HomeCLOUD COMPUTINGThe Cloud Makes Universities More Innovative And Efficient

The Cloud Makes Universities More Innovative And Efficient

Universities not only use cloud technologies for themselves to keep their teaching going during the Corona crisis but also to give their students access to the latest technologies that are accessible via the cloud, such as quantum computing. At the same time, they use the cloud to support research, teaching, and the student community with cloud features such as virtual work and study places. “The pandemic has forced schools and colleges to transition to virtual learning and teaching,” 

Virtual Workspaces For University Members

Higher education involves many stakeholders who all want to see their interests represented. A university includes not only teaching, which, as I said, has switched to virtual learning, but also a wide field of researchers, analysts, and doctoral students. Like virtual learning, doctoral students, researchers, and students can set up an individual workspace in the cloud – for example, with Amazon Workspaces. Depending on access authorization, you can use this virtual desktop (VDI) around the clock, with any end device, and at any suitable location to teach or learn. In the workspace, personalized learning content can be provided, and a wide variety of communities can be set up as interest groups.

If the workspace has sufficient security, researchers can store sensitive data and documents, and students can save exam papers. Security and privacy are essential advantages that can be realized quickly and inexpensively with the help of the cloud. Michael Hanisch, Head of Technology at AWS in Germany, explains: “As for all industries in which sensitive data is processed, we offer the highest standards regarding security, compliance, and governance for application scenarios in higher education. We offer our customers and partners around 230 functions and services to secure their specific cloud environment.

Additionally, all AWS services that store customer data provide the ability to encrypt that data.” Internally, access authorizations are the method of choice, but external protection on the buildings increasingly has to be set up. The analytical tools from the public or hybrid cloud allow recordings from surveillance cameras to be evaluated in real-time. Surveillance is necessary for many colleges in the country to discover shooters and assassins on campus and – by quickly alerting the security service – to fend them off. This no longer only applies in the USA but increasingly also in Europe.

Preventive Use Of Machine Learning

A trend that is fundamentally changing education, teaching, learning, and research is Machine Learning (ML). Teachers use ML to identify students with difficulties and take appropriate supportive measures. Academia scientists can use ML to accelerate research. Online learning content can be distributed faster and more effectively through use cases such as localization and transcription, text-to-speech, or personalization.

Analyzes And Insights

One of the most significant benefits that the operators or teachers of an institute can derive from virtualized learning and workspaces is the information gained about the use that the cloud provides them with. They can understand the aggregated use and interaction patterns and conclude them. These usage patterns allow them to identify students who need their support. Study places are not free and subsidized in all countries. An expensive place to study at a renowned university should be used intensively. If the usage figures and the “school grades” indicate this is not the case, then it must be critical for the institute to provide the student with the best possible support. 

And the earlier this student is identified, the better the place will be used – or otherwise allocated. Establishing contact and mentoring can promote success and prevent students – often payers of valuable tuition – from migrating to other institutes. The corresponding algorithms can be obtained from the cloud and their respective operators because this service provider provides the necessary storage capacity and computing power. Institutes and students can find up-to-date AV and web content, apps, and documents on marketplaces in the cloud.

Efficiency And TCO

Machine learning also helps an institute to predict the number of new enrollments based on the applications. This quota is an important KPI (Key Performance Indicator) to plan which capacity must be created in teaching, research, and infrastructure. Equally important is predicting the success rate because Nobel Prize winners and Pulitzer Prize winners are the best advertisements. Since the outbreak of the pandemic at the beginning of 2019, as O’Connell reports, cloud capacities in the online area have been greatly expanded. If it is a teaching institute with an extensive reach, i.e., a distance university, machine learning can help to translate and localize personalized learning content, to transcribe it, output text as a spoken language, and, last but not least, personalize content. The feedback channel, which indicates the usage figures, is the same as the virtualized learning places.

Cloud Usage For Research

Researchers worldwide use the storage and computing capacities of the public cloud, machine learning tools, ModelOps techniques, and ready-made machine learning templates with CI/CD approaches that manage the lifecycle of models. The easier it is to use machine learning methods and achieve results, the more attractive this technology appears to researchers and the higher the usage rate. As a result, research work is more efficient, interdisciplinary, precise, productive, and innovative across the faculties. 

At the high-performance computing center in Stuttgart (HLRS), for example, several supercomputers work in the local computing center to process orders from the automotive industry in the surrounding area; the faster, the better. These research contracts help to finance and expand the operation and to acquire more supercomputers. The results are shared with other institutes in a scientific network. The livelier and more productive the research, the more the economy benefits from the innovations. In Stuttgart, for example, the valve of an injection pump was improved, so that fuel consumption was reduced by around ten percent. Such innovations can have positive effects worldwide.

Innovation Centers In The Area

In 2019 the Digital Transformation Lab of the Munich University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) opened its doors. It is intended to strengthen the digitization of the public sector in Germany through the development of innovative services and to support the industry in overcoming the urgent technical and social challenges of this transformation. At the opening of the DT Lab, pilot projects showed what this could look like in concrete terms. 

By working with the AWS Cloud Innovation Center program, students can access AWS technologies, innovation methodologies, and technical expertise to experiment with cloud-native solutions. An overarching team of MUAS and AWS employees will work closely together to develop cloud-based IT solutions using Amazon’s “Working Backwards” innovation process. With “ReadUp,” for example, MUAS developed a chatbot to encourage young criminals to read. Instead of the texts in the previous project, “KonTEXT,” the chatbot now delivers videos and podcasts. This web app was developed using AWS RDS, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, and AWS Amplify.

Cloud Innovation Center In Vancouver

The Digital Transformation Lab in Munich is a member of a global network of cloud innovation centers, so it can be said that networking for universities and their research centers is the order of the day. All these centers have agreed to publish their knowledge and the results of their innovation projects to advance the digital revolution in the public sector worldwide.

One of the research centers linked to the Munich University of Applied Sciences is the Cloud Innovation Center (CIC) at the Canadian University of British Columbia. The Vancouver-based CIC was the first of its kind in Canada in early 2020. The CIC provides students, teachers, researchers, and faculty staff access to cloud technologies. They should advance research projects that are primarily located in the healthcare sector. The CIC is officially called “UBC Community Health and Wellbeing CIC.” The latest technologies and current methods, combined with computing power and expertise from AWS, are intended to promote innovation and improve both agility and operational costs. 

“The CIC at UBC is accelerating the digital transformation of Canada’s public sector by giving teams access to the latest cloud technology from AWS to solve authentic, real-world challenges In addition to users and staff of the university, municipalities, government agencies, and NGOs should also consider their interests. You can specify challenges that the CIC should solve up to the creation of Proofs of Concept ( POC ). All results, including the PoCs, will be published as open-source information for other community members to access and use. Among the other hyperscalers, MS Azure supports five industries but not yet higher education. Things are looking a lot better with Google Cloud . Education and “educational technology” play an essential role in the ​​”authorities and the public sector.” Google’s partner school Connect offers students a cloud tool for applying to and managing a university abroad.

Read Also: What Is Cloud Computing? Its Benefits & Applications

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