By: Diane Stirling
(315) 443-8975

The School of Information Studies (iSchool) will be involved in an innovative IBM academic initiative, as one of its faculty members participates as a judge for the technology firm’s “Master the Mainframe World Championship” programming competition for young innovators.

The competition involves 43 students from 23 countries who are top scholars in the fields of computer science, information technology, and business. The students are competing in a premiere programming challenge, which brings together “the next generation of mainframe all-stars,” IBM noted on its competition website.

Out of 20,000 student contestants initially, 43 regional contest winners who have demonstrated superior programming skills on the mainframe were selected to compete in additional rounds. Since March 10, those students have been working remotely, receiving training from qualified IBM mainframe instructors. In that timeframe, student competitors sharpen their enterprise computing skills, learn about advanced development tools, and find out how the platform supports cloud, big data and analytics, and mobile and security initiatives, according to IBM. With that added knowledge, competitors are tasked to build a business application on the mainframe.

One of the judges for the finalist event is iSchool faculty member Susan A. Dischiave, associate professor of practice and director of the iSchool’s bachelor of science program in Information Management and Technology. Judges include experts from throughout the IT industry.

“Syracuse University has established itself as the academic leader in System z Mainframe education,” noted SU alumus (’79) Kevin Cleary, an IBM Vice President and Partnership Executive. “We are very fortunate to have Professor Dischiave as one of our judges. Nobody has more passion and commitment to System z Mainframe technology than Professor Susan Dischiave.”

The finalists travel from around the world to New York City for the final round of competition, where they showcase their applications. The competition takes place April 7, and winners are announced at an IBM event the following day.

Since 2005 more than 60,000 students from 33 countries have participated in the Mainframe programming contest. An IBM video showcases the company’s perspective on young innovators and the zEnterprise opportunities. There is a Master the Mainframe competition page on Facebook, and finalist contestants are profiled on the IBM website here