Last night I went to a set of presentations from students in our wifi class in the Masters in Informatics program. Really good stuff. Three groups all went out and did site surveys and decided on what made sense for the wireless users at specific sites. One of the sites was a local electronic instrumentation company, and the other two were part of an expanding public-access network in Buffalo. In at least one case, the survey done by the students will be rolled into an RFP for the city. Despite budget woes in Buffalo, they have already allocated a small amount to expanding the public network. They think, and I suspect they are right, that spending just a little bit on public wireless infrastructure could yield significant returns in development for the city.
I also like the example this course — taught by one of our graduates, Paul Chacko — sets for the program. This is the second time he’s taught the course (the first time was also a success), and he has done a great job of bringing down the walls of the academy and engaging our students in projects that have a significant positive impact on the community and place our students in contact with the private and public sector in Buffalo. Now we just need more courses like this in some of our other areas of instruction.