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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 05-14-03, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Ford Center For Computing Unveiled At University Of Detroit Mercy

As part of its unique and valuable relationship with Ford Motor Company, the University of Detroit Mercyís School of Engineering and Science will unveil the Ford Center for Computing. Made possible through a major grant from the Ford Motor Company, the Center serves as an important advance in computer education.

A dedication ceremony will be held at the McNichols Campus Engineering Building at the University of Detroit Mercy at 4:30 PM on May 14. Jim Padilla, Executive Vice President, Ford Motor Company, and President, North America, will be in attendance to kick-off the dedication and display of student projects.

"The opening of the new Ford Center for Computing will be the catalyst for a dramatic change in the focus and quality of computing education at UDM," said Dr. Leo Hanifin, Dean of UDMís College of Engineering and Science.

"The technical capabilities of these labs provide the environment for developing and manufacturing the intelligent automobile of the future," said Padilla. "We look forward to the day when these graduates hit the ground running at companies like Ford, helping to assure that Detroit will remain the automotive capital of the world."

Equipped with state-of-the-art computer hardware and software, the Centerís two major laboratories will provide a menu of powerful technologies, embracing a wide range of applications used in areas such as commerce, manufacturing and communications. The new facility will position UDM to respond to new technologies and market initiatives far more adeptly than is possible at larger, more traditional schools. The center is also designed to provide researchers with the controlled environment necessary to evaluate and validate their research.

Vehicle design and manufacturing are rapidly moving into the virtual world. In addition, the car of the future is likely to employ networking and computing capability that is unimaginable today. "The winners in the auto industry will have to find ways to deliver more computing and more communication capability faster," said Padilla. "In these labs, the computer engineers will learn knowledge and techniques for design and analysis critical to creating highly computerized cars of the future."

The Centerís many industrial strength applications will include Ocean Modeling and Visualization and the Impact of Aircraft on Global Atmospheric Chemistry used in environmental research. The Center is also involved in the everyday technologies that help the high-tech world churn like transaction processing, security and encryption, portable devices, real-time systems and audio-visual streams.

Data mining, is another important area that is concerned with the process of extracting hidden knowledge and patterns from large data sets used for risk estimation, demand prediction, fraud detection and others.

"The Ford Centerís faculty, labs and programs will integrate hardware and software far more effectively," said Hanifin, "This will lead to more powerful and effective computing systems and more capable computing professionals educated in the center."

"The Center is an alliance between computer science and computer engineering faculty. It has resulted in the development of tightly integrated programs designed to rapidly respond to the needs of industry and the service sector," said Hanifin. "This is a major advance for computer education and faculty research at the university."

Currently Ford partners with University of Detroit Mercy to offer Bachelor Degrees and one Master Degree specifically tailored to Ford employees: Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering Program (BME), Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BSCS) and Master of Science in Product Development (MSPD). The Bachelor Degrees are offered on-site at the Fairlane Training and Development Center.

UDM was the only school in Michigan ranked in the top tier among 145 Midwestern masterís universities in the 2003 edition of U.S. News & World Reportís "Americaís Best Colleges" and was named in the top three schools in the region for financial resources allocated to studentsí educational experience.

For more information regarding the Ford Center for Computing, contact the College of Engineering and Science at (313) 993-1216.

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