Technology news for UMD faculty, staff and students
From July 1 through December 31, 2007, the ITSS Phone/Network Team provided support for:
- 3,925 telephone connections
- 16,298 network connections
- 306 wireless access points
- 202 surveillance cameras
- 10 remote sites
Ten Years Ago in ITSS - May 1998
Future of student computing at UMD
The Educational Policy Committee of the Campus Assembly has engaged in a long and thoughtful discussion of the future of student computing at UMD. Discussion has centered on two main options: shared computers or a computer for every student. The committee has weighed costs and benefits of these options and looked in particular at the impact on curriculum.
Recently, the University of Minnesota started an initiative to increase security by expiring all Internet passwords after one year. Internet passwords are used for most common online applications such as e-mail, wireless access, course registration, UMCal, and pay statements. The University has been sending email notices to students, faculty and staff who have a password about to expire with instructions on how to reset it.
Unfortunately, a number of faked emails have also been circulating to universities across the country that also request the user to update their "University" account by clicking on a link or replying to the email. If a person replies, the account information is then used to send large amounts of spam. Several UMD accounts have already been compromised in this manner.
So, how can you tell the real email from the fake email?
- The University will never ask you to reply to an email with your password.
You will always be asked to go to the University's web site to change your
password. Here's one way to get there from the ITSS Home page www.d.umn.edu/itss/
- Under Services, click on the "Email" link.
- Under Quick Links, click on the "Change
your Internet password" link.
- Check the "From" and "Reply to" addresses for obvious imposters, although these can be faked to look legitimate as well. Some of the recent emails came from "yahoo" accounts, for example.
- Don't click on links in an email without verifying that it's a legitimate University web site.
If you receive a phishing email that targets University email users, report it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions or concerns about an email you receive, please contact the ITSS Help Desk (726-8847).
For reference, below are a few of the recent scams we've seen:
04.28.04: Subject line: "Dear UMN.EDU Email Account Owner"
This fake email asks you to respond with your user name, password, date of birth, and country or territory.
04.28.04: Subject line: "Your Email Account Upgrade"
This fake email asks you to respond with your user name, password, date of birth, and country or territory.
04.04.08 Subject line: "Update Your Email Address"
This fake email includes a spoofed address (UMN Email Admin<email@example.com>) and a link to a malicious web site.
03.29.08 Subject line: "Account Reactivation"
This fake emails asks for your University email account, password, date of birth and your country.
01.30.08 Subject line: "VERIFY YOUR UMN (or EMAIL) ACCOUNT NOW"
This fake email asks for your UMN email account and password.
Now that the semester is coming to a close, this is a good time to take a look at the end of semester checklists for those who have Moodle and WebVista courses.
Submitting requests for Summer and Fall course sites in Moodle and WebVista may seem a little premature just now, but the next term or summer plans come pretty quickly. Taking a few minutes to request your course sites can save a lot of headache when prepping for the next term.
Ready to wrap up Spring semester?? Thinking about Summer session or want to get a jump start on Fall semester course preparation - away from your office with technical support and assistance at your finger tips??
Join us down in the Knowledge Management Center (Solon Campus Center 42) for unstructured Open Work Sessions and assistance with these tools and more: http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/facstaff/WebServices.html
No registration required - stop in whenever you can on any of the
- Thursday May 1st 2:00-4:00pm
- Wednesday May 14th 10:00-Noon
- Thursday May 15th 1:00-3:00
Laptops and Refreshments will be available to help power us through the end of another successful academic year!!
Amanda Evans & Bruce Reeves – ITSS Learning Technology Consultants
During the 2005 - 2006 academic year, ITSS implemented two "test" classrooms to explore an enhanced control system technology. This system makes it much easier for faculty to use their laptops in classrooms and automates the reporting of some classroom problems such as a projector malfunction. The experience with these systems has been overwhelmingly positive and since that pilot we have continued installing these systems in all renovation and new construction.
These new systems include Crestron controllers, Audix speakers and Hitachi or Sony projectors. The control systems utilize a redesigned 8-button keypad user interface, which will be standard in most general purpose classrooms. We have chosen a control system design that can be modified with the least amount of change possible (consistent user interface) when equipping rooms with differing teaching needs. This will allow instructors to travel from room to room or building to building on campus without having to learn new technology when relocating.
By the end of this summer, we anticipate installing these systems in over 60% of the general purpose classrooms. Pending funding, we anticipate that we will have these systems in every general purpose classroom with a capacity of 30+ students by the end of Summer 2009. In addition to installing these systems in general purpose classrooms, we are recommending this configuration for departmental rooms. If you would like further information about enhanced control systems, or about our design and installation services, please contact Karl Oman (koman, x8151) or Jason Davis (jdavis, x8782).
