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September 28, 2003

Purdue receives software technology from IBM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Today (Sunday, 9/28) Purdue University President Martin C. Jischke will announce that IBM® Rational® has provided Purdue with 300 licenses of IBM Rational Suite® Enterprise.

using a systems design program
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This software from IBM, which is valued at approximately $4 million, is expected to help Purdue University computer technology students gain a deeper comprehension of skills that will be needed in the changing software development industry, say instructors in the School of Technology.

"Part of the success of a university like Purdue lies in its partnerships with industry leaders," Jischke said. "IBM can help Purdue educate and train the software engineering leaders of tomorrow. Not only will hundreds of students benefit from this software each year, but it also will benefit the industry as our graduates join the work force with valuable new skills."

The software will be available for students in each of the department's computer labs, as well as for classroom use and professors' personal computers. It will be installed on the West Lafayette campus and at the School of Technology's locations throughout the state.

Lonnie Bentley, head of the Department of Computer Technology, said the IBM Rational Suite is the market-leading software tool for systems design and systems integration. He said the software will improve the education for students because it will help strengthen Purdue's already strong systems integration program.

"When most universities teach information technology, they only provide students with one course in systems integration – usually a survey class," Bentley said. "At Purdue, we require four systems courses. That helps our students gain knowledge, skills and experience to give them the tools they need to succeed in industry. This will allow students at West Lafayette and all of our other locations to gain experience with the No. 1 systems tool used in industry – experience students from most other schools simply won't have."

Eric Schurr, vice president of marketing for IBM Rational, said providing students with that important experience before they enter the work force is essential to educate future leaders in the field.

"IBM is committed to working closely with leading universities like Purdue to ensure that their professors and students have access to the latest software development solutions," Schurr said. "The IBM Scholars Program provides resources that enable students to gain valuable hands-on experience and develop essential software development skills. This will help empower the next generation of developers to create innovative software and have a positive impact on organizations around the globe."

The software will be used to teach systems integration, a process of two parts – systems analysis and systems development. Systems analysis involves studying a business problem to identify the solution requirements and priorities. In systems development, designers use that analysis to specify or construct computer-based solutions.

Jeffrey Brewer, an assistant professor who was instrumental in securing the software, said the software's biggest strength is that it allows students to follow a software development project through every stage of a solution, from determining not only what is needed, but also how to implement those needs in a business environment.

For example, if a student group is attempting to design a computer application, most software would allow them to focus only on the specifics of the design. The IBM Rational Suite, however, would assist the students in analyzing a company's needs, designing the application, coding the programs, working through the implementation, and finally analyzing results.

"A lot of graduates are competent in systems design," Brewer said. "What will set this program apart is the training that we will now be able to give our students in all of the other aspects of systems integration. They will be able to understand how what they are doing fits into the larger scope of a company. That is invaluable experience in the job market."

This software was provided to Purdue through IBM Rational's Software Engineering for Educational Development (SEED) Program. The SEED Program has recently been consolidated into the IBM Scholars Program. The IBM Scholars Program provides faculty with access to a comprehensive IBM software and middleware portfolio, servers and hubs, tutorials and other educational materials, and technical support.

Purdue's Department of Computer Technology, founded in 1978, offers bachelor's degrees in information systems and telecommunications and networking. The department serves more than 700 undergraduate majors at the West Lafayette campus, as well as School of Technology campuses in Anderson, Columbus, Kokomo and South Bend.

Rational software from IBM is an industry leader in systems development and integration software, helping businesses improve their software development capability. The Rational software development platform integrates software engineering best practices, tools and services. Rational's standards-based, cross-platform solution helps software developers create and extend business applications, embedded systems and other products. Rational tools are used by 98 of the Fortune 100 companies.

Writer: Matt Holsapple, (765) 494-2073,

Sources: Martin C. Jishcke, (765) 494-9708,

Lonnie D. Bentley, (765) 494-4545,

Jeffrey L. Brewer, (765) 496-6838,


Jeffrey Brewer, a Purdue assistant professor of computer technology, instructs Leslie Lorenz, a master's student in information technology project management from Seattle, on using Rational Rose, a systems design program. The program is part of $4 million in software that Rational and IBM have given to the Purdue School of Technology. (Purdue News Service photo/Dave Umberger)

A publication-quality photo is available at