Campus: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo -- updated April 5, 2000 (orig 3/31/00)

Sun Donations Equip Two New Cal Poly Labs For Teaching the Internet

Cal Poly is opening two, new, state-of-the-art computer laboratories equipped with donations from Sun Microsystems to teach students how to create software for the Internet and World Wide Web.

The Java Center Instructional Lab and the Java Center Projects Lab will be open to classes from every department at the university for instruction and research in all types of Internet applications, from business to family activities.

The labs will teach programming in Java, a programming language developed by Sun that allows the same software to run on many different kinds of computers, consumer gadgets and other devices. With Java, different machines can communicate with one another more easily than before.

That flexibility has sped up the process of developing software for the Internet, said Robert Clover, Cal Poly's director of integrated media services and interim director of the two new facilities.

To equip the labs, Sun donated $180,000 worth of computers, both servers and workstations, as well as related software. Other Java components designed specifically for business applications were donated by IBM.

"The goal is to provide high-quality instruction in Java with state-of-the-art systems and software and to provide students with opportunities to work on multidisciplinary teams to develop Internet applications, particularly in the professional fields for which Cal Poly is recognized," Clover said.

Sun has designated Cal Poly a charter member of its Authorized Academic Java Campus program, which fosters collaboration with local industry to give students hands-on experience with Java technology in a realistic business environment. The university is the second in the United States and one of 15 in the world to receive that recognition.

"Cal Poly has proven itself a leader in applying information technology innovations across a broad spectrum of academic disciplines," said Marc Loupe, Sun Microsystems' vice president for finance & planning in Computer Systems, Worldwide Sales, and a Cal Poly graduate.

"We're excited to have such a leading university as part of the Authorized Academic Java Campus program and look forward to the exciting results that this relationship will bring in a variety of areas," Loupe said. "We feel the program will not only create additional programming expertise for graduating students, but also enhance the interrelationships between students, faculty, administrators and the business community at large."

In the Java Center Projects Lab, located in the campus's Engineering East Building, teams of students, professors and staff members will work on corporate-sponsored software development and research projects.

The Java Center Instructional Lab, located in Cal Poly's Business Building, will be used in courses offered by several departments.

Cal Poly President Warren Baker and officials from Sun Microsystems, Cal Poly's Information Technology Services unit, and the university's colleges of Architecture and Environmental Design, Business, and Engineering dedicated the two labs on Monday, April 3.

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