Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent
Archive for April, 2012

Posted by
Guest in

by Ken Bisconti, ECM VP of Products and Strategy

There’s valuable content in those emails, documents, correspondents, statements, videos and blogs. The key is to find it, make it accessible, and share it.

By rethinking the strategic role of content, businesses can harness all this data, better connect people to key information, and analyze content to make better business decisions and reduce risk. Why the need? There are three key shifts today driving the need for a “strategic” view of content management.

Continue Reading »

Bookmark and Share

This week IBM will receive the World Environment Center’s Gold Medal Award, so we asked students at the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise to share their views on sustainability (we’ve included a video to show what IBM is doing to make the world smarter).  Kicking off the four-part series is a post by recent graduate Nate Springer:

The most sophisticated management system in the world was developed in a laboratory of iron, oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon surrounded by a thin layer of ozone. This system, what we call the planet’s ecosystems, costlessly manages biological functions that allow us to enjoy life.  We are just now beginning to understand and manage these complex systems.

Ecosystems can be thought of as vast data management systems that provide services to sustain all life on earth. The information equivalent of terabytes of energy, mass, volume, pressure and other data flows within ecosystems every minute. “Ecosystem services” are the benefits that humans derive from these natural processes and include food, fuel, climate regulation, clean water, and even recreation.

But today, the rapid rate of change we are imposing on the global environment forces us to ask an important question: can we really assume the full cost and management for Earth’s life-support systems?

Continue Reading »

Bookmark and Share

Rugby is one of the world’s toughest sports. Large men wearing little or no protective gear collide with each other at full speed. They leap. They scramble. They mash together in scrums. So it’s no wonder that rugby’s injury rates are nearly three times higher than soccer’s.

Credit: Leicester Football Club

In professional rugby, one of the essentials for achieving a winning record is reducing the injury rate. That’s why the Leicester Tigers, the most successful professional rugby team in the United Kingdom, recently adopted predictive analytics software aimed at proactively reducing injuries. The goal is to avoid the physical and mental fatigue that sets players up for some of the most common rugby injuries, which include muscle and ligament tears and joint dislocations.

“Our data suggests that if we have a fully fit squad, we’ll rival any team in Europe. If we have a lot of injuries, we’ll have trouble competing with the best,” says Andy Shelton, Head of Sport Science. In spite of having three key players out with injuries right now, the Tigers are in second place in the premier division in the final weeks of the season.

Continue Reading »

Bookmark and Share
April 27th, 2012
0:05
 

Editor’s note: To celebrate the history of math and its impact on the world, IBM has released Minds of Modern Mathematics, a free iPad app that re-imagines a classic 50-foot infographic on the history of math created by the design team of Charles and Ray Eames and displayed at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City. Janet Perna, a retired IBM executive and one-time math teacher, has strong feelings about the importance of math education–starting in elementary school. Join the conversation on Twitter: #math #Eames

By Janet Perna
former General Manager, IBM Information Management

When I was a young math teacher fresh out of college in my hometown of Middletown, New York, I tried to make math entertaining and practical  for my students. I’d have them learn basic arithmetic by doing things like making change and dividing a sheet cake into equal servings.  They learned the basics of geometry by imagining that they were tiling the classroom floor. These exercises made math seem useful especially for those children who were not destined for college, but would become the backbone of the community taking on  blue collar jobs in Middletown.

Unfortunately, then and now, most children are turned off to math by the time they enter junior high school. I have found that  many elementary school teachers with whom I have spoken are intimidated by math, and aren’t confident enough to make it interesting and useful to their students. If teachers are afraid, the students will fear math, too. That’s why I believe that we need new programs to strengthen math skills and creativity in our university teacher education programs, and, even more broadly, in liberal arts curricula.

YouTube Preview Image

Continue Reading »

Bookmark and Share

by Martin Kelly, Partner, IBM Venture Capital Group

We’re pleased to announce the line-up for IBM SmartCamp 2012. This is our program for helping entrepreneurs who are developing products and services that make the world work better. Entrepreneurs who participate gain access to mentors who understand their industry and can help them develop their businesses. Also, networking and publicity can lead to venture funding.

We plan more than 17 SmartCamp events worldwide this year. The schedule starts in Miami on May 15th, with a new format focused on healthcare. Over the last two years we have seen growing interest in certain topics and believe the timing is right to have dedicated events. These one- and two-day events will bring together entrepreneurs, mentors and investors in particular industries allowing a more focused discussion.  We will follow Miami up with New York on May 24th with a focus on Smart Cities. The New York event was planned to coincide with TechCrunch Disrupt NYC,  to allow mentors and companies to make the most of the community.

For more information and to apply, you can get started here.

