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State Farm Foundation Grant Funds New UI MIS Laboratory

A $50,000 grant from the State Farm Companies Foundation to the UI Foundation will support significant upgrades to computer equipment in the University of Iowa departments of computer science and management sciences.

The new Management Information Systems Laboratory funded by the State Farm grant will benefit management information sciences (MIS) students in the UI Henry B. Tippie College of Business and computer science students in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. State Farm's generosity will be recognized at a Sept. 12 reception, tour and check-presentation ceremony at the new MIS lab in the Pappajohn Business Building; attending will be officials from State Farm and UI students, faculty and staff.

"This grant is the latest chapter in a long-running relationship between State Farm and the UI," said Kurt Anstreicher, head of the Department of Management Sciences in the UI Tippie College of Business. "For several years, alumni of University of Iowa MIS and computer science programs who work at State Farm have been collaborating with our departments to better prepare our graduates for industry positions. The new MIS Lab will enable us to offer important course content for both MIS and computer science students that was previously impossible due to network security concerns."

The grant came in connection with State Farm's Heartland Zone Public Affairs Department selection of the UI to be one of its Priority Schools for 2006.

"As a first-time State Farm Priority School recipient, the University of Iowa is an institution we are proud to sponsor," said State Farm Iowa Vice President Terry Barton. "We recognize the outstanding caliber and talent of students and faculty in Iowa City. State Farm is committed to providing the resources necessary to help raise the level of achievement of students through the enhancement of curriculum and university resources to help better prepare these students for their future."

Jim Cremer, chair of the Department of Computer Science, said, "State Farm's generous grant will provide specialized computing resources critical to educating students for today's information technology careers. This includes an upgrade to the MIS networking lab and a new high-performance server cluster in computer science, together with a high-speed link between the two.

"This cooperative arrangement will enable the two departments to custom configure the combined resources to support classes in parallel programming, grid and cluster computing, distributed computing, networking, security and high-performance databases and data mining," Cremer added.

State Farm insures more cars than any other insurer in North America and is the leading U.S. home insurer. State Farm's 17,000 agents and 68,000 employees serve more than 74 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 22 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit statefarm.com.


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