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IBM Taps Next Generation Leaders To Fuel Watson Innovations; USC Students Aim High In First-Ever West Coast Case Competition

The Watson Case Competition at USC, the third in a series hosted by IBM, is the latest example of IBM's work with academia to advance interest among students in Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculums that will lead to high-impact, high-value careers.  The competition is in keeping with IBM's Academic Initiative which delivers course work, case studies and curricula to more than 6,000 universities and 30,000 faculty members worldwide to help students prepare for high-value future job opportunities. 

IBM worked closely with academic institutions during the development and introduction of Watson. Eight leading universities around the world participated in the development phase of the system; and more than 10,000 students watched Watson triumph on the Jeopardy! quiz show in February 2011.  Most recently, IBM announced it would provide a modified version of an IBM Watson system to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, making it the first university to receive such a system that will enable leading-edge research by faculty and students. 

The competition at USC marks the latest collaboration between the university and IBM. Over the last two years, students at the school's Annenberg Innovation Lab have been using Big Data analytics technologies to conduct social sentiment analyses and determine public engagement on topics such as sports, film, retail and fashion. Two of the biggest projects looked at Major League Baseball's World Series and the Academy Awards, projects developed for students to explore and expand their skills as they prepare for new data-intensive careers.  IBM also collaborated with the USC Marshall School of Business for "The Great Mind Challenge," a global academic initiative focused on providing students with an opportunity to turn their social networking savvy into business ready skills to prepare for the jobs of the future.

For more information on the University of Southern California, please visit http://www.usc.edu

For more information on IBM Watson, please visit http://www.ibmwatson.com

For more information on the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, please visit http://viterbi.usc.edu

To join the social discussion about Watson include the hashtag #ibmwatson

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