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A jump to the technological sovereignity of the Cuban University of Information Technologies
A news is travelling through the classrooms and halls of the University of Information Technologies (UCI, after its initials in Spanish): the web site of the Computing Society of Electric and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the oldest and most prestigious non profit academic association of the world, published some days ago the nine honour awards of the second edition of the International Competition History of the Informatics. The finalists represent universities of Japan, India, Slovakia, USA, Nepal, Canada and three Cuban groups from the UCI.


The event had the participation of 120 teams out of 56 universities of 27 countries that researched about less known facts and personalities in the history of informatics. Every group was formed by four students and a tutor and the work must be of interest for the international informatics community, presented in a web site in English language.


After launching a notification of the event last February, the UCI prepared a group of seminaries in every one of its schools. Out of 38 proposals, 18 works that represented the university were picked. Finally three obtained honour awards.




To talk with the awarded students is a privilege. The first words denounced their nervousness and the humbleness of the boys and girls, still surprised with the news. But only a few minutes later, they showed their pride and the love with which they defend every research made.

An admirable effort if take into account that the participation in the competition was shared with the usual educational and productive works, including final exams, curse projects and, in some cases, even the final dissertation.


They talk about nights without sleeping, about the tireless search for almost inexistent information, of the tough exams and the little time to study, of the invaluable help of the family and of the support of the professor Tomas Lopez Jimenez, main driving force of the task.

- Every one of the projects had three main parts: the research of the topic, the programming and the design of the web site. In our specific case, the limitations imposed by the US embargo, made us to use free software, instead of using ones with US license, something that was an exclusive disadvantage for us the Cubans-, said professor López Jiménez.

Dania Rosa, Irán Roberto, Yaimi, José Alejandro and Joelsy the tutor, are the authors of the awards by the IEEE work "La Historia de la Criptografía en Cuba" (The cryptographic History in Cuba). These boys of the third year researched how was used the cryptography during the independence wars.

Another award was achieved by the research "Historia de la tecnología Háptica" (History of the Haptic technology), an original study about the use of this technology based in searching an even bigger interrelation between the man and the virtual reality by achieving more real tactile sensations and that today is used in surgical simulators, among other uses. In this task worked the four year students Andy, Marvyn Amado, Rolando, Osvald and the professor Lidiexy.

With the work "Historia de los medios de almacenamiento" (History of warehousing means), Aliennis, Deivis, Michel, Lester and the tutor Yadilka, researched the birth and development of the means used by the men to save information, from the papyrus until the most sophisticated flash memories. In the web site there is also an picture gallery with images of those means and an entertainment area that using the -hanging- game measures the knowledge of the history of the informatics.

Professor Tomas commented Granma reporters that - the awards were given by an international jury, made of 50 recognised academic personalities as well as professionals of the IEEE Information Society. The winner works were characterised by its high points obtained from the high scientific and technical quality, as well as by the interest, validity and originality of the selected researched topics, the deepness with which the research was assumed, the creativity of the design, the use of the information tools selected, the quality and the rigor of the references obtained, the robustness of the information links used and the good use of other topics of the web technology. In the Cuban case al this was developed using free software-.

The UCI university students, winners of the international competition, called by the IEEE, are from Taguasco, Fomento, Contramaestre, Camagüey, Holguín, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Villa Clara, Ciudad de La Habana, Sandino and San Luis and show how the Cuban youth is opening its way in the difficult informatics world.



The entrance to the UCI surprises the visitants. The cleanness of its streets and buildings and care for the gardens, impress from the first glance, adding to that the perfect combination of the environment with art works donated by its creators, from a sculpture of Kcho until a wall by Flora Fong.

Apart form the teaching buildings and the residencies for students and teachers, the University City has an exhibition hall, specialised classrooms for different artistic expressions, policlinic, medical office, hairdresser and barber, post office, shop and even a bank to pay the salaries of the workers. Every service required by a city of 15,000 inhabitants.

The Mella Square and the Cultural Centre Wifredo Lam are witness of the cultural and recreational activities of the institution. Even though many people still believe the cybernetic -genius- sitting 24 hours in front of the display, the students of the UCI have won 8 national awards at the Festival of Amateur Artists and its, usually crowded, sport areas, receive people who already have the second place in the National University Competitions.

Even though there are still echoes of the first graduation of 1334 young engineers from all over the country, that took place last 19 of July, the UCI starts a new academic year with the strength of the first day. The dedication to the study and the daily efforts in every task gets them closer to the expressed goal of the Chief Commandant, to make that an Excellency University.




The Institute of Electric and Electronic Engineers know as IEEE, for its English abbreviation, is the biggest non profit international association made of by professionals of the new technologies, such as electric engineers, electronic and telecommunications engineers and information scientific. The society is based in the USA.

The creation of the Institute was in 1884 and among its founders were important personalities, such as Thomas Alva Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and Franklin Leonard Pope.

