Discussions, demonstrations of good practices, new proposals: this is the essence of the workshop “ICT at the service of the university community”, which will be held until December 14 at the National Center for Applied Electromagnetism (CNEA), sponsored by the Universidad de Oriente, Cuba, and the University of Ghent, Belgium.
At the meeting, Mr. Eloy Oliveros Dominguez, Director of Computerization of the UO, presented the Computerization Program whose purpose is to expand the use of ICT in each of the areas of the Universidad de Oriente and increase the computerization of university management.
The UO has approached the Academic Web as a fundamental tool for research, teaching and university extension processes. The debate led to reflection on the improvement of such service and the awareness that this is one of the most important tools that students and teachers have and that it must be perfected in the future.
Other experts showed the uses and benefits of HPC in Cuban science and how this service is being introduced into the network of researchers in the country. "These new systems concentrate a great capacity of processors, which implies a high calculation capacity, with more main memory and external storage. All of this allows researchers to address larger problems than could be solved on a personal computer", explained Dr. Fernando José Artigas, academic of the UO.
Also, the presentation of the HPC Cuba project by Dr. Héctor Cruz Enríquez, Director of Computerization of the UCLV and coordinator of the cooperation network with the Flemish universities, aroused interest, due to the expansion of the computing capacity with which will soon part of the Cuban science.
"For instance, the use of HPC is necessary in the modeling of structures and the creation of new components or the statistical validation of results which is impossible to be carried out in conventional computers," he asserted.
During his speech, Dr. Cruz Enriquez explained the relevance of this project as an instrument for working with metadata, library management and tools related to virtual environments and the Cuban research network.
By 2018 it is expected that the three universities guaranteeing this service, namely: the Universidad de Oriente (UO), the Universidad Central Martha Abreu de las Villas (UCLV), and the University of Computer Sciences (UCI) are already linked to each other. "Currently - Cruz explains - we are working on the development of national portals to which Cuban researchers will connect from anywhere in the network and we work on expanding the bandwidth with the ministries involved."
The three nodes that are already installed in the country have been donated by the VLIR-UOS program - says Cruz - and now it is essential that this service is also used by other research centers and industries in the country.
It is important that this service is not limited to the Ministry of Higher Education. It has to be used in other equal needed research centers and industries of the country".
In Cuba, the business group BioCubaFarma is announced as the first beneficiary of the HPC in order to accelerate the development of new medicines and services to be used in Cuba and other parts of the world. Ing. Karel Asael Barbarena, representative of the Information Technology Company (ETI) of BioCubaFarma, assures that the most important task is to make use of ICT efficiently; this is, without doubt, a powerful tool that is already being used in 5 of these institutions.
In the fourth edition of the workshop “ICT at the service of the university community”, sponsored by the TP1 of the VLIR-IUC East program, whose mission is the guarantee of the technological infrastructure for computerization and communications, the importance of the doctoral training for specialists in this area of knowledge also transcended.
At present, ICTs are not considered within the research lines of the UO due to the lack of training of professionals as explained by the researchers. However, it is one of the biggest concerns of young people and academics in the eastern region of Cuba, who have experienced two full editions coordinated by the UCLV.
In the event, some of the functions currently required by Information and Communication Technologies are required, including the automatic detection of frauds such as identity theft or improper use of information. MSc. Robert Reina Valladares, researcher at the Computerization Department of the Universidad de Oriente, is currently working on a model for automatic detection of such infringements.
It also shows how much UO researchers are advancing in the use of ICT for topics such as the analysis of feelings, the classification of infant crying using data mining techniques, and the augmented reality computer system for the management of tourist and heritage sites from Santiago de Cuba.
In its 5 years of implementation, the TP 1 project of the VLIR-IUC East program has enabled the equipping of laboratories at the universities of Guantanamo and Moa. The management of one of these spaces in the Higher Metallurgical Mining Institute of Moa "Antonio Núñez Jiménez" is also presented in this workshop by Mr. Miche Montero Mosqueda. "From the direction of computerization we provide multiple services to our university community, to some extent, also thanks to this collaboration with the Belgian universities.
In the closing session the MSc. José Cuza Freire, Cuban leader of the TP1 expressed the satisfaction for this workshop, the opportunity to exchange with specialists in computer sciences and other related sciences of several universities in the country. He ensured that the ties of cooperation between the UCLV and the UO will continue to be strengthened.
In this scenario, the work of the Network Department of the Computerization Directorate of the UO was acknowledged. Dr. Héctor Cruz, Director of Computerization of the UCLV was recognized as well as for the merits of his work and that of his entire team, who have worked along the UO researchers in the last 5 years. The Direction Board of the Universidad de Oriente was acknowledged for the impetus given to the computerization processes.
Translator: Maité Elisa Palacios Herrera.
Mr. Eloy Oliveros, Director of Computerization at the Universidad de Oriente, presented at the UO's Computerization Program, with its realities and challenges.
In the sessions of the workshop ICT at the service of the university community, the HPC UO and different aspects of this service in higher education were presented.
Participants in the fourth workshop ICT at the service of the university community. Photos: Alejandro Peña