(Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008) — George Fox University announced the launch of a new Center for Mobile Computing, which will focus on developing applications for mobile devices with emphasis on Apple’s iPod Touch and iPhone. Several corporate partners, including Oracle and Apple, are supporting the center’s work in an effort to help the university leverage the computing innovations they provide.

“This center represents the university’s commitment to using technology to enhance our learning community and to provide new opportunities for students to gain real-world experience in the mobile computing market,” said Robin Baker, the school’s president.

One of the center’s first projects will be the migration of its existing portal to Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise system, which will allow students, faculty and staff the ability to access the university’s network for grades, reports and other data using their cell phones. The Apple connection comes as a natural outcome of the university’s transition to an all-Apple campus — promoting iPhones and the iPod Touch for enhanced communication and learning.

A new curriculum also has been developed by the university's Computer and Information Science program to aid the center. Brian McLaughlin, author of Groundspeak’s recently released Geocaching application for the iPhone, will be the center’s lead application developer. McLaughlin will collaborate with CIS students to move projects through alpha and beta development to the end user — providing students with real-world experience in application development and delivery.

The university believes the center will offer new and valuable opportunities for CIS graduates, attracting students to the campus from across the country. The center also presents opportunities for the school’s engineering and business students to collaborate on mobile computing projects designed for the marketplace.

For more information, contact Greg Smith, George Fox’s chief technology officer at gsmith@georgefox.edu.

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