SMU Announces $2.5M Endowment from AT&T for New Research Center

Funds will be used to launch the AT&T Center for Virtualization.

Southern Methodist University announced today a $2.5 million endowment from AT&T Inc. to launch the AT&T Center for Virtualization at SMU for testing and developing new solutions for fast, cloud-based telecommunications for greater global connectivity.

SMU’s collaboration with AT&T will give students an opportunity to take a hands-on approach to developing virtualization solutions for companies across industries. It will work with varying academic departments in its effort to address social, educational, and scientific issues associated with virtualization. 

“Employers are looking for graduates who understand the technical, business, and consumer environment.
R. GERALD TURNER  

“SMU students will see tremendous advantage from participating in the interdisciplinary research of the AT&T Center for Virtualization at SMU,” SMU President R. Gerald Turner said in a news release. “Employers are looking for graduates who understand the technical, business, and consumer environment.  We are very pleased that this Dallas-based, global company has chosen SMU as its partner to advance research on cutting-edge technology.”

CHANGES IN TELECOMMUNICATION INDUSTRY

As the industry continues to grow at rapid speeds, AT&T says an “entirely new network” needs to be developed to handle the demands for consumer and business connectivity.

In the past, telecommunications networks were built on hardware that had to be continually upgraded, but the shift to near real-time connections has changed the network platform from hardware to software.

“We’re virtualizing those specialized network appliances and turning them into software running on servers and other standard hardware. You can add, shift, and upgrade capabilities at internet speed,” said Andre Fuetsch, president, AT&T Labs, and chief technology officer. “It’s the future, and this new AT&T Center for Virtualization at SMU will help us get there faster.” 

WOMEN IN STEM

The research center will be led by Suku Nair, professor of computer science and engineering in the Bobby Lyle School of Engineering, and is expected to attract more women to technology fields. 

“We believe innovation increases when there is diversity in the workforce.” BROOKS MCCORCLE

“We believe innovation increases when there is diversity in the workforce. This new research center not only helps advance the latest technology solutions, but it also presents a way to tap a critical segment of tech leaders: women,” said Brooks McCorcle, president, AT&T Partner Exchange. “Like AT&T, SMU is committed to building and expanding the base of technology talent. AT&T’s endowment is a call to mobilize and activate the next generation of female technology leaders through educational opportunities, innovative research, and mentorship.”

Since 2005, women have averaged more than 30 percent of incoming undergraduates in the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering, outperforming the national average of about 20 percent in American colleges and universities, according to this report.

The AT&T Center for Virtualization at SMU is expected to open in spring 2017.


Delivering what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth innovation, every day. Get the Dallas Innovates e-newsletter.

Comments are closed.