Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Computer scientists from the School of Computing have connected the University of Ngozi (Burundi) to Internet via satellite

05.12.2007
In December, the TEDECO (Development and Cooperation Technology) Group, based at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid’s School of Computing, is to conclude its first year of collaboration with the University of Ngozi, located close to the Rwandan border in northern Burundi.

The University of Ngozi, which is now training a total of 1,500 students, was founded in 1995 in an attempt by the leaders of several religious communities to set up a joint project that would bring together the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups on opposite sides in the civil war that ended in 2005.

The TEDECO Group, staffed by three professors and over 20 students from the UPM’s School of Computing, has travelled to Burundi 19 times this year as part of this cooperation.

The TEDECO Group’s first job at the University of Ngozi was to set up the infrastructure required for teaching. At the start of the cooperation scheme, Ngozi University’s School of Computing had no more than 40 computers, only 17 of which were working, to cater for a total of 250 computing students, as well as office automation courses for students of other degrees.

The country’s first programming course

The primary aim of the cooperation was to teach a number of courses, including programming (the country’s first), digital electronics and databases. This academic cooperation led to an increase in the number of students at the University of Ngozi, as the number of first-year students enrolling at the School of Computing tripled from 17 to 65 since the cooperation got under way.

This training has compensated for the shortage of local professors with enough expertise to teach subjects in many technical fields, as qualified professionals have emigrated to other nearby countries where the standard of living is higher.

Courses were taught not only by School of Computing professors, but also by local final-year students. These students have also repaired and installed computer equipment and software.

The goal of this first cycle of cooperation with the University of Ngozi was to provide higher technical education, from which 200 students, from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania, have benefited so far.

Computing infrastructures

Additionally, TEDECO has gone ahead and equipped the School with other basic infrastructures: it has wired two whole university buildings, and it has set up a computer room to house an Internet café, installed servers and started up an intranet, as well as a computer centre with two laboratories to host training activities.

The TEDECO Group has installed a satellite dish to connect the university’s computers to the World Wide Web via satellite. The University of Ngozi is now the only university in the country (and neighbouring countries) where professors and students have access to Internet.

While the infrastructure was being developed, University of Ngozi students and staff were trained in how to maintain the hardware and software. The UPM’s School of Computing continues to provide remote technical assistance via Internet.

To cover the costs of the Internet connection (some 300 dollars a month), an Internet café was created. The Internet café serves students and other groups outside the university that pay an amount in return for using Internet. This, the TESON project (from the Spanish Technology for the University of Ngozi’s Sustainability), is then a sustainable infrastructure.

Some 25,000 euros have been invested in this, the first cycle of cooperation, which has basically served to fund 15 of the trips undertaken during this period. The second period, which will call for many programming hours, will be much more costly and intensive.

Next cycle of cooperation

The second cycle of cooperation, for which the TEDECO Group is now seeking funding, aims to equip the University of Ngozi with the programs it requires to manage its operations.

Computer scientists from the UPM’s School of Computing will develop the software required for university management, library use and student follow-up, etc. Other universities will be able to use all this software in the future.

According to Susana Muñoz, Director of the TEDECO Group, this cooperation is part of the international framework of technology transfer to third world countries.

Other European universities are also cooperating with the University of Ngozi. The University of Bologna is cooperating on a training programme with the School of Medicine and the University of Salamanca on the deployment of solar panels to combat the country’s deficient energy infrastructure.

Burundi is close to the bottom of the world economic development ranking. Around 95% of the population makes out a living from subsistence agriculture.

Eduardo Martínez | alfa
Further information:
http://www.fi.upm.es/?pagina=562
http://tedeco.fi.upm.es/

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht UT professor develops algorithm to improve online mapping of disaster areas
29.11.2016 | University of Tennessee at Knoxville

nachricht New standard helps optical trackers follow moving objects precisely
23.11.2016 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>