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The enterprise apps partnership between Apple and IBM has reached the goal the two companies set of bringing 100+ MobileFirst apps to the business and professional sectors. Many enterprise customers of course use these in conjunction with existing consumer apps.

The companies plan to make future apps even more powerful …

IBM will integrate many future MobileFirst for iOS apps with the capability of its Watson cognitive computing system, enabling the apps to continuously learn about the needs of employees and customers over time — effectively building on data with more use.

Among the companies using the apps are Air Canada, AXA, Bosch, Coca-Cola Amatil, Japan Post, Rimac, SAS Airlines and Vodafone. As examples, Bosch equips field engineers with an app designed to enable them to more quickly diagnose issues with home appliances, while SAS gives flight attendants and app that provides “a 360-degree view of each passenger’s past preferences, interests and purchasing decisions to deliver a more personalized flying experience.”

IBM is, of course, working on apps for the iPad Pro, including ones that use the Apple Pencil for tasks as diverse as room designs and annotating maintenance logs.

The partnership was extended back in the summer to include IBM distributing and supporting enterprise Macs for other companies. IBM employees were also offered the option of Macs for the first time earlier in the year.

Image: Bidness etc

Each app combines IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities with Apple’s legendary consumer experience to help companies achieve new levels of efficiency, effectiveness and customer satisfaction — faster and easier than ever before.

Other clients selecting IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps include:

Bosch BSH, the largest manufacturer of home appliances in Europe, is using the Fast Fix app to put powerful, analytic-based guidance in the hands of field service engineers via iPad, enabling them to resolve home appliance issues faster while improving customer satisfaction. BSH’s new mobile strategy aims to enhance customer service by connecting field service engineers with customers in real time.

SAS, the largest airline in Scandinavia, will provide its flight attendants with the Passenger+ app, allowing them to access a 360-degree view of each passenger’s past preferences, interests and purchasing decisions to deliver a more elite and personalized flying experience.

IBM MobileFirst for iOS Passenger+ App Enhances Traveler Experience

IBM MobileFirst for iOS Apps to Integrate Watson Cognitive Capabilities

IBM will integrate many future IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps with the cognitive capability of Watson, enabling the apps to continuously learn about the needs of employees and customers over time — effectively building on data with more use.

“Our apps — which currently represent an exclusive level of business value — are evolving to deliver cognitive capability that refines insights to the most relevant information, enhancing the quality of decision making,” said Fred Balboni, general manager Apple partnership, IBM. “Marrying the simplicity of Apple’s product design with IBM’s unmatched security, analytic and cognitive expertise is the leading edge of mobile-led business transformation.”

Suites of Apps Connecting Teams of Colleagues

As the roster of industry-specific apps grows, full suites of IBM MobileFirst for iOS capabilities are taking shape to streamline job roles in healthcare facilities, financial institutions and retailers. Information can now be shared across entire teams, empowering colleagues with the ability to work collaboratively from the same set of data on their mobile devices.

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100 Years Of Ibm: Milestones

IBM is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding Thursday. Led by American capitalist icons Thomas J. Watson, Sr. and Thomas J. Watson, Jr. until the 1970s, the company grew from a pre-World War I conglomeration of companies making tabulating machines and time-keeping devices into a globe-spanning technology behemoth that pioneered the development of electronic computers and dominated the mainframe era.

Though Hewlett-Packard, after its acquisition of Compaq, overtook IBM as the world’s largest computer company by annual revenue, IBM’s global reach and broad product portfolio still make it one of the largest and most profitable IT companies in the world, with about 427,000 employees and a profit of US$14.8 billion on sales of $99.9 billion last year. The following is a timeline of milestone events in one of the quintessential U.S. corporate success stories.

–-1889: Time-recording equipment maker Bundy Manufacturing Co. is incorporated.

–1896: Punched-card, electric tabulating equipment maker The Tabulating Machine Co. is incorporated.

–1911: Incorporation on June 16 of the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (C-T-R), which merges Bundy, the Tabulating Machine Co., the Computing Scale Company and the International Time Recording Co. Headed by trust organizer Charles Flint, the company has 1,300 employees.

–1914: Thomas J. Watson, Sr., joins C-T-R at age 40, after learning aggressive sales tactics at the National Cash Register Co. that led to his conviction on antitrust charges. The verdict was set aside after an appeal. Within 11 months of joining C-T-R, Watson became its president. His focus on marketing and sales and large-scale tabulating solutions for businesses helped company revenue more than double in his first four years at C-T-R, to $9 million. Over the next four decades as IBM CEO Watson became an American business icon, pioneering worker benefits such as paid vacations and group insurance while instilling discipline and loyalty in generations of IBM workers.

