergraduates pursuing engineering and computer science degrees in the College of Engineering, we are thrilled to accept this donation of 8 Terabytes of server RAM from Micron Technology,” she said. “This donation will benefit students across the college.”
–Abby P. Metzger