Cerner at KU (From KC Star's Bits and Bytes)

Kansas City,MO (12-16-2003)

From The Kansas City Star
By David Hayes

The software worked, the team was polished, and the principals of Lawrence's newest software "company" even wore suits.

Cerner Corp. last week finished its second year as sponsor of the Cerner Software Engineering Facility at the University of Kansas.

The Cerner-sponsored lab at KU's Information and Telecommunication Technology Center gives students at the center hands-on experience developing software, working with "clients" and selling their product.

The class, developed by KU associate professor Arvin Agah and Cerner director of engineering John Hansen, allows students to experience the software development process from beginning to end.

Students worked in teams to develop a hypothetical software company.

The company then was charged with developing software for an equally hypothetical client.

The teams made their presentations to Hansen and Agah last Tuesday. The winners?

"The team that won was the team that went all out," Hansen said. "They embraced the idea of being a software company, they took the sales pitch further and they even dressed up in suits."

Although the teams work with identical software and instructions from the client, "it's interesting how different each application turns out," Hansen said.

The fall semester class, first held in 2002, allows students to work in close to real-life conditions.

Teams this year were "hired" to develop Web-based software to watch physicians with consumers.

"The primary goal really is to give students an experience that mirrors the real world as closely as possible," Hansen said.

Students work with equipment and software similar to that used at Cerner. The equipment was donated by the North Kansas City company.

The program paid off early for Cerner. The company hired four students from last year's class, Hansen said.

For more information, contact ITTC.

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The Information and Telecommunication Technology Center at the University of Kansas has developed several assistance policies that enhance interactions between the Center and local, Kansas, or national companies. 

ITTC assistance includes initial free consulting (normally one to five hours). If additional support is needed, ITTC will offer one of the following approaches: 

Sponsored Research Agreement

Individuals and organizations can enter into agreements with KUCR/ITTC and provide funds for sponsored research to be performed at ITTC with the assistance of faculty, staff and students.

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An ITTC goal is the development of investment-grade technologies for transfer to, and marketing by, local, Kansas, and national businesses. To enhance this process, the Center has developed flexible policies that allow for licensing, royalty, and equity arrangements to meet both the needs of ITTC and the company.

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