Flanked by the avatar of IBM's Watson computer, IBM Research Scientist Dr. Chris Welty (left) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute student Naveen Sundar discuss potential new ways the famous computer could be used. IBM donated a version of its Watson system to Rensselaer, making it the first university in the world to receive such a system. Rensselaer students and faculty will explore new uses for Watson and ways to deepen its cognitive computing capabilities
In 2011, IBM's Watson supercomputer made national television history when it appeared on the "Jeopardy" program and knocked out two of the show's top champions. Now, the computer is in college.
RPI is the first university in the world to receive a Watson computer system from IBM - Just like the flesh-and-blood students who will work on it, Watson left home to sharpen its skills. Course work will include English and math. It will spend three years in Troy.
Officials at Vermont Technical College say an unofficial all-school competition and a grant from IBM helped reduce the school's electric bill by more than $40,000 in one year.
IBM also worked with the Howard Center, Vermont's largest health and human services organization, to help community members understand and establish procedures for managing the use, cost and conservation of energy.