Welcome Molly Reeves

CIS welcomes Molly Reeves, our new Information Technology Analyst. She recently earned a B.S. in Mathematics, minoring in Computer Science and Humanities.

Molly is taking part in the Math-CIS service initiative that aims to streamline services offered to the Math department faculty and staff. During this initiative, she will be working closely with both departments. “

In her free time, she enjoys hiking, spending time outdoors, and volunteering at her church.

Welcome Aashita Kesarwani

CIS welcomes Dr. Aashita Kesarwani in the Scientific Computing Specialist position

Academic and Research Computing Services is delighted to welcome our new Scientific Computing Specialist, Dr. Aashita Kesarwani. Aashita recently graduated with a PhD in Mathematics from Tulane University and is an Indian Institute of Technology alumna. She is actively involved in the data science community being a Kaggle expert and is the author and maintainer of two Python packages – bubbly for data visualization and nytcomments for web scraping.

Aashita is looking forward to boosting HMC students’ involvement in data science, machine learning, and open source contributions by supporting their learning through hands-on workshops and providing guidance and mentorship. She will address the scientific software and computing needs of the faculty, students and staff and also offer her skills in data visualization and gaining insights from data to assist problem-solving and decision making in all areas at HMC.

In her free time, Aashita enjoys reading and likes to meditate.

Welcome Samantha Washington

CIS welcomes Samantha Washington in the Technical Analyst position.

Samantha Washington is the newest member of our User Support Services Team.  She is originally from Illinois and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign but has been living in California for the last five years.  She comes to HMC from the corporate world where she was an IT Support Analyst for Horizon Hobby LLC for almost 20 years. 

Sam has two teenager children that take up most of her time but she enjoys running and volunteering at her church in her free time.

Service Reminders for Fall 2018 Courses

Sakai:

Fall 2018 Sakai course sites have been populated with faculty and students. If you’re having trouble finding and organizing your sites in the new Home site, please read our Tips and Tricks for Organizing Your Sakai Sites.

As part of the College’s website accessibility initiative, we have added a link to the HMC Accessibility web page on all HMC Fall 2018 Sakai course sites. This is one of the requirements for compliance with accessibility requirements. If you’re using a web site other than Sakai to host course materials, we’d appreciate it if you would add a link to https://www.hmc.edu/website-accessibility/ to your site as well. If you’d like to learn more about how to make your course materials more accessible, please contact us at the  CIS Help Desk (helpdesk@hmc.edu or 909 607 7777).

Mudd Shots:

Course Mudd Shots are now available only on the HMC Portal. The HMC Portal version includes photos of non-HMC students. The HMC web site version has been retired and is no longer available. More information and links are available in the Mudd Shots Service Catalog Page.

Google Groups:

Course mailing lists have been created in Google Groups. You can see them in your My Groups list or get a full list of all course mailing lists at: Fall 2018 Course Mailing Lists on Google Groups. The list will be updated with

With additional feedback from the HMC Computing Committee we have created a “master” Google Group for all courses that have multiple sections. For example, phys-51@g.hmc.edu contains all faculty and students associated with all 11 sections of Physics 51. Master lists will be automatically maintained just like the other Google Groups for courses. You may need to manually remove previous instructors from the course since our automatic removal scripts don’t yet have that functionality.

Classroom technology:

In addition to the video projectors, LCD TVs (in the 12-person classrooms), speakers and screens, many classrooms have resident document cameras, Blu-Ray/DVD or DVD/VHS players. You can find a full list of which rooms have what equipment in this document: AV Equipment in HMC Class/Meeting Rooms.

Other technology available for use in the Shanahan Center and other classroom  includes:

  1. Laptop carts
  2. Lecture capture
  3. iClickers
  4. Smartboard
  5. Video cameras for displaying experiments

More details on these other technologies can be found below:

  1. We have three carts with 15 laptops each, which are stored on the second floor of the Shanahan Center for use throughout the building. Laptops are made available on a first come, first served basis so please let us know as soon as you can if you need laptops for your class. Also, consider carefully how many laptops you need or if at some point you realize that your class is using fewer laptops than you requested, please update your requests so that the systems can be made available for other classes. If you’d like more information about the laptops and how to reserve them, please visit  the Laptop Cart Reservation Service Catalog Page.You can find a full list of the software that is included on the laptops and the CIS lab computers in this document: Lab Software in CIS Managed Labs and Carts.
  2. There are six rooms in the Shanahan Center that are lecture capture-ready, including the Lecture Hall (1430), the Recital Hall (B480), the 85 person classroom (B460) and three rooms on the 2nd floor (2450, 2454 and 2460). All of those rooms have a video camera and microphone. Each of the Galileo Auditoria also now have lecture capture available. You can visit the CIS web site for more information at the Lecture Capture Service Catalog Page.
  3. Clickers (personal response systems) are also available for loan. Faculty can borrow sets of 50 iClickers and a wireless receiver from CIS. We can also help install the iClicker software on your computer and provide training on how to use the system. More information about the iClickers can be found at the iClicker Service Catalog Page.
  4. We have one Smartboard (interactive whiteboard) for faculty to try out. While the Smartboard is on a mobile stand, it is too big and heavy to move between classrooms, so we are currently keeping it in one of the technology-rich classrooms (Shanahan 2460). Use of the Smartboard is on a first come, first served basis so please let us know right away if you would like to try it out in your class, as we may need time to work with the Registrar to reschedule classrooms.
  5. Many faculty also like to be able to project a demonstration or experiment from the front of the room to one of the big screens. The document camera is capable of doing this or you can use a video camera, either one of the built-in video cameras available in the lecture capture rooms listed above, or CIS can set up one for you.