Continue Reading »

Bookmark and Share

Posted by
Guest in

By Paul Brody, Global Electronics Industry Leader, IBM Global Business Services

While smarter analytics can be used to help businesses, public agencies and cities tap into “Big Data” to glean insights and help make decisions in realtime, I’m seeing this same smarter analytics phenomenon start to take hold on a more personal level — in the area of connected health devices. From monitoring blood pressure to physical therapy progress, to fitness goals and beyond, the ability to use connected devices to analyze and act on our personal health information is really starting to take off. The movement has a name: The Quantified Self, and it even has a poster child: Nicholas Felton who publishes his own annual report on everything from food consumption to where he goes for runs. Continue Reading »

Bookmark and Share

Major research initiatives sometimes begin with a startling revelation. So it was with IBM’s Battery 500 project.

Winfried Wilcke, the program leader, attended an energy workshop at Stanford University in August of 2008. During a break,  Nobel Physics Laureate Burton Richter told  him that the US electrical grid had the capacity to charge all of the cars in the country at night if they were electric. “I said to myself, ‘He must be kidding.’ But I did the calculations, and he was basically right,” says Wilcke. That launched Wilcke on a quest to develop a new battery technology that would make it possible for a family sedan to travel 500 miles on a single overnight charge–making it a practical all-purpose vehicle.

Wilcke’s quest reached a milestone today with the announcement that two industry leaders, Asahi Kasei and Central Glass–have partnered with IBM in a research collaboration aimed at fulfilling the 500-mile dream via new lithium-air battery technology. Asahi Kasei is one of Japan’s leading chemical manufacturers. Central Glass is a top electrolyte manufacturer for lithium-ion batteries. They will work with an extended Battery 500 research team that includes scientists at IBM’s labs in San Jose, Calif., and Zurich, Switzerland, and at several U.S. national labs, including Argonne and Stanford-SLAC.

Continue Reading »

Bookmark and Share
April 19th, 2012
8:00
 

By Cliff Pickover, IBM Master Inventor
and author of The Math Book, awarded the 2011 Neumann Prize

I just returned from the biennial “Gathering 4 Gardner” meeting that honors the achievements of Martin Gardner (1914-2010), the American mathematics and science writer. The conference promotes new and accessible ideas in recreational mathematics, mathematical art, magic, puzzles, and philosophy.

The conference had special meaning to me.  My own interest in science, math, and science-fiction writing started in high school, after receiving a copy of Gardner’s The Unexpected Hanging and Other Mathematical Diversions, an early collection of some of his columns from Scientific American. The book’s tales of the fourth dimension, and matchbox computers for playing tic-tac-toe, energized my imagination.

Today, I work at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY. For decades, I have been intrigued by a huge poster by American designers Charles and Ray Eames, adjacent to our Watson library, which features a chronological view of mathematics through the biography of great mathematicians.  Gauss, Euler, Napier, Hilbert, and more!

One could stare at the poster for hours and never be bored with its intricate details. To mark the impact of math on the world, IBM has created an iPad app based on this poster, Minds of Modern Mathematics, which you can download here.

YouTube Preview Image

Continue Reading »

Bookmark and Share

By Michael Haydock
IBM Global Business Services
Chief Scientist

This week we released the global IBM 2Q Retail Forecast, which found that home furnishing sales are going to receive a boost over the next three months— a healthy 8 percent increase for in-store sales and 28.44 percent for online sales. Combined, we expect to see a 16.6 percent increase in home furnishing sales in the months of April, May and June. This is good news for the retail industry.

There were a number of factors that contributed to this uptick – including an increase of rental activity, the rise of disposable incomes, and a trend toward “accessorization.” Perhaps the most interesting driver of future home furnishings sales– was discovered within a hidden correlation to the Chinese Year of the Dragon.

During the auspicious “Year of the Dragon” which falls once every 12 years, tens of thousands of people around the world plan their marriages and births to get an extra dose of luck and good fortune.

We decided to test our hypothesis against our in-store sales data. Did the home furnishing sales actually spike during the last Year of the Dragon, in the year 2000?

The answer is yes. Interestingly, home furnishings sales in the year 2000 ranked the third-highest out of a period of 22 years.

Bookmark and Share

What skills do leaders need to succeed in the global economy?  Harvard Business School professor Linda A. Hill and leadership coach and writer Kent Lineback share their point of view as part of our Next Gen Leaders Series.

As globally-integrated firms like IBM are discovering, the roles of formal authority and hierarchy are declining in the workplace. What remains, however, is the core purpose they served – the need to influence others, to make a difference in other people’s actions and the thoughts and feelings that drive those actions.

Thus, the key challenge for IBM and others is this: if authority and hierarchy are waning, what are now the primary tools of influence available to those responsible for the performance of others? How, for example, can IBM’s Global Enablement Teams of senior leaders from mature economies best influence and develop the skills of local managers in emerging economies?

In this new world, we believe there are three key tools of influence, which we call the three imperatives of leadership:

Manage Yourself: Your ability to influence others begins with you and who you are as a person, and the most important feature here is whether people trust you. Are they confident you will do the right thing? Effective leaders now build relationships based on trust, not authority or social ties like friendship. And they do that by earning people’s confidence in their competence and character, the key components of trust. People trust someone who knows what to do and how to do it (competence) and who intends to do the right thing (character). Trust is the foundation of all influence other than coercion.

Continue Reading »

Bookmark and Share