CMU-R Students Create Real Time IT Solutions-Carnegie Mellon University Africa - Carnegie Mellon University

CMU-R Students Create Real Time IT Solutions

CMU-R Students Create Real Time IT Solutions

During the third and fourth semesters of the Masters of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) program, teams of student from Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda (CMU-R) apply what they have learned to a real-world problem defined by an industry sponsor. This part of their program is known as the practicum.

The clients involved in the 2013-2014 practicums were diverse and included: Ricoh Innovations Corporation, located in Menlo Park, California, USA; Rwacof Exports Ltd and The National Bank of Rwanda, both located in Rwanda; and Vital Meeting located in Johannesburg, South Africa. Working with these clients, teams of MSIT students negotiated, planned and developed products while adhering to high standards for accountability, teamwork and best practices.

The students faced many challenges during their practicums. These involved managing customer relationships, problem analysis, negotiating the requirements and scope of their project, and solution development. Rafiki Ntamuhanga, part of the team working with RWACOF exports Ltd, commented, "We were especially challenged by the fact that our client did not have a technical person on site, but were able to dig enough to find out their needs and create a solution they were appreciative of." Such challenges offer a wonderful experience to the students and help prepare them for their careers following graduation.

The projects themselves are highly diverse. The project with Ricoh Innovations Corporation, for example, involved students creating an android mobile application that enables patients to obtain crucial and easily understandable information about the medicine they are purchasing. In another practicum, students assessed the National Bank of Rwanda's information and communication technology network and infrastructure and proposed a secure, scalable and unified design with a high service availability infrastructure that supports the BNR modernization strategy.

Overall, both clients and students have been impressed by the prospects available due to the practicum experience. "The opportunity to learn how to handle customer and user experience as a practicum project was great," said Vanessa Umutoni a CMU-R students who has just completed her practicum with Vital Meeting from Johannesburg, South Africa.