Friday, November 7, 2008

DB2 on Campus tour in Italy

This year's DB2 on Campus tour in Italy was a huge success! From Oct. 2-17, Raul and I, Agatha Colangelo, presented the DB2 on Campus program (Raul in English and I in broken Italian) to more than 500 Italian university students and faculty members from universities across the country. This was Raul's fourth tour in Italy, and my first.

In the north, among the professors and IBMers present were Prof. Stefano Ceri, from the Polytechnic of Milan, Prof. Elena Baralis and Prof. Silvia Chiusano from the Polytechnic of Turin, as well as Carla Milani, University Relations Manager, IBM Italy.

After the presentation in Milan, Sergio Matone, the DB2 Student Ambassador from the Polytechnic of Turin, also spoke to the students about the exciting work he's doing as ambassador, and its benefits. Sergio and his university friends who helped with the Italian translation of the book: Getting Started with DB2 Express-C, received free t-shirts from Raul. After each presentation in Milan and in Turin, Carla, Sergio, Raul and I socialized over a delicious lunch at a nearby Osteria. Also, while in Milan, at the IBM Segrate office, we had the privilege of a meeting with Carla Milani, Francesco Airoldi, Senior IT Architect, Carlo Patrini, IT Architect, Giancarlo Scotti, IBM Sales & Distribution, and Felix Mahimai John, the DB2 Student Ambassador from the Polytechnic of Milan. Among other things, we discussed the need to have more DB2 retail books, both in English and Italian. Therefore, for those of you want to write books on DB2, do not hesitate. The public is waiting for them!

Heading south very early the morning of Oct. 9th, I captured this beautiful sunrise from the plane, before arriving at the beautiful gulf of Naples, from where I had left Italy as a child and not returned there since. (The 2nd picture was the view from my B&B, not easy to find but worth every penny, or rather, every euro.)



Giacomo Franco, Process, Methods & Tools Leader, Italy, and DB2 Ambassador was waiting for us at the airport. At the Electronic Engineering Dept. at University of Naples Federico II, we met Prof. Paolo Maresca, who showed us the amazing work his students are doing on the DB2 on Campus login/ registration system.


After the presentation, while we were chatting in his office, Prof. Maresca created the DB2 in Naples group on channelDB2. (Since then, more than 70 students from Federico II have joined channelDB2 and the number keeps growing daily!) Prof. Maresca expressed interest in collaborating on projects with the IBM Toronto Lab and also with other universities, not only in Italy, but from other countries as well. Here are a few of the students from Naples who have since joined channelDB2. Francesco Buono, 2nd from the left, is leading the login/ registration project. I wish these and all other Italian students who attended the presentations much success with their studies and careers (at IBM or elsewhere). Prof. Maresca, Giacomo, Raul and I also enjoyed delicious pizzas at a nearby restaurant (I finally tasted "Toto's pizza"; for those who don't know, Toto is the most famous Italian comedian from Naples, that they named a pizza after him.)

The following day, at the University of Salerno, with IBMers Giacomo Franco and Ornella Serio, a senior IT Specialist from GBS, we met Prof. Paolo Napoletano and Prof. Francesco Colace, who later presented his design/prototype of a brainstorming system called "CoffeeShop" that used XML in files. Hopefully our presentation convinced Prof. Colace to use DB2 V9.5 with pureXML instead!

The presentation was followed by an incredible catered lunch at the university's cafeteria with Prof. Giancarlo Nota. Not only was the food exquisite, but the view from the cafeteria, of the surrounding mountainside, was breathtaking (I was sorry I didn't have my camera with me). Ornella and I spent the last evening together having fun, sight- seeing Naples.


The 2nd week, Raul headed north to present the DB2 on Campus program to universities in Poland, while I headed east to present the program to universities in Puglia, my native province. I first presented the program to IBMers and IBM contractors (PhD.s) at the IBM Innovation Lab, Bari, who are working on the MBLab (Bioinformatic Laboratory for Molecular Biodiversity) and LIBi (International Laboratory of Bioinformatics) projects with Pietro Leo, Executive IT Architect, IBM GBS, and DB2 Ambassador. Below Pietro (Piero) is introducing the presentation to profs and PhD. students at the Dept. of Computer Science at the University of Bari.


Present were Prof. Gianni Semeraro and Prof. Donato Malerba. This presentation was followed by another delicious lunch at the local Osteria in Bari.

At the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Salento, just outside the baroque city of Lecce, among the PhD. students present were Prof. Giovanni Aloisio and Dott. Maria Mirto. This group is also working on the LIBi project.
One of the PhD. students presented a system that they're developing that uses DB2 among other databases at the backend. With this and other projects, Prof. Aloisio also expressed an interest in collaborating with the IBM Toronto Lab and with other universities both in Italy and around the world.

Since I wasn't able to present the IBM Data Studio demo at some universities (due to harware problems), here's a link to it: IBM Data Web Services.

Overall, this tour was not only "un successione", with good food, great weather, and beautiful places to visit, but it was also an opportunity of a lifetime for me, allowing me to meet many wonderful people in Italy while promoting DB2.

For more pictures, visit my page on channelDB2.

Ciao! Agatha

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