With over 360,000 volunteers in 175 countries, the IEEE is a leading authority with the highest prestige in the technical areas derived from the original electricity, from the information engineering, biomedicine technologies and aerospace technologies, until electric energy, control, telecommunications and consume electronic, among others.

Following its slogan -Linking the world-, the work of the IEEE consist in promoting the creativity, the development and the integration, share and apply the advances in the information technologies, electronic and general sciences to the benefit of the mankind and of the professionals.

The editions of the competition about the History of the Informatics exclusively call for university students from all over the world.



The university lies in the place where it was the former Radio electronic Centre of Torrens. The UCI has the characteristic of being a teaching - productive university, since apart of building new first grade specialists in information technologies, they have the mission of create information products and services, as well as find integral technological solutions for the national economy and to export, through a wide group of programs.

The rector of the UCI, Melchor Gil Morell, explained this reporter that the idea of creating an Information Technology University was first stated by the Chief Commandant the 23 of March 2002, during meeting of the Battle of Ideas.

- With his long Light, Fidel argued about how informatics could become ina strong scientific and economic power for the fast development of the country -

The 30 of May, he says, are identified the first actions and in the first days of June starts the remodeling works in the buildings that what used to be the seat of Soviet military brigade and where it was a Russian information centre. The buildings, the land and the rest of the installations, were given by the Cuban Ministry of Defence to create the University of Information technologies.

In mid July he is named rector of the new University. While doing the construction works, they had to contract teachers and find the new students from all over the country for the new university, as well as organise the design the study programs.

The 31 of August left the place the last Russian soldier and the 14 of September arrived the first 2,008 students. Some days later, the 23, opened the UCI the doors of the first curse.

- To start working in just 106 days was a real constructive and organizational exploit. I can tell that in this work took part, practically every ministry of the country, as well as organizations of the Central State Administration, construction companies and many centres of higher education. It is worth mentioning the support given by the Union of Young Communists, the Higher Institute Jose Antonio Echevarria, the Mathematics and Computing Faculty of the Havana University and of the University of Las Villas - .


Melchor Gil says that UCI has a space of 288 hectares, not counting the logistic areas and has over 11,000 students in the ten faculties of the main seat and the three regional faculties in Granma, Ciego de Avila and Artemisa. Its students graduate as Engineers in Information Technologies, but in dependence of the projects to which they are linked they receive additional subjects related to those projects, such as bioinformatics, telecommunications, information security, virtual environments, among others, with an emphasize in the use of free software.

In our institution, indicates the rector, the students take part together with their teachers and specialists of other universities and companies in some of the over 160 productive projects, most of them in the main sectors of the country and for export.

- The main priority is the development of computing programs to the health and education systems as well as for the Scientific Quarter, among others. For example, the introduction of one of these software will allow the medical staff to better use the images given by the high technology diagnostic equipment that are been installed in our hospitals. Actually, today we are a reference centre for the national software industry, with high quality products. This model of productive university designed by Fidel, integrator of the talent and knowledge all over the country, includes also 30,000 students of Informatics Polytechnic Institutes and has allowed the results in the exports that is showed today by the productive infrastructure of the UCI in the ALBA-.

The growth in the software exports as well as of a great variety of information services, including integral technological solutions (the integrations of software and hardware, the installation of the product, the training of specialists and post sales operations), have represent higher incomes that the cost of the investment in the UCI, pointed out Gil.

The UCI has a solid technological platform for teaching, with an internal network of over 7,000 computers, the biggest of its kind in the island.

Beyond its famous system of study and work, this truly city of knowledge forms young engineers, compromised to the homeland and completely conscious of how their contribution can become in richness for the well being of the people.

To Melchor, to direct the UCI from its first year is an award he never expected he deserved. The successes achieved, he affirms, - are the fruit of the collective work, of the whole personnel, whiteout distinction, of the support given by the rest of the universities and of the constant attention of the Commandant-.

He proudly speaks about the three teams of students who classified among the nine finalists of the stated competition, issued by the Computing Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronically Engineers (IEEE).

- We are the only country with three finalists. To that it must be added the first and the third price at the Young Forum of the World Exhibition of the International Telecommunications Union 2007. I truly believe the UCI represents a jump in the way to reach the technological sovereignty that country needs. Once again, life gave the reason to Fidel, creator of this brave dream that is a reality-, he stated.




Dania Rosa Hernández Quintana

Irán Roberto Rodríguez Moreno

Yaimi Hernández Mora

José Alejandro García Calderón

Joelsy Porven Rubier (tutor)

Team 2

Andy Trujillo Rivero

Marvyn Amado Márquez Rodríguez

Rolando Kindelán Núñez

Osvaldo Pereira Barzaga

Lidiexy Alonso Hernández (tutor)

Team 3

Aliennis González Hurtado

Deivis Álvarez Mendoza

Michel Arias Arias

Lester Guerra Denis

Yadilka Suárez-Inclán Rivero (tutor)

Source: CubaNow

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