IBM, LED and LSU College of Engineering partner to transform computer science

The rapid and widespread adoption of mobile and social technologies within the last three years has changed the way customers and companies interact with one another – driving fundamental transformations to business processes and applications. Louisiana Economic Development plans to make a major investment in LSU's College of Engineering to rapidly grow the state's technology workforce needs and support the new IBM Services Center in Baton Rouge.

IBM, LED and LSU College of Engineering partner to transform computer science
"IBM Services Center: Baton Rouge" represents Louisiana's largest software development project to date.

Dean of the LSU College of Engineering Rick Koubek said his college is committed to developing a mutually beneficial partnership with IBM and LED.

Colleen Arnold, senior vice president of Application Management Services, IBM Global Business Services, said this is a proud day for IBM.

In partnership with LED and IBM, LSU will be dramatically expanding its computer science program over the next 3-5 years.
Eddy Perez/LSU University Relations

The center is the result of an innovative, public/private partnership that will include expanded higher-education programs related to computer science. The center will employ a broad range of college graduates and experienced professionals with backgrounds in computer science and other quantitative-intense fields, such as engineering, mathematics, and science to provide software development and software maintenance services to clients in the United States. In addition to the 800 jobs that will be created at the center over the next four years, LSU estimates the project will result in approximately 542 new indirect jobs, for a total of approximately 1,342 new, permanent jobs in the Capital Region.

The State will provide $14 million in funding over 10 years for expanded higher-education programs designed primarily to increase the number of annual computer science graduates. At least 65 percent of these funds will be provided for expansion of the Computer Science Division of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at LSU.

"An IBM-LSU means we will bring new educational and job opportunities to our state," said William Jenkins, Interim President and Interim Chancellor. "The State wants to expand its economic base and this partnership demonstrates that LSU can fulfill that workforce need of that future economy."

To support this new endeavor, LSU's College of Engineering is committed to double its computer science faculty and triple the number of computer science graduates in five years, which will place the LSU Computer Science program in the top 10-15 nationally for the number of B.S. degrees in computer science awarded annually. The College will also expand its computer science programs and curriculum innovation as LSU students will benefit from internship opportunities and more jobs upon graduation, keeping the best and brightest in the state.

"This public/private partnership with Louisiana Economic Development, IBM and LSU is a powerful example of the triangulation between industry, government and academia that elevates the state's role as a national leader in economic development," said Rick Koubek, dean, LSU College of Engineering. "LSU's College of Engineering is committed to developing a mutually beneficial partnership with IBM and LED that stimulates economic growth and helps to meet the workforce development needs of the state."  

To fast track program growth, LSU's College of Engineering will launch the "Geaux Digital Louisiana" consortium. This unique initiative represents a statewide partnership with high schools, community and technical colleges, and other universities to promote interest in computer science related career fields and enhance student recruitment.

Additionally, IBM will work closely with local professors at LSU to create coursework focused on technology, math and software development, and equip students to meet the growing demand for business services including advanced analytics, process innovation and application development.

"IBM is renowned in the academic community as a global leader in innovation and we look forward to partnering on research and development to help us all achieve IBM's vision of a 'Smarter Planet'," Koubek said. "We are committed to fostering a symbiotic partnership to prepare our graduates for IBM's workforce needs and to leverage our faculty to assist in IBM's research endeavors."

About IBM
IBM is a globally integrated technology and consulting company headquartered in Armonk, N.Y. With operations in more than 170 countries, IBM attracts and retains some of the world's most talented people to help solve problems and provide an edge for businesses, governments and nonprofits. Innovation is at the core of IBM's strategy. For more about IBM, visit

About LSU School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Housed in LSU's College of Engineering, EECS was formed in July 2012 to be the new leader in computational scholarship for the state and positioned to be a national leader in the field. Faculty and students pursue research and curriculum innovation in computer science and computer engineering in line with the state's economic development initiatives in the areas of digital media, software development, digital and social gaming technology and future endeavors.