Dell Supports UT’s Mission, On Campus and Beyond
Big things happen when companies invest in The University of Texas at Austin. For proof just look at Dell, Inc., which is working with UT to change lives in Central Texas and in the far corners of the world.
Through the years, Dell, Inc., has given almost $22 million to the university. That’s not including the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, which in 2006 gave $50 million to help build the Dell Pediatric Research Institute and the state-of-the-art complex now rising along Speedway as the new home for the Department of Computer Science. In 2011 alone, Dell, Inc., gave $14.8 million in funds, goods, and services to many areas of the university, including UT Elementary School, the Texas Advanced Computing Center, the LBJ School of Public Affairs, and the McCombs School of Business.
At UT Elementary School, East Austin students use Dell computers to gain the computer literacy they will need to succeed in the world. The award-winning research-based demonstration school has benefited greatly from its long-term partnership with Dell to bridge the digital divide, infuse technology into everyday learning, and build the science, technology, engineering, and math skills of today’s students. To bring this vision to life, Dell has launched a signature program, Dell YouthConnect. With the support of Dell, every student in every classroom has access to laptop computers, an opportunity children might not have at home. In addition to their classroom activities, students work with Dell equipment and volunteers in an after-school digital storytelling project.
With Dell as a technology partner, the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is enabling discoveries that advance science and society through the application of high-performance computing technologies. In 2009, Professor Lauren Meyers, director of UT’s Division of Statistics and Scientific Computation, used TACC’s Lonestar 3 supercomputer (a TACC/Dell collaboration) to predict how the emergent strain of H1N1 flu was spreading and to determine the best intervention strategies in a project supporting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. More recently, after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, researchers used the updated Dell/Intel-powered Lonestar 4 to help calculate and visualize the size and progression of the seismic waves from that event as they passed through the earth’s crust.
Meanwhile, student projects started as part of the Dell Social Innovation Challenge in the LBJ School of Public Affairs provided power to more than 150 Indian villages and led to more than a hundred girls being educated in a Kenyan slum. The Dell Challenge invites college students to propose projects aimed at solving a particular social problem and then rewards the best proposals with funding to implement solutions. Via this unique form of entrepreneurship, students dedicated to changing the world change themselves along the way through their participation. In addition to the Indian and Kenyan projects, students have supported more than 4,000 HIV-affected families in Rwanda and employed more than 300 people in other developing countries.
Finally, Dell’s partnership with the McCombs School of Business illustrates the impact a company can have on advancing business education. The company shares its executives’ expertise and thought leadership in finance, information management, marketing, and supply chain management through visiting speakers, class trips to Dell offices, and hands-on practicum projects for students. It’s no surprise that some of the nation’s most qualified business graduates join the company after their time at McCombs. Dell was the No. 1 employer of UT MBAs in 2010-11. Its investment in McCombs has grown beyond recruiting to become a far-reaching partnership that has played an important role in advancing key initiatives across the school.
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