On course for the cloud
He served as an associate professor at the Mexico City university where he took his undergraduate degree, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, and Sun sent him up to the University of California, Berkeley, to teach industrial skills as well.
Eventually he left industry to return to academics and complete a PhD at the University of Edinburgh, which he chose because it had an excellent programme in informatics.
He already knew the UK well, having done an MSc at the University of Essex – which at first glance might seem a curious and distant choice for a Mexican student, but González-Vélez says the university has a long-standing exchange programme for Mexican students.
Ireland is a new destination, but he says he is enjoying settling in and preparing for a very hectic September as the course begins.
The programme will fit within NCI’s School of Computing, initially launching with 25 graduates with honours degrees in computer science. They will spend 12 to 15 months completing the course, doing two semesters of coursework first, and then preparing a dissertation based on a project they undertake within industry over the summer.
“The CCC is that marriage between education, research, and industrial links, and will also link to our incubation centre. We did market research, and there was no programme focusing on that. A few have computing elements, but many more are business angled, or rebranded, existing programmes.”
The CCC programme is specifically grounded in computing skills, with an intention to engage directly with industry.
González-Vélez points out that the advisory board, in part drawn from companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Fujitsu and Google, also includes a number of eminent computer scientists of international profile.
These include Stanford University emeritus professor of computer science and author Jeffrey Ullman; University of California, Berkeley adjunct professor and cloud computing specialist Armando Fox; and Michael J Franklin, the Thomas M Siebel Professor of Computer Science at UC Berkeley.
González-Vélez says the Irish programme was able to attract such individuals because Ireland has a strong reputation in the area of cloud computing.
“Six out of 10 of the top cloud providers have centres here. It’s not just the weather . Ireland is one of the top places to do cloud computing. And we need to convey that message to students.”