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"Extreme Blue" at IBM Research - Zurich

Research marathon for students

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Zurich, Switzerland, 11 July 2001—This week, two international teams of students have embarked on a three-month research marathon at IBM Research - Zurich. Their goal: to produce functional software prototypes by October.

IBM is extending this special kind of student internship, called "Extreme Blue", to their laboratories in Europe and Israel for the first time this year. Much is expected of the hand-picked participants, all of whom are top students in technical and economics-oriented computer science. But much is offered to them in return. The laboratory in Rüschlikon is hosting two teams of four students—two women and six men—who will work on intense, challenging projects of strategic importance to IBM.

One team is charged with improving the access of mobile devices to the Internet. Specifically, they will implement connectivity functions in network processors. The other team will develop a new method to detect hacker intrusions. In both cases, these are technologies that do not yet exist as such, so that the projects could lead to a breakthrough if they are successful. "It is very important that the Extreme Blue projects are not merely academic sandbox exercises, but projects with the potential for new markets and, of course, new business opportunities for IBM," explains Phil Janson, university relations officer and responsible for the Extreme Blue project at IBM Research - Zurich.

Both groups will also spend much of their free time together, as general education, excursions, and entertainment are also part of the Extreme Blue summer experience. They will meet twice with the other European teams at IBM's development laboratory in Hursley, England, in August and at Rüschlikon in September, where fellow interns from Germany, England, and Israel will come to share their experiences and meet with leading IBM experts.

International participants

The teams at Rüschlikon are a very international group—there is a computer science student of German-Russian descent from the ETH, a Chinese student currently pursuing an MBA at ESC Grenoble, France, and six computer science students from Belgium, The Netherlands, India, Canada, and the USA. They will be supported by two full-time mentors, both of whom are IBM research staff scientists with many years' experience and recognized experts in their fields.

Together with the Extreme Blue student interns in the USA—where projects are being conducted at three locations on the east coast, in California, and in Texas—some 100 highly talented students will participate in the program this year. It is unique in that it not only presents students with a technical challenge, but it also gives them unprecedented access to internationally leading laboratories and experts working on hot new technologies. The projects and participants in Rüschlikon can profit especially from the established expertise in the field of network technology and related aspects of security and mobility.

Press contact

Nicole Strachowski
Media Relations
IBM Research - Zurich
Tel +41 44 724 84 45

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