–1924: Taking the name from a Canadian affiliate, C-T-R formally becomes International Business Machines.

–1936: Tom Watson, Sr.’s, insistence on making machines during the Depression, even when demand dried up, pays off when IBM is in a position to participate in what was then billed as the biggest accounting operation of all time, supplying punched-card equipment to the U.S. government in the wake of the 1935 Social Security Act.

–1937: Tom Watson, Sr., is elected president of the International Chamber of Congress, and at a Berlin meeting promotes “World Peace Through Trade,” taken on as a slogan by the ICC and IBM. Germany awards him with an Order of the German Eagle medal. He returns the medal in 1940, enraging the Fascist government, but IBM’s business in Germany in the 30s stirs criticism over the years.

–1944: IBM’s first large-scale computer, the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator or the Mark I, is the first machine to accomplish long operations automatically, using electromechanical relays.

–1948: IBM releases the Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator, a large-scale digital calculating machine that uses electromechanical relays and offers for the first time the ability to modify a stored program.

–1952: The IBM 701 is IBM’s first production electronic computer, featuring tape-drive technology that ultimately led to the ascendance of magnetic tape.

–1952: Thomas J. Watson, Jr., becomes IBM president. He was a force behind the 701, essentially a bet-the-company stance on electronic computers before they became more cost-effective than electromechanical machines, leading the way for IBM to dominate computing for the next few decades during the mainframe era.

–1956: Tom Watson, Jr., takes over as CEO in May, before the death of his father in June. Tom Jr. moves to reorganize IBM along divisional lines, based on a “line and staff” concept that is adopted by American business at large.

–1957: IBM introduces FORTRAN, which becomes the main language for technical work and is used to this day.

–1961: The Selectric typewriter is released; later models offer memory and give rise to modern word processing.

—1966: IBM’s Robert Dennard invents the Dynamic Random Access Memory cell, which remains an industry standard.

–1969: IBM technology including an onboard computer used in first manned flight to the moon.

–1971: Tom Watson Jr. steps down, is succeeded by Frank Cary, and the floppy disk is introduced; it later becomes the PC data storage standard.

–1981: The IBM Personal Computer becomes the smallest, and at $1,565, the lowest priced PC to date. IBM’s deal for Microsoft to supply the operating system and allow competitors to buy it for “IBM-compatible” clones fuels a growing industry and paves the way for competitors such as Dell and Compaq.

–1982: A U.S. antitrust suit filed in 1969 is dismissed, but arguably pushes IBM to further separate hardware from software, allowing customers to increasingly mix and match products from different companies, a trend that takes off during the PC era.

–1984: The Personal Computer/AT, IBM’s second-generation PC, runs on a 6MHz Intel 80286 processor.

–1990: IBM releases the System/390 family, comprising midrange machines and supercomputers, calling it the company’s biggest product development in 25 years. New technology includes high-speed fiber optic channels, ultra-dense circuits and extended supercomputer capabilities.

–1991: As Microsoft and PC clone makers rake in profits, client/server architecture takes off and IBM shocks long-time industry insiders by announcing an annual loss of $2.82 billion, the first of three annual losses in a row. Under CEO John Akers, IBM considers breaking up into smaller, nimbler companies.

–1993: Louis Gerstner, former chief executive of RJR Nabisco, takes the reins as chairman and CEO. At his inaugural press conference, Gerstner plainly states his intention to keep IBM together as an integrated company, and his belief that there is a need for a broad-based IT company that can serve as both supplier and systems integrator to customers.

–1995: IBM introduces the ThinkPad 701cm, which runs on the Intel 133MHz Pentium processor. The sleek black design is a departure for IBM and wins accolades.

–1996: IBM’s launch of the DB2 Universal Database, capable of querying alphanumeric data as well as images, audio and video, marks IBM’s firm embrace of the Internet.

–1997: Deep Blue, an IBM RS/6000 SP supercomputer able to calculate 200 million chess positions per second, defeats grandmaster Garry Kasparov.

–2002: Sam Palmisano becomes CEO in March, and in July IBM signals it is further strengthening its services business with a $3.5 billion acquisition of the PricewaterhouseCoopers global business and consulting technology unit.

