Watson Room opening, Hall Lecture mark two-day celebration of IBM support at Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt will open the Watson Room at the Wond’ry, and IBM Vice President Robert Sutor will give the School of Engineering’s John R. and Donna S. Hall Lecture, as part of a two-day celebration of IBM support at Vanderbilt University Sept. 19–20.

Vanderbilt will open the Watson Room beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, on the Wond’ry’s second floor, followed by a reception and poster session at 5:30 p.m. featuring the School of Engineering’s IBM Graduate Fellows.

Robert Sutor
Robert Sutor

Rather than a physical space, the Watson Room is a suite of products and services provided by IBM that will be located at and supported by the Wond’ry. These products and services are open to the entire Vanderbilt campus. Training sessions, workshops and demonstrations will begin Sept. 19 at the Watson Room opening and will continue throughout the academic year.

On Thursday, Sept. 20, Sutor, vice president for IBM Q Strategy and Ecosystem at IBM Research, will present “Quantum Computing: Don’t Count Your Qubits Before They’re Hatched” at 4:10 p.m. in Jacobs Believed in Me Auditorium at Featheringill Hall. A reception will follow the lecture in Adams Atrium. Sutor’s talk is part of the John R. and Donna S. Hall Engineering Lecture Series. Learn more about the Sept. 20 lecture here.

Both events are free and open to the Vanderbilt community.

The IBM Graduate Fellows Program was established in 1981 as an endowed fund to support highly competitive graduate students in all engineering departments. There are 20 student fellows for 2018-19. The fellowship allows these students to pursue research areas of interest and is used as an incentive to attract the best and brightest to attend Vanderbilt’s School of Engineering for their doctoral studies.

Other IBM workshop events planned for 2018-19 include:

IBM & College
Date: TBD
3-4 p.m.
The Wond’ry

This is a one-hour session for all Vanderbilt students informing them about the resources that IBM provides on IBM cloud.

TJBot Module/TJBot Series
Aug. 22-Sept. 21
Sept. 24-Oct. 26
Oct. 26-Dec. 5
Mondays-Wednesdays-Fridays, 12:10-1 p.m.
Venue: TBD

Three sessions will be held for engineering freshmen as an engineering module. The main aim of the course is to expose students to the robotics aspect of engineering and to encourage them to use their imaginations and problem-solving skills to build and code TJBot.

Four-week Series
Sept. 4-Sept. 25
Oct. 2-Oct. 23
Tuesdays, 5-6:15 p.m.
The Wond’ry

These external sessions are for non-engineers and engineering upperclassmen to apply their creativity and imagination in building TJBot. The main aim of this series is for participants to gain awareness of TJBot across campus and foster different ideas for designing and utilizing them.

Blockchain Seminar
Oct. 11
5-6 p.m.
The Wond’ry

This one-hour seminar is presented by a representative from IBM who will discuss how IBM blockchain intends to revolutionize the world of blockchain. The use of blockchain as a business platform will enable people to carry out trusted transactions online effectively, rapidly and securely.

Project Debater Exhibit
Open year-round at the Wond’ry (to be launched in late-January 2019)

This exhibit will be located on the first floor of the Wond’ry. Participants will chat with the Project Debater by asking questions that will create a form of mini-argument. Working with artists, they can employ their creativity in making the Project Debater look more user-friendly, Vanderbilt-themed, colorful and engaging for Wond’ry visitors.

Project Debater (Debate Team)
Available to the Debate Team by Jan. 15, 2019

Unlike the Wond’ry exhibit, this Project Debater will use a formal approach to debate its human counterparts. Practicing with the Project Debater will feel like a real debate with the inclusion of presentations, counter-arguments and conclusions.

TJBot Series
Four-week series
Jan. 15-Feb. 5
Feb. 19-March 12
March 26-April 16
Tuesdays, 5-6:15 p.m.
The Wond’ry

Three sessions are planned for anyone to join in and apply their creativity and imagination in building TJBot. The main aim of this series is for participants to gain awareness of TJBot and suggest different ideas for designing and utilizing them.

Entrepreneurship Seminar

Feb. 19
5-6 p.m.
The Wond’ry

A one-hour seminar describing how access to IBM’s online platform and developer works can lead to participants bringing their ideas to life through the use of IBM’s resources, such as Watson, blockchain, security and cognitive.

Quantum Computing Seminar
March 14
5-6:10 p.m.
The Wond’ry

This 70-minute seminar will feature a panel of IBM professionals and Vanderbilt computer science undergraduate students and teachers discussing the impact and power of quantum computing.

Design Day Presentation
April 22
The Wond’ry

During the School of Engineering’s annual Design Day, IBM representatives will duscuss IBM Design Thinking and the role it plays in creating inventions globally by applying the rules of ideation, prototyping, feedback and delivering.