Reporter: Catherine Legault
The Pan-Am games are coming to Toronto in 2015 and UOIT Networking and IT Security students have an opportunity to participate in the development and deployment of technology for the games.
A graduate of UOIT’s Networking and IT Security program, Justin Chin-You works for Cisco, a U.S. company that makes and sells networking equipment. On March 6 he returned to the university to talk to students about the work Cisco is doing for the Pan-Am games, the ways this work is changing the world and how this translates into the future of the IT industry.
One example of this is Cisco’s partnership with Connected North to help teachers in the more isolated Canadian north engage their students and bring experts into the classrooms via video-conference technology.
“What we decided to do is we partnered up with a few programs already in place. I don’t know if you guys are familiar with Virtual Researcher On Call, or VROC. They’re a part of Partners in Research and what they’ve done is provide an educational element where students, much like yourselves, doing masters or undergrad can do labs with students in high schools. You guys become subject matter experts,” said Chin-You.
Chin-You described situations where teachers can call in and ask for help regarding certain subjects, and also receive teaching training including handling students in the classroom with psychiatric challenges.
During the talk he encouraged students looking to get involved in the program to contact him, because they are always looking for extra help.
IT students, especially in the Greater Toronto area, looking to test their skills can also get involved a step further and help with the Pan-Am games.
“With the Pan-Am games coming to Toronto in 2015, we’re reaching out to the network academies to try and pull in students and instructors. And get them to help us deploy the networks, help us deploy some of the technologies,” said Chin-You. “I’ll be honest, at Cisco I don’t have the engineering resources to deploy everything. So the goal is for us to pull in some of the network academies, get you guys in there, and actually do some of the deploying, do some of the helping in terms of designing.”
Technology developed by students who participate goes back to the schools the students are from. So any technology developed by a UOIT student will be brought back with them.
“Our goal isn’t to build up the technology and then [it has no where to go],” said Chin-You. “Pan-Am, right now, their data centres are being housed out of universities. So we’ve donated a ton of Cisco data centre switching, a ton of Cisco collaboration portfolio, and it’s all being hosted by universities, by some of our partners. At the end of the day, it’ll all get donated for research projects.”