–2011: Watson, comprising 90 IBM Power 750 servers, shows off IBM’s artificial intelligence and systems architecture expertise by defeating two Jeopardy game show champions in a two-game match.

–IBM

–Interview with James Birkenstock, interviewed in 1980 by Roger Stuewer and Erwin Tomash for the Charles Babbage Institute

–“Big Blues: The Unmaking of IBM,” by Paul Carroll, Crown Publishers, 1993

New Google Ads Mobile Benchmarks Across 18 Industries

You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth repeating. Mobile devices are increasingly dominant.

That’s been apparent for a few years now.

Google made it crystal clear in January by announcing that mobile page speed would become an official ranking signal later in the year.

As of July, if your webpages take too long to load on mobile, you may see diminished organic search performance.

The push for better mobile user experience (UX) applies to paid search, too.

The Mobile Landing Page Speed Score, now integrated into the Google Ads interface, scores your landing page on a scale from 1 (wow, that’s slow) to 10 (almost too fast).

Translation: subpar mobile landing pages may hurt your quality scores and bump up your CPCs.

Whether your focus as a search marketer is on the organic side or the paid side, take notice — it’s crucial that you improve UX for desktop and mobile users alike.

Why?

For starters, mobile accounts for 52 percent of global Internet traffic. More often than not, users turn to their smartphones – rather than their laptops – to surf the web.

From Google’s perspective, delivering an excellent search engine experience means delivering an excellent mobile search experience.

Making mobile page speed a ranking signal and launching the Mobile Landing Page Speed Score are clear incentives for SEO professionals and PPC marketers alike to focus on smartphones.

As such, WordStream (disclosure: I work for the company) figured you guys may want to know how you stack up against industry competitors when it comes to mobile ad performance.

WordStream pulled data from thousands of client accounts and calculated the averages for these Google Ads metrics across 18 different industries:

Arts & Entertainment.

Automotive Service & Repair.

Business Services.

Computer & Electronics.

Construction.

Consulting.

Education.

Finance.

Hair Salons.

Healthcare.

Home & Garden.

Internet & Telecom.

Law/Legal.

Manufacturing.

Nonprofits.

Retail.

Transportation.

Travel & Hospitality.

Acquiring a single client for your law firm isn’t like selling a single pair of sneakers; it’s competitive, the clients are high-value, and that translates into very high keyword bids.

Average Mobile Conversion Rate (CVR)

These PPC success stories aren’t the norm, however.

Average Mobile Cost per Action (CPA)

We typically expect low CTRs to correlate with high CPCs.

Similarly, low CVRs tend to yield high CPAs.

Data Sources

Image Credits

In-post Images created by WordStream

An Overview Of Apple Watch Apps And Software

We’re still trying to sift through all of the information Apple dropped on us this morning regarding its new smartwatch, and I have to admit, it’s been tough. There is just so much to this device, and so much it can do, it’s tough to figure out where to begin picking out points of interest to pass along to our readers.

But we knew for sure that we wanted to highlight some of the software features and apps Apple showed off for its Watch today, such as Phone, Messaging, Siri and more. So we put together a brief overview, if you will, highlighting what we thought were some of the Watch applications and features worth noting.

Messaging

Receiving a message on Apple Watch is as easy as you’d expect. Once you’ve been notified (more on that in a minute), you can choose to read it, delete it or respond to it. Sending messages is also fairly easy, thanks to dictation and smart replies. The Watch can actually suggest responses to you based on the incoming message and the things you write most. Or, you can skip text altogether by sharing an animated emoji, which you can customize yourself.

Email works the same way. You can read the message, flag it, mark it as read or unread, or move it to the Trash. Or you can elect to open the message on your iPhone, where you can type a lengthier response.

Phone

Fitness

Fitness software on the Apple Watch is broken up into 2 apps: Activity and Workout. Activity provides a simple graphical overview of your daily activity, with three rings telling you everything you need to know. The Move ring shows how many calories you’ve burned, the Exercise ring shows how many minutes of brisk activity you’ve done, and the Stand ring shows how often you’ve stood up to take a break from sitting.

The workout app takes things a little bit further, showing real-time stats for cardio workouts such as time, distance, calories, and pace. It allows you to set goals for each workout, and encourages you to meet or beat those goals along the way. Your workout is included in your Activity app measurements for the day, and the data is funneled into the Health app on your iOS 8 device.

Payments

Siri

Yes, Apple Watch features Siri integration as well. The Watch version of the digital assistant allows you to accomplish many of your favorite voice command tasks without pulling your iPhone out, including dictating a message, asking to view your next event, finding the nearest coffee shop or restaurant, and much more.

