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Amazon Web Services Goes to School with New Programs for Educators, Researchers, and Students
From Teaching Grants and Free AWS Credits for Selected Research Projects to Tutorials for Students, AWS in Education Connects the Creativity of the Academic Community with the Flexibility of the AWS Cloud

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr. 29, 2009-- Amazon Web Services LLC (AWS), a subsidiary of, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), today announced AWS in Education, a set of programs that enable the academic community to easily leverage the benefits of Amazon Web Services for teaching and research. With AWS in Education, educators, academic researchers, and students worldwide can obtain free usage credits to tap into the on-demand infrastructure of Amazon Web Services to teach advanced courses, tackle research endeavors and explore new projects – tasks that previously would have required expensive investments in infrastructure. AWS in Education also provides self-directed learning resources on cloud computing for students. To sign up and begin using Amazon Web Services, and to apply for grants for usage credits, visit:

“The flexibility and instant scalability of the AWS cloud have made it a popular environment for teaching courses and tackling research projects in basic programming, application development, distributed computing, and more,” said Adam Selipsky, Vice President of Product Management and Developer Relations for Amazon Web Services. “Whether giving students experience in cloud computing or assisting in sophisticated research, AWS in Education makes it easy to get going.”

AWS for Educators

To assist educators in bringing the cloud to the classroom, AWS is offering grants of $100 per student for free usage of AWS infrastructure services in eligible courses at accredited universities. Faculty can apply for these grants via a simple online form and provide their students with hands-on access to the same infrastructure services used by software developers and IT staffs around the world.

"In Fall 2008, we moved Harvard's 300-student introductory Computer Science course into the cloud via Amazon EC2,” said David J. Malan, Lecturer on Computer Science, Harvard University. “Our goals were both technical and pedagogical. As Computer Scientists, we wanted full control over our course's infrastructure so that we could install software at will and respond to problems at any hour. As teachers, we wanted easier access to our students' work as well as the ability to grow and shrink our infrastructure as problem sets' computational requirements demanded. Moreover, because of AWS we were able to integrate into the course's own syllabus discussion of scalability, virtualization, multi-core processing, and cloud computing itself. What better way to teach topics like those than to have students actually experience them."

“Using AWS for our Web 2.0 Application Development courses has been a phenomenal resource,” said Armando Fox, Adjunct Associate Professor, University of California, Berkeley. “Administration was so easy that students were able to get their projects deployed quickly, and venture capitalists attending the final project demos were impressed at the level of polish and creativity that a small student team could produce in just a few weeks.”

AWS for Academic Researchers

Increasing numbers of academic researchers are leveraging Amazon Web Services to accelerate research and advance study in a variety of fields. Beginning immediately, AWS will selectively award grants for AWS service credits to make it even easier for higher learning institutions to conduct important research. Each quarter, AWS will evaluate proposals and award grants to researchers at accredited universities based on factors such as the uniqueness and usefulness of the project, use of AWS within the project, and potential to attain matching funds from other organizations interested in the project.

“The Malaria Atlas Project is an ambitious collaboration between international malaria scientists with one specific aim: to make detailed global maps of malaria to help drive the fight against the disease,” said Dr. Pete Gething, Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford. “Current knowledge is surprisingly patchy and this hampers efforts to target funds and resources to the people that need them most. Our research grant from Amazon Web Services means we now have access to the kind of serious parallel processing that we need to implement our work in feasible timescales and the storage to deal with the massive output of that work.”

AWS for Students

For students and student organizations, AWS is a valuable platform for completing coursework, supporting individual projects, or for exploring the reliability, scalability, and cost effectiveness of an in-the-cloud technology infrastructure. Amazon has made a number of tutorials available online to help students begin exploring cloud computing concepts in a self-directed manner. These tutorials include advanced computing topics such as asynchronous messaging, consensus algorithms, priority queues, and more. In addition, Amazon will accept proposals from individual students or student groups at accredited universities and will award AWS free usage grants for worthy individual or group projects.

“The grant we have received from the AWS in Education program will dramatically increase the reach of my student group's collaboration with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) to develop distributed assistive computer vision technology for the visually impaired,” said Serge Belongie, Associate Professor at the University of California in San Diego.

"AWS is a great fit for 3 Day Startup, an event where 40 student entrepreneurs take a web startup from the drawing board to a launched prototype in 60 intense hours. With Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3 on our side, we can go live in minutes without worrying about configuration, reliability, and most importantly, scalability,” said Thomas Finsterbusch, PhD candidate at the University of Texas in Austin.

Educators, academic researchers and students worldwide can apply for grants by filling out the online application at

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Source:, Inc.

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