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IBM Haifa Takes Four Technion Students to the Extreme

IBM Haifa Labs News Center

IBM Haifa joins the Extreme Blue program, uniting local talent and brains around the World - August 2001

Having just returned from the Extreme Blue Kickoff in London, Asher, Daniel, Oren, and Royi—the Extreme Blue Haifa team—are ready to hit the ground running.

The IBM Haifa Research Lab (HRL) hand picked the Extreme Blue Haifa team, all students at the Technion Institute in Haifa, to participate in Extreme Blue, IBM's worldwide program of exceptional students.

The Extreme Blue students are given the task to design and develop innovative solutions to strategic problems posed by the sponsoring researchers and executives from across IBM's business and research facility. The Extreme Blue Haifa team is developing a proof-of-concept application in the area of active services in a wireless environment.

The Haifa team's ultimate goal is to provide active services in a wireless environment, where the system is smart enough to recognize that a significant combination of events occurred and action is required. The system information involves a combination of events or measurements and the provision of information based on the subscriber's current location. For example, I may want my mobile device to alert me if the following combination of situations occurs: IBM stock goes up 5 points, the US dollars goes up by 0.2%, and the balance in my bank account is below $200. If all these events occur together, I will be notified and can sell stock or take care of my personal banking as I see fit.

In London, the Extreme Blue teams were treated to speakers from IBM, where they learned about technology trends and the future direction of IBM, and how their projects may very well be a part of these future plans. During the event, all the teams had the chance to present their projects. The Haifa team presented slides that included the main points of their technology as well as the end result.

The teams also had the opportunity to get to know each other and share ideas. "We really learned a lot from each other. We had the opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss working methodologies," says Daniel Finchelstein, a computer and software engineering major going into his third year of studies. There was also a jam session entitled "What will the World be Like in 20 Years", in which the teams were broken up and mixed together. "We had the chance to brainstorm with different people, giving us insight into how our peers in other countries think," says Royi Ronen, a computer science major entering his third year of studies.

But, it wasn't all work and no play for the Extreme Blue teams. The students had the opportunity to get to know each other on a more personal level. "We did have ice breakers and social activities," says Asher Ben Shoshan, a computer science major heading into his third year of studies. Smiling, he continues, "but we also had fun informally by going out dancing."

The team's next stop is Zurich where they will demo their proof-of-concept. After Zurich, the Haifa team plans to create a prototype of their project that will be presented at the Zurich and Hawthorne ISL (Industry Solutions Labs). These labs are unique environments that allow visitors to see what is going on in IBM Research.

"The Haifa team is a special group of individuals," says Dr. David Botzer, from the Active Management Technologies group and mentor to the Extreme Blue Haifa team. Botzer continues, "While IBM always picks the cream of the crop, these four students are really extraordinary."

"Fasten your seatbelt and get ready to fly" are the words embossed on the T-shirts that the Extreme Blue Haifa team presented to the other teams in London. There is no question that Asher, Royi, Daniel, and Oren are ready for take off.

For more information on Extreme Blue, visit their website at:

About IBM Haifa

The IBM Research and Development Labs in Israel have been active for almost 30 years in areas such as: VLSI design, verification technologies, distributed computing, system availability, operating systems, storage subsystems, computer communication, programming languages, multimedia, mathematical models and applications, active management technologies, optimization techniques, and e-business and security.

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