Alerts & Notifications

Apple Watch uses new Taptic technology (essentially haptic feedback) to ‘tap’ you for alerts and notifications. There are subtle audio cues too, and each notification has its own unique character.

You can also choose to have notifications show up on your Apple Watch for apps (both stock and third-party), and notifications built with WatchKit will allow you to take action or respond right from your wrist.

WatchKit

WatchKit is Apple’s developer platform for Apple Watch, which will allow devs to create and submit third-party apps for the device. WatchKit apps can incorporate Glances—a gesture that involves swiping up from your watch face to expose at-a-glance information, as well as actionable notifications, and other unique-to-Apple-Watch features.

Other

Over two million combinations of customizable watch faces

Friends – shortcut icons to those you communicate with most

Sketch – draw in real time with friends

Walkie-Talkie – use the built-in speaker and microphone to trade sound bites with friends.

Tap – let friends or loved ones know you’re thinking of them with a silent, gentle tap they’ll feel on the wrist

Heartbeat – when you press two fingers on the screen, the built-in heart rate sensor records and sends your heartbeat

Calendar app – see what’s next in your day or upcoming week. Apple Watch sends you meeting reminders, as well as calendar invitations you can accept or decline directly from your wrist

Maps app – see your current location and get directions, highlighting the best route with turn-by-turn navigation

Music app – control the music on your iPhone without taking it out of your pocket, or listen to music directly on Apple Watch

Remote app – control iTunes and Apple TV using Apple Watch

Remote Camera – Apple Watch doubles as a remote for the iSight camera on your iPhone and doubles as a live display

Stopwatch, Timer, World Clock, Alarms

View Stocks and Weather information

Watered down versions of Photos and Settings apps

Continuity support – start something on Apple Watch—writing a message, reading news headlines—and finish it on iPhone

General Relativity: 100 Years Old And Still Full Of Surprises

In 1913, Albert Einstein had stalled in his efforts to construct his general theory of relativity. He pleaded with his friend Marcel Grossmann for a mathematical boost: “Grossmann, you’ve got to help me, otherwise I’ll go mad!” Four years later, as Einstein was finishing a paper on the cosmic implications of his (finally) completed theory, the malady had migrated to other parts of the body. He had a stomach ulcer; he suffered from liver disease. Worn out by his mental exertions, Einstein thought he was dying. He wrote to fellow physicist Arnold Sommerfeld: “In the last month I had one of the most stimulating, exhausting times of my life, indeed also one of the most successful.”

That sensation eluded most of his colleagues back then, and it still does. They study Einstein’s greatest insight without fully grasping how he achieved it, or what it meant to him; they typically don’t “feel relativity in their bones,” in the words of Columbia University theoretical physicist Brian Greene. The lack of understanding comes from a sticky misconception of what general relativity is, even among those who spend their careers making use of it. It is broadly described as a theory of gravity, but it is not just a theory. It is written out as a series of equations describing how objects move, but it is not just equations.

General relativity is best thought of as a landscape, both literally and figuratively. It is an expanse of concepts that describes all the possible configurations of space and time, and all the ways they change in the presence of matter. It is a system in which every part of reality is connected. Einstein’s first forays into that landscape were what so exhilarated and drained him. Whenever other researchers manage to follow his lead, they discover whole new regions. That is why, a century after it was first published, general relativity is yielding its most astonishing discoveries yet.

II.

There is no better way to take in the idea of relativity-as-­landscape than by looking at the biggest landscape of all: the universe. Einstein realized that space is not a fixed background (a kind of invisible ruler that you can measure motion against), but rather a flexible, dynamic thing that bends and distorts in response to mass. That bending is what we experience as a gravitational pull: It holds your feet to the ground and Earth in its orbit. Lee Smolin—a theorist at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, and one of Einstein’s most vocal disciples—praises general relativity’s ability to provide a single, unified description of all space, as determined by all mass. “It’s the first theory that can be applied to the universe as a whole in a closed system,” he says.

“It’s the first theory that can be applied to the universe as a whole in a closed system.”

You’ve surely heard scientists say that the universe is expanding, but what does that really mean? In 1929, Edwin Hubble observed that galaxies appear to be moving away from ours in all directions. It is tempting to picture those galaxies flying through space, driven apart by a tremendous initial explosion. In fact, in the 1930s, British astronomer E.A. Milne attempted to describe Hubble’s discovery in just those terms. His analysis was a dismal failure. The only way to make sense of the astronomical observations, Einstein showed, is to think of space as a dynamic thing. Galaxies are not flying through space; space itself is expanding between them.

