Thanks to a donation from Yahoo, the Computer Learning and Design Center (CLDC) at Howard University (HU) recently received 125 servers.
Located in Washington, D.C., Howard University is a private institution with an enrollment of 10,000 students. Although the school admits applicants of any gender or ethnicity, over 90 percent of the student body is African-American, according to data from StateUniversity.com. The U.S. Department of Education has designated the school a historically black college or university (HBCU) established before 1964, whose principle mission is to educate African-Americans. There are 102 colleges or universities with this designation. According to Howard, the university produces more on-campus PhDs for African-Americans than any other school in the U.S.
HU also leads nationally in producing African-American bachelor’s degree recipients who later advance to receive doctorates in science and engineering.
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The donation by Yahoo’s Data Center Operations Team is part of a program launched three years ago. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based search engine giant seeks to reward computer science departments at colleges and universities by helping them upgrade their technology with these donations. So far about 2,500 servers at 30 different institutions have been donated under the program.
Not surprisingly, the upgraded campus facility housing the servers has been designated the Yahoo Data Center.
Yahoo can be confident that the donation will be put to good use. Prior to the donation, HU already had research programs involving artificial intelligence, mobile engineering and human-computer interaction. The school also has seven separate computer lab facilities.
Although the server donation by Yahoo was likely inspired by HU’s successful computer science and engineering programs, it should benefit virtually all students and instructors. Even the least scientifically or technically-inclined students have smartphones, tablets or computers and a huge percentage are likely to use resources from the new servers in their studies.
Yahoo will also benefit. These donations let the company establish relationships with these universities, giving it an advantage when it comes to recruiting the best technical talent entering the workforce. The new server facility at HU has Yahoo branding and the purple color scheme, so students and instructors will see more Yahoo advertising than they would have otherwise.
The donation program will allow Yahoo to attract bright employees, but by itself it won’t help the company take market share away from Google (News - Alert). Nonetheless, the program is a smart way for Yahoo to help its own cause.