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OSDL takes Linux back to school

Jun 30, 2004 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) is courting institutions of higher learning through a new program aimed at attracting affiliates interested in Linux research and deployment. Several colleges and universities have already joined the program, which could increase Linux participation in a quarter already vital to Linux's success.

Linux itself began as the project of a computer science student, the OSDL notes. Linus Torvalds, now an OSDL fellow, was a student at the University of Helsinki in 1991 when he created the Unix-like operating system that was later dubbed “Linux.”

The program

Under the new program, accredited universities and colleges can join OSDL as Affiliates and participate along with their corporate peers in OSDL working groups such as Carrier Grade Linux, Data Center Linux, and Desktop Linux. In addition, university researchers can access the OSDL's data center computing and testing facilities in the United States and Japan.

According to the OSDL, program aims include:

  • Providing a vendor neutral environment for collaboration
  • Linking universities with industry to improve opportunities for research projects and student placement
  • Creating a forum for cross-institutional sharing of curriculum and other academic issues related to open source
  • Providing insight on open source projects that are well suited for higher education development
  • Fostering dialog between University and corporate CIOs (chief information officers)

The forum

In support of the program, the OSDL will launch an online forum where commercial Linux vendors and the academic Linux community can come together to share ideas and address common problems. The OSDL says the forum will allow member institutions to:

  • Discuss issues and topics specific to academia
  • Propose projects for grant consideration by other members
  • Solicit guest lecturers

In time, the online forum is expected to expand into regularly scheduled conferences hosted at member institutions' campuses.

OSDL CEO Stuart Cohen said, “Higher education is the incubator for tomorrow's technology breakthroughs. We want to encourage broader deployment of Linux among colleges and universities, as well as facilitate research to drive advances in Linux technology.”

The first institutions to join the OSDL under the new program are Marist College, Oregon State University, Stanford University, Tokyo University of Technology, and Waseda University in Japan.

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