May 15, 2007

Case Western Reserve University engineering student receives second consecutive prestigious internship from IBM

Benjamin Chodroff first American IBM Extreme Blue intern to travel abroad; will work in India

Benjamin Chodroff in Pune, India

A Case Western Reserve University computer engineering major—who will receive both his bachelor's and master's degrees in December 2007—will spend the summer in Pune, India, as the first American college intern to travel abroad and participate in the highly-respected IBM Extreme Blue (EB) internship program.

Benjamin Chodroff, 23, of York, Pa., will work on a dynamic team developing new business concepts or products for IBM. He will work in India for 12 weeks this summer as a software engineer, beginning May 1.

"This opportunity to work abroad—especially in one of the fastest-growing technology countries in the world—with the world's top software company is going to be an experience I'll never forget.," Chodroff said.

It will be a busy and grueling experience, too.

Extreme Blue, IBM's highly competitive internship program, combines top undergraduate technical and graduate business talent to commercialize emerging technologies from IBM's internal portfolios. EB challenges project teams of technical and MBA interns to create business plans and prototypes in just 12 weeks by developing new high-growth businesses starting with a promising idea, market or technology. At the end of the 12 weeks, their work is showcased to IBM's senior executives, business partners and clients. The Extreme Blue teams, located in various labs throughout the world, are run like mini-businesses and must solve real customer problems to be successful. The interns work in small project teams, along with IBM mentors comprised of senior staff from various disciplines and divisions.

Summer 2007 will be Chodroff's second summer internship with IBM Extreme Blue. In 2006, he worked in Durham, N.C., with three other Case students on "CAM," a project where Chodroff's team used operating system virtualization in combination with predicted software and hardware failure alerts to avoid system downtime through migration. The project ended up being a great success and is still reverberating for Chodroff and his team one year later.

"We submitted 10 patents," Chodroff said of his Durham experience. "Of those 10 patents, four were published and one is in the process of being submitted to the U.S. patent office."

At the end of the summer, all of the Extreme Blue teams from around the country and the world will travel to IBM's corporate headquarters in Armonk, N.Y., to present their projects and business ideas to the company's top executives.

Z. Meral Ozsoyoglu, chair of the department of electrical engineering and computer science at the Case School of Engineering, says Chodroff, also an avid photographer and violinist, is one of the department's best and brightest.

"Ben deserves to be chosen for the IBM Extreme Blue program two years in a row," she said. "He is an excellent student and talented researcher who fits in well with IBM's criteria for this internship. EB creates a powerful team dynamic that fosters open collaboration and enables the students to address all aspects of the eventual solution. Like many of our outstanding EECS students, Ben is the ultimate team player who has shown exceptional leadership and research skills."

IBM launched its Extreme Blue program in Bangalore, India, in 2004, for students to work in their India Software Labs (ISL), which are based in Bangalore and Pune. While Chodroff will be based in Pune, ISL plays a major role in IBM's global Linux initiatives and has established a Linux Technology Center in Bangalore. ISL's job is to deliver effective support to IBM's e-Business on Demand initiative on critical technology areas of business integration, autonomic computing and grid computing, high-performance environments where interns get to roll up their sleeves and work with "hot" technology, like Linux, says Chodroff.

"Unlike other intern programs that may relegate you to work on outdated technology, EB teams work on leading technology that helps grow your skills and make you a more attractive candidate in the technology field," Chodroff said. "Getting all of this experience before I graduate is great. I can't wait to get started."

The photographer is also planning on taking lots of pictures.

For more information contact Laura M. Massie, 216-368-4442

Posted by: Heidi Cool, May 15, 2007 04:39 PM | News Topics: HeadlinesMain, Provost Initiatives, Students, Technology, Weatherhead School of Management

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