That is a profoundly weird notion, but once you make peace with it, all kinds of other ideas fall into place. First and foremost, there is the Big Bang, which was not an explosion in space but an explosion of space. All of space was crammed into a single dot at the moment of the Big Bang, and all of space expanded out from there in the 13.7 billion years since. Because space is expanding in all directions, any spot can be considered the center of the universe. You, right there, right now, are at the center of the universe. (How’s that for an ego boost?) Relativity is what allowed cosmologists to model the origin of the elements, the formation of galaxies, the direct evolutionary path from the Big Bang to modern Earth.

And still they are exploring new corners of relativity’s landscape. Because space is dynamic, it can deform in all kinds of complicated ways. The pull of gravity works to compress it; that compression is what you experience as your weight. Einstein’s equations also allow for antigravity, an energy that pushes space apart. For decades, that possibility was regarded as little more than a theoretical curiosity. Then in 1998, two teams of astronomers observed that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. This makes sense only in the context of relativity. The antigravity element driving the acceleration is now called “dark energy,” and it is so well-­accepted that the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded for its discovery.

The true nature of dark energy, however, remains an enigma. To figure it out, an international team of astronomers launched the Dark Energy Survey, currently underway at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. Over the course of five years, they will be photographing 300 million galaxies and recording their distribution. Gravity tends to make galaxies clump together over time, whereas dark energy tends to scatter them. The pattern captured by the survey will begin to reveal whether dark energy works the same in all locations and whether its intensity has changed over the course of cosmic history. Dark energy outweighs all the visible galaxies by about 15-to-1, and so its influence might determine the fate of the universe.

You, right there, right now, are at the center of the universe. How’s that for an ego boost?

Just as space can expand, so it can ripple when disturbed by the gravity of a moving object, like the surface of a pond stirred by a skipping stone. This is another wilderness of relativity that scientists are only now exploring. As gravitational waves wiggle past Earth at the speed of light, they subtly squish and stretch everything they encounter—including you. The effect is exceedingly subtle. To discern these waves, researchers are upgrading a pair of 2.5-mile-long detectors—one in Washington state, one in Louisiana—called the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), along with a complementary experiment called Virgo, located in Italy. By the end of the decade, they hope to observe gravitational signals emanating from spectacular but otherwise invisible cosmic events such as colliding black holes.

Ah, yes, black holes—perhaps the most famous of all the bizarre features that have emerged from the landscape of Einstein’s equations. Black holes are places where space curves in on itself; nowhere is relativity’s topography more tortured and intriguing. At the event horizon—the boundary of the hole—time comes to a halt and the atom-scale phenomena described by quantum mechanics are stretched out to the size of cities…or so it seems. General relativity also states that all parts of the universe should be continuous, meaning there should be no physical interruption between the inside and outside of a black hole. That apparent contradiction is inspiring a storm of new theories that go beyond scientists’ current understanding of the laws of physics.

Even in the twisted case of black holes, concepts that seem to reside in the impossibly remote fringes of the relativity landscape might be approachable to hard observation. A globe-spanning instrument called the Event Horizon Telescope, which consists of nine radio observatories scattered around the world, is gathering information right now to create the first direct images of the supermassive black hole at our galaxy’s center. The black hole itself won’t look like anything (it’s, um, black), but measurements of its size and surrounding structure could reveal the ways that mass distorts the structure of space. Any deviation from Einsteinian expectations would point the way to totally new physics concepts. The first meaningful images from the Event Horizon Telescope could come soon, perhaps within a decade.

III.

All of these ideas about the expanding universe, gravitational waves, and black holes took an excruciatingly long time to develop because they were hidden deep within the relativity landscape. Einstein himself was slow to accept the first two and never made peace with black holes, sniffing that the arguments for their existence were “not convincing,” and assuming that natural processes prohibited them from forming. Many writers, including famed physicist George Gamow, have presented Einstein’s resistance to these ideas as “blunders”—places where his great mind went off track. In reality, Einstein had opened up a landscape so vast that even he needed much more than a single lifetime to explore it.

