David J. Malan's Harvard University computer science students completed projects last fall that would have proved difficult -- if not impossible -- without cloud computing.

Malan secured a grant from Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon.com Inc.'s cloud-computing service, that let his students do coursework with the company's global computer infrastructure--virtual servers that allow students to complete data-heavy assignments without bogging down or crashing the campus's hardware.  

"It was a huge win for us pedagogically," said Malan, who has been at Harvard since 1995. "It makes possible resources that universities might not be able to provide for students."

The AWS grant gives $100 in...

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