UIS receives State Farm grant to increase virtual server farm capacity

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Jeff Lorber, UIS; Provost Dennis Papini, UIS; Bill McGee, Deron Powell, and Sean Bull, State Farm agents; Dean James Ermatinger, UIS; Professor Sviatoslav Braynov, UIS

Grant benefits 80% of UIS Computer Science Classes

State Farm has granted $25,000 to the UIS Computer Science Department to increase the meta-data capacity of the UIS/State Farm Virtual Server Farm. The Computer Science Department teaches 80% of its classes on the Virtual Server Farm, and every day more than 1,200 students use the Server Farm to access personalized virtual machines.

“The Virtual Server Farm is a major technological backbone,” said Dr. Sviatoslav Braynov, Computer Science department chair. “It allows us to offer innovative degrees in computer science. Students can analyze and visualize large data in courses like big data analytics, machine learning, data mining, advanced neural networks, deep learning and artificial intelligence.” He added that students also use the Server Farm for national competitions.

This is the fourth State Farm Systems Priority Grant that UIS has received. Since 2007, the UIS Computer Science Department has been a State Farm target school for recruiting, and more than 100 UIS graduates work at State Farm.

“We are very pleased that since 2005 UIS Computer Science and State Farm have partnered together,” said Bob Clary,┬ámanager of the State Farm Systems Department. “The curriculum, the faculty, the proximity all play a factor, as well as the quality of the students we continue to meet. These all speak very profoundly of the school and are the reason we continue to come back to UIS.”