Using Technology to Improve the Lives of People
Opening up educational opportunities is a cornerstone of People Technology Foundation’s activities. The foundation has sponsored and run programs that provided internship experiences in the US to young Romanian software engineers as well as that sponsored exchanges on the professor level. In addition, the foundation helps fund educational programs that support its goals.
Make a Difference in Romania (M.A.D.I.R.) Software Engineering Internship Program was initiated in 1993, providing three-month internships in the US to allow selected college, graduate, and young Software Engineering professionals to experience American business and capitalism. During the years of the program, interns resided at Farleigh Dickenson University in Madison, New Jersey, interned in local companys’ IT departments developing software products, and participated in conferences, meetings, and various other cultural activities. The number of interns varied each year according to the funding available. Upon their return to Romania, all of the interns shared their achievements with interested colleagues in open forums, discussion and study groups. Of course the experience and knowledge gained in the US brought new and useful ideas for their activities back home, such as the courses they selected or taught or local businesses they developed.
The PTF’s Professor Exchange Program, which started in January 1996, provided one-semester teaching assistantships for two Romanian Ph.D. professors from the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, at Loyola College, Maryland. In addition, American professor lectures have been organized and funded at Romanian institutions. The program has also provided sponsorship and opportunities for professors from Romanian universities to attend and present at international conferences and to lecture in the United States.
PTF also helps fund the International Research and Exchange Board (IREX) Bimonthly Speaker Series that brings a unique, locally-focused perspective to international development policy dialogue in Washington, DC. The “Technology Serving Civil Society” series hosts practitioners with grassroots experience using technology in innovative ways to increase the effectiveness of community and civil society initiatives throughout the developing world.
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