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Last modified: Thursday, September 22, 2011

IU receives NSF grant to expand internship program in network engineering

Sept. 23, 2011

EDITORS: Watch a video interview with Matt Davy, Brad Wheeler and interns John Meylor and Morgan Myers at

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's Summer of Networking internship program, which provides students with hands-on, practical training from the university's acclaimed network engineering staff, has received a two-year, $270,595 grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant will enable IU to expand the program and continue focusing on preparing students for the high-tech job market.

The program is located at the Indiana Center for Network Translational Research and Education (InCNTRE) at IU, and, in partnership with the University of Montana, is designed for undergraduates interested in areas such as network engineering, software development, network security and networking research. The 10-week program enables training and real-life experience in networking fundamentals, providing students from Indiana and throughout the nation with valuable technical and critical thinking skills.

"InCNTRE's mission is to drive innovation for the next generation of networking," said Matt Davy, InCNTRE director and IU chief network architect. "We're excited about this program because we see an increasing need for well-educated and experienced network researchers and engineers. We want to build the deep conceptual and practical understanding of networks that is required for the next generation of leaders in networking."

Davy is principal investigator on the project.

Along with acquiring hands-on experience, interns take part in a networks fundamentals course, which is delivered in a studio style workshop environment and features a student-centered, inquiry-based approach to learning. Students are tasked with creating and troubleshooting networks based on real-world networking case studies. In addition, a networking seminar series teaches professional and collaborative skills for working effectively with peers and non-experts.

"IU's InCNTRE and the IU Global Research Network Operations Center (GlobalNOC) are positioned to provide training for future network researchers, as well as workshops for practicing network engineers and researchers," said Dave Jent, associate vice president for networks at IU. "Plus, by hosting the program, IU has the opportunity to recruit from a group of talented students.

"The GlobalNOC is unique in that it manages networks at a scale and level of expertise that is matched only by very large telecommunications providers, yet it remains an integral part of Indiana University's mission to support research and education," Jent added.

The IU GlobalNOC is a world-class network management organization supporting 18 research and education networks of national, international, regional and enterprise scale.

Ray Ford, computer science professor and chief technology officer at the University of Montana, is the principal investigator on a companion grant made to Montana to extend the reach of the Summer of Networking program to students and institutions outside of the Midwest.

"The University of Montana is really looking forward to collaborating on this project with IU and other world leaders in networking that IU can attract," Ford said. "We have participated with IU on prior efforts during the summers of 2010 and 2011 that have offered a remarkable opportunity for our students. The NSF funding will allow IU to enhance and expand their program, allow us to expand participation by students in Montana and the Northern Tier, and thus offer even greater potential to develop the next generation of network professionals."