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Penn State Pushes Use of IBM Watson to Improve Student Experiences

An organization at Penn State that brings the campus community together with industry for development of education technology is teaming up with IBM to challenge students, faculty and staff to use the company's artificial intelligence platform, Watson, to improve the student experience at the university. The EdTech Network will be kicking off the Nittany Watson Challenge during an "immersion day" Jan. 19.

Judges will award 10 projects $5,000 each in seed money to pursue development of Watson-based projects that can help students with the kinds of problems that surface regularly for them, such as job hunting, scheduling and transfer credits. A second round of judging will issue another $10,000 to five of the projects.

During the launch event, the university and IBM will help prospective challengers learn more about Watson's capabilities and core services and help them meet up with potential collaborators.

The competition's "Nittany" reference comes from the name of Penn State's mascot, a made-up breed of lion once said to roam around Mount Nittany, which the university sits in the shadow of.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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