The Student Computing team is planning numerous improvements to the computer labs over the coming summer months.
Library Computing Changes
The additional computers on the 1st and 3rd floors of the Library worked very well this year. The mixture of Full and Basic Access machines in close proximity was useful to many students. We will continue to evaluate the floor arrangements with the Library staff to see if any additional improvements can be made.
Collaborative Work Areas
Students frequently used the collaborative group furniture in Lib 118 and Engr 204. We have some ideas for making this space even better. Additional rooms and spaces are also being considered.
The MonH 239 Full Access lab will be upgraded with the latest Intel iMacs. In January of this past year a SmartBoard was installed in this room. This resource should work nicely for the Education department and any other programs that are making this sort of technology part of their future coursework.
Other brands of “smart board” technology are also being explored for other computer labs. The Student Computing team is interested in exploring a number of manufacturer's products until it is clear what brand or models will become the most commonly used.
The Basic Access Macintosh computers on the 3rd floor will be replaced with newer Intel iMacs, so all Macs (Full or Basic) will be running the Intel processors by the start of the Fall 2008 semester.
There are a number of places around campus that are being considered for putting out new pay-per-page print stations. The intent of these new units would be to have more convenient printing locations for students using their laptop.
Students will be able to install the iPrint client (which allows users to send print jobs to the pay-per-page system) on their Windows Vista or Mac Leopard laptops in time for Fall 2008. Up to this point there have been some technical problems with Windows iPrint that have prevented this option from functioning properly but the Student Computing team is confident they will be able to make this service available over the summer.
Please feel free to send comments or questions about any of the computer lab services to the Computer Lab Coordinator at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the Full and Basic Access computing resources, visit
the ITSS computer labs.
ITSS has long been in the business of working with Facilities Management to plan, specify, and oversee phone and network installations on new construction projects. One new aspect of the Labovitz School of Business and Economics project has been a great opportunity for ITSS to work with FM on classroom and public space technologies.
ITSS had the opportunity to specify, purchase, program, and install all of this equipment for the project. The classrooms will have the latest in enhanced control systems, enabling us to monitor and support the rooms remotely and making it easier for faculty to get past technology hurdles and into teaching more quickly. The public space will have digital signs that allow for constant updating of news and events, interactive kiosks helping users find their way, and a twenty-foot long electronic stock ticker.
By doing this project "in-house," ITSS was able to reduce the cost of this portion of the project substantially. We are also in a much better position to provide ongoing support for the technology because we have been so involved with each part of the process. We have been very happy to collaborate with FM and with LSBE on this project and we hope to build on this experience for future renovation and construction projects on campus.
Each month ITSS highlights a different member of the staff to let you get to know some of the great people who are working "behind the scenes" to make technology work for our campus. This month the spotlight is on Julie Viken, Technology Support Professional.
What Julie Does for ITSS:
Julie develops web programs for on campus housing, Career Services, and Education. She is the Duluth campus system administrator for R25 (Room Scheduling), where she supports the Room Scheduling web page, and supports the users of R25 on this campus. She is also the staff- side support person for Test Pilot, entering surveys for various depts. She is the contact for the student evaluations for online classes. Julie also sets up elections for various groups on campus.
Julie graduated with her BA in Computer Science (Cum Laude) from the Univ of MN Twin Cities in 1991 She was born in Minneapolis, with 2 older brothers. Julie previously worked for Serving Software, a medical software company who developed a scheduling system for hospitals. She also worked in ADCS Jaws group at the Univ of MN Twin Cities campus for 5+ years before moving up to Duluth and taking her current position in ITSS. Julie joined ITSS at UMD in Oct 2005
Knitting, walking her dog Brandy, going on active vacations with her husband Kevin (BWCA, backpacking, hiking, skiing, SCUBA diving), cross country skiing, biking, watching movies, reading.
Julie met her husband Kevin (UMD Pharmacy lab) through online personals while living in the Cities. They got married at the Rose Garden here in Duluth in Sept 2000 (and should have known they would move here some day). Brandy is their 11 year old Golden/Shepherd mix who is still quite active. They have gone SCUBA diving in the Great Barrier Reef and the Reefs off of Belize (Blue Hole). Their next trip is reefs off of the Big Island of Hawaii in May.
An Example of Julie’s Work for ITSS:
Julie has successfully provided support for her customers using many different application software products. Julie works hard to ensure customer satisfaction. A few projects that Julie has been highly successful collaborating on this year include the development of the Alumni on-line directory, the Housing system re-write, and the Career Services/Placement database.