Beaver fans Doug Fisher (BS EE ’85), corporate vice president and general manager, System Software Division; Doug Carmean (BS EE ’85), director of Immersive Computing; Nitin Borkar, researcher, Visual and Parallel Computing Group; Rani Borkar, corporate vice president and general manager, Intel Architecture Development Group; Alan Crouch (BS CS ’86), vice president and general manager, PC Client Group Service Provider Division; Morgan Anderson, government affairs manager; John Barton (BS CS ’80), vice president, Intel Architecture Group and general manager, Platform Validation Engineering; visit Oregon State University during a 2012 football game.
Intel has Beaver Fever. And it’s not just a winning football team that the Fortune 500 company is excited about. Over the last two years Intel has contributed nearly $1.5 million to Oregon State University for projects ranging from research to curriculum development. It’s a strategic partnership that has grown out of individual connections with Intel executives, many of whom earned their degrees at OSU and are passionate about the joint success of OSU and Intel.
“As an Oregon State grad, I would love to see OSU continue to evolve to be one of the top universities in the nation. From an Intel perspective, it's right on our doorstep and we have many areas where our interests align. By working together, we can grow and accelerate our strengths,” said Doug Fisher, corporate vice president and general manager of Intel’s System Software Division.
Gifts from Intel are part of The Campaign for OSU, the university’s first comprehensive fundraising effort that seeks to raise $1 billion to provide opportunities for students, strengthen the Oregon economy and conduct leading research that changes the world.
Although Intel and OSU have collaborated for many years, Terri Fiez, head of OSU’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), saw potential for even more synergy between the two organizations.
“Working with industry gives us insight into the current research problems, and focuses our courses on the most relevant topics. Intel has been a great partner for this,” Fiez said.
Strong research programs in EECS have been a major attraction for Intel, including integrated circuits, materials and devices, usability, sustainability, artificial intelligence, and multi-core processing.
“What’s amazing is the diversity of research we do with Intel,” Fiez said, citing projects with 20 different faculty members.
Students benefit from involvement with research programs that are making a direct impact on industry, but also from programs specifically designed for them. Partnerships in curriculum development are providing relevant experiences, such as course projects with Intel’s Atom Processor. The Intel Learning Company introduces freshman to open source programming through real world projects. By funding these educational programs, Intel benefits by creating a pipeline of potential future employees who can hit the ground running.
Intel is also interested in promoting a more diverse workforce and supports programs like Intel Engineering Summer Scholars to assist the College of Engineering in recruiting and retaining students from underrepresented minorities.
“Diversity is the essence of innovation,” said Alan Crouch, vice president and general manager of Intel’s PC Client Group Service Provider Division and an OSU alumnus. “A creative, diverse team writes better software, builds better products, and achieves greater business results. What’s needed is healthy debate and out-of-the-box thinking. Diverse points of view are essential to breakthrough innovation.”
Fiez feels that Intel’s impact goes beyond what can be measured in dollar figures, describing the relationships they have formed as like family.
“We are very proud of our alumni at Intel for what they have accomplished, and proud that they are modeling that success for our students,” Fiez said.
—By Rachel Robertson