Even as modern physicists press on far beyond where Einstein managed to go, their common assumption is that general relativity is not the final word. Relativity clashes with quantum mechanics—the set of rules describing the atomic-scale world—in its description of gravity and extreme objects like black holes. Forced to choose, most of today’s theorists pick quantum mechanics as the more fundamental description of reality, regarding relativity as a large-scale phenomenon built from small-scale quantum effects. Physicists have done very well working from the bottom up (think of light interpreted as collections of photons, or matter as clusters of atoms), yet a century of experience suggests it is unwise to underestimate the power of Einstein’s top-down perspective. As Lee Smolin puts it, quantum mechanics is a theory of “subsystems”—that is, it makes sense only in the context of its surroundings—in contrast to relativity’s inherently cosmic scope.

Einstein’s holistic approach is what makes general relativity unique in its potential for explanation and exploration. Surely there will be future physicists who venture even further into reality than he did. They may very well adopt many of the tools and techniques of quantum theory. But just as surely, those geniuses will have to act like Einstein—stepping back from equations to see the larger landscape—if they want to attain true enlightenment. They will have to feel relativity in their bones.

Einstein’s Work And Life

Albert Einstein formulated general relativity (GR) over the course of a decade, and then ruminated on its implications for the rest of his life. Though GR kept him busy, the physicist found time to ponder a host of other ideas—and do a lot of living. The Einstein Papers Project, based at Caltech, shows as much. The team is curating, digitizing, and translating Einstein’s notebooks and letters to help scholars understand what occupied his mind. The 14 volumes published so far—through 1925, when Einstein was 46—reveal a hardworking scientist who wasn’t afraid to unleash some sass. —Shannon Palus

This article originally appeared in the November 2024 issue of Popular Science under the title “Albert Einstein, Landscape Architect.”

Met’s James Cormier Dead At 65

MET’s James Cormier Dead at 65 Lecturer remembered for his dedication to students

James Cormier was “somebody who cared about the core mission of Metropolitan College and cared about his colleagues and his students,” says MET Dean Jay Halfond. He was “a born-again teacher.”

For James Cormier, joining Metropolitan College as a part-time faculty member in 1991 marked a turning point.

Cormier had been working in information technology, at jobs that required extensive international travel, says MET Dean Jay Halfond, and the idea of becoming part of an academic community appealed to him. As it turned out, he was well suited to his new career. Over the next two decades, he became known as a dedicated teacher, committed to the college, his fellow faculty members, and his students. In 1997, he was honored with the Metropolitan College Part-Time Faculty Member of the Year Award at MET’s graduation ceremonies.

Cormier (MET’85), who became a full-time senior lecturer in administrative sciences in 2004, died on October 13 after a brief illness. He was 65.

Halfond says the college has lost “somebody who cared about the core mission of Metropolitan College and cared about his colleagues and his students. And he really was a perennial student himself, because he was an expert in project management, a key area of instruction for us now. He was an all-around dedicated member of the academic community.”

Halfond says that Cormier was a highly engaged faculty member. “Whenever we held a social event with students, we could always count on him to be there. I think for him, this was a second career he always wanted to have.”

He went on to earn an MBA from Northeastern University. He spent more than 20 years working at Digital Equipment Corporation, starting as an engineering services supervisor and holding several senior-level positions at the company before joining IBM in 1995.

“He was a born-again teacher, in a sense,” Halfond says. “He was dedicated to instruction here and in North Carolina, where we offer courses on several Marine bases. He would go down there and teach, mostly officers, and he loved it.”

Kip Becker, a MET associate professor and chair of administrative sciences, had known Cormier for nearly two decades. “He was an excellent instructor,” says Becker, who points to Cormier’s enthusiasm and his strong business background.

In his 1997 nomination of Cormier for the outstanding faculty member award, Becker wrote, “Jim has been a devoted instructor and has made considerable personal sacrifices to continue teaching throughout the past five years. The department has always been able to rely on him to evaluate other instructors, assist new instructors teaching similar courses, and provide the flexibility necessary to staff the department’s several locations. He has always presented the highest of standards, is a very effective teacher, and has a friendly manner, which makes students feel eager to participate in class discussions.”

Becker says he particularly appreciated Cormier’s flexibility. “You could always turn to him and say, ‘I need somebody to teach this class or go to this place,’” he recalls. “He’d make the sacrifices necessary to make things work. And personally, he was a great friend. His joy for being here was contagious.”

When Becker spoke with Cormier’s wife yesterday morning, she told him that “she wanted MET to know he valued his time here,” Becker says. “His goal was to be a teacher. He just felt it was the best job in the world. Being here made him the happiest he’d ever been.”

Cynthia K. Buccini can be reached at [email protected].

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