Students, meet professor Watson (as in IBM's Watson supercomputer)

Carnegie Mellon, Ohio State and other schools join forces with Big Blue on CompSci courses

You might think IBM's Jeopardy!-winning Watson supercomputer is getting stretched a bit thin these days, but that isn't stopping the company from teaming up with seven universities to offer computer science students a chance to build analytics, mobile and other apps for the system.

IBM CEO Ginny Rometty earliier this year at Mobile World Congress challenged developers to build apps for Watson, which is at heart of IBM's cognitive computing technology efforts. Watson's other endeavors include solving the mysteries of brain cancer and enabling enterprises to make better use of data.

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Carnegie Mellon, Ohio State University, New York University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the University of California Berkeley, the University of Michigan and the University of Texas in Austin are all on board to offer Watson-based classes as soon as this fall. IBM is providing a dedicated copy of Watson that students will be able to access via the cloud.

“The home run we’re looking for is to add our vision to IBM’s technology to create an application that is useful and worthy of being spun off as a product,” said Eric Nyberg, a professor in CMU’s Language Technologies Institute, in a statement. Nyberg and his students have been working with Watson as far back as 2007, actually, on advanced question-and-answer applications.

CMU's new course is called “Intelligent Information Systems featuring IBM’s Watson."

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