Message from the VPIT-CIO

By | November 28, 2023
Ravi Pendse
Ravi Pendse, vice president for IT and chief information officer (Joel Iverson, ITS Communications)

Dear colleagues,

Now that it is the end of November, many of us are starting to plan for the next semester, as well as upcoming holidays. Whatever you celebrate, I hope it is filled with the opportunity to relax and enjoy time with loved ones.

As we move toward the end of the calendar year, I want to celebrate some exciting news. A U-M College of Engineering team led by Vikram Gavini has been awarded the prestigious Gordon Bell Prize. The honor was presented in recognition of their work on developing code that brought quantum mechanical accuracy for large systems into the range of today’s supercomputers. The ACM Gordon Bell Prize is the most prestigious prize available for high-performance computing. I could not be happier for the collaborative role that Michigan IT and ITS ARC had in making this accomplishment possible.

Speaking of exciting collaborations, the 2023 MHacks hackathon took place on November 18-19. This event is a wonderful example of U-M innovation at work, and many organizations that make up Michigan IT were involved. The results were truly inspiring, and prizes were awarded for the top projects. ITS even had its own award category this year. Second and third prizes in that category went to the Canvassist and ALERT teams. The grand prize went to the Smart Office Hub team, which used U-M GPT and other tools to streamline the student office hours experience. Thank you to everyone who spent their weekend working at MHacks.

And there is even more news about collaborations. I was proud to recently welcome a visiting delegation from Aga Khan University, a remarkable educational institution and non-profit that began in Pakistan and has since grown to include campuses across Asia, Africa, and Europe. Shaukat Ali Khan, the CIO of Aga Khan University, is a friend and colleague. I was delighted to be able to share all of our amazing accomplishments from the past year with him.

The president of Aga Khan also met with President Ono to discuss U-M’s ongoing partnership with Aga Khan University. The collaboration has already attracted more than $7 million from the U.S. National Institutes of Health for research in predictive health and other fields in East Africa.

I want to call attention to a project milestone that many of you worked on. I am pleased to share an important milestone with the Google Storage Project. The 250GB limit on Google Shared Drives owned by faculty, staff, and students was enforced on October 31. The ITS Service Center did not receive a single ticket that day. This speaks volumes about the effort the project team and campus partners put into this project. Everyone worked very hard to clearly and effectively communicate requirements and the tools that would help people get under the Google-mandated quota. Thank you, everyone. 

Lastly, a note about connections. The annual Michigan IT Tech Showcase & Social will take place at the Michigan Union on November 30. This event highlights interesting new technologies from across the university in a fun and interactive atmosphere. Due to facility constraints, attendance is limited to 325 people. Be sure to register to ensure your spot. I am looking forward to it. What are you looking forward to the most? Many thanks to the planning committee and all those involved for planning this event. 

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on what is going on in the world of Michigan IT and technology. Please reach out to me at with any thoughts, questions, or comments.

With gratitude,


Ravi Pendse PhD
Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
University of Michigan