Posted by: anneagee | January 15, 2013

Improving the Campus Infrastructure

Anne_AgeeThe IT needs of the UMass Boston campus and its faculty and students are constantly changing, and the IT Services Division takes a proactive role in preparing to meet those needs.  As your Vice Provost  for Information Technology, I’d like to update you on some current campus developments in several areas of general interest to faculty.

  • Equipment upgrades for faculty and in classrooms and student labs.  These upgrades include the replacement of 300 older faculty computers,  the replacement of 55 computers in the Red Lab and 18 iMacs in Mac Lab A, and the replacement of old classroom projectors. Additionally, ITSD will be adding an Accordent Classroom Capture System in the Small Science Auditorium over the winter break. This will bring the total number of Accordent classrooms to five.
  • Infrastructure initiatives.   These initiatives include email improvement, with the just completed migration of email to Office 365, increasing wireless access on campus, improving network speeds, and building a new utility corridor with fiber optic cable to serve both new and existing campus buildings. A new director of infrastructure and a new network engineer will support these efforts.
  • Support for research computing .  As more faculty take on research projects that involve working with massive amounts of data, the campus is building up support for research computing.  This support will be added in several ways.  Dedicated staff will be hired, beginning last year with Jeff Dusenberry, the Manager of Research Support, and soon an additional person with expertise in Linux support, as well as a graduate research assistant.  In addition, more high performance computing power and data storage will be offered to faculty both locally and through participation in the Mass Green High Performance Computing Center, a collaboration of universities, government, and private industry to provide state-of-the-art computational infrastructure.
  • Another new development is the creation of a Virtual Computer Lab, allowing a number of students to sign on and use limited license tools, such as SPSS.  Currently the VCL is being used by Laurel Wainwright , Daniel Shimshak, Xu Ping, Gordon Corzine, and Jonathan Frankel.
  • New application initiatives include the creation of a campus portal as an individual entry point for students, and eventually faculty and staff, with centralized access via traditional or mobile technologies to a interactive web portal (students will log in at mycampus.umb.edu), the implementation of 25 Live/X25 calendar and scheduling system, and the creation of a new service management system.
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