If you’re interested in using one of these technology services in a class, please submit a request to the CIS Help Desk. You can use the CIS AV Request Form or send us an email at helpdesk@hmc.edu.

We ask that you give us at least 48 hours notice when submitting a request. If possible, please do not wait until the last minute to submit your requests.

Have a great Fall semester!

Patricia Carpenter Promoted to Manager of USS

I’m excited to share that effective July 2018 Patricia Carpenter has been promoted to User Support Services (USS) Manager in CIS.

Patricia came to Harvey Mudd in September of 2015, where she started in USS working at the CIS HelpDesk, doing a great job of coordinating the support efforts of the team. Prior to her arrival at HMC, Patricia worked at a few different libraries in the New Jersey area where she helped visitors with a variety of information requests, technical support and supervision of a computer lab. Patricia received her Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems from Rowan University Glassboro NJ.

Patricia has been an amazing contributor to the high quality service that our USS team is known to provide and we are looking forward to her taking the service to an even higher level for our campus. Please congratulate and support Patricia in her new role of Manager for User Support. Take a look at the CIS Organization Chart to see how we have set this up.

Summer Project Updates

When school lets out for summer,  the pace quickens at Computing and Information Services. The academic break means time to work on projects that may otherwise disrupt the academic schedule. It also means we have our summer interns to work closely with us on projects and tasks. Here’s a brief look into some of the assignments our team is working on.

Introduction to Engineering Design and Manufacturing Communication Platform

CIS interns have been working to improve the feedback systems used in Introduction to Engineering Design and Manufacturing, often known as E4. Throughout the semester, student teams produce prototypes that solve professor-curated problems, and formative feedback is critical to this process. The professors want to create easy avenues for students to give feedback to their teammates weekly and at the end of the semester so the professors can understand the team’s working environment and so the students see areas for improvement. The intern team is using Google App Maker (available to the all members of the HMC community through our G Suite for Education) to build an administrative hub that will allow professors to send out the feedback surveys, collect the data, and manage the entire process from one place, improving the ease of students rapidly adapting projects and professors changing the class in light of feedback.

The E4 Feedback System Administrative Hub makes the power of the system accessible with just a few quick clicks

Sakai Upgrade Testing

Each summer, the IT staff across The Claremont Colleges set out to upgrade the consortium’s instance of the Sakai Learning Management System. Guided by the Sakai Administration Team based out of Pomona College (the lead college for Sakai), each college thoroughly tests the proposed version of Sakai to make sure that every tool used by faculty at the Colleges works properly. This year, our summer interns and the Academic and Research Computing Services team have been testing integral features such as Lessons and Forums as well as new ones like iClicker and MediaSite Lecture Capture integration on each supported platform (Windows and  Mac OS) and browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer) to make sure you have the best experience come fall semester.

Printing Upgrades

Mudd students love their unlimited free printing, but they don’t necessarily enjoy long waits and occasional missing letters. Reliability upgrades on both the software side (updated versions of our printing software) and hardware side (a new printer) mean that when our students come back in the fall, their printers will be faster, more reliable, and more accurate. Stay tuned for even more exciting news on printing!

Mudders Mentoring Mudders (M3) Website Migration

Mudders Mentoring Mudders (M3) is a program that allows for HMC staff, faculty and alumni to mentor current students. The Wikispaces platform, which is shutting down, hosted the program’s website (which features mentor profiles and mentee applications), so program director and Professor of Mathematics Darryl Yong ‘96 worked with the CIS team to help find a new platform for the site and migrate all of its content. The CIS intern team has worked hard to migrate the site and all of its content to its current home, Google Sites.

 

Charlie & Alice to the cloud

One of CIS goals for 2018 is to move material currently stored on our Windows file servers (called “Charlie” and “Alice”) to a cloud storage option.

We are beginning an initiative to move most of the files on Alice and Charlie to Google Drive. There are a number reasons we would like to move stored files to the cloud as soon as possible. Cost, security concerns, compliance with the College’s records retention policy, and convenience are all factors. On Google Drive you will have unlimited storage space for files of any kind at no financial cost to the College.

We will be proceeding in a phased fashion, similar to our Duo implementation process. As with Duo, we will start with a group of early adopters in order to identify issues and concerns. Although CIS has done preliminary tests, we believe that our usage of cloud file storage may be different from how it is used by other departments.

Academic and Research Computing Services: A New Name for ETS

The ARCS teamWe are thrilled to announce our new group name, Academic and Research Computing Services or ARCS for short. Our new name reflects the expanded services that we now offer to the HMC community. This includes more support for research computing, as well as instructional design services. The arrival of our new instructional designer, Dr. Yi Luo, and our new Research Computing Intern, Chu Oguejiofor, makes this a good time to introduce our new group name. Academic and Research Computing Services (ARCS), will be used in all of our communications with the community starting today.

You can read more about Yi and Chu in these separate news articles:

In connection with our new name, we’re also happy to announce our new website at http://www.hmc.edu/cis/cis-arcs/. Our new website describes the services that we offer with examples of pilots and projects that we’ve worked on with faculty, staff and students. Please take a look and send us your feedback.

The services ARCS offers are:

  • Projects: The Academic and Research Computing team sends out a request for educational technology projects three times a year. Our goal is to work with groups across campus to expand the use of educational technology and instructional design throughout the college.
  • Pilots: The Academic and Research Computing Services (ARCS) team regularly performs trials of new technology in “real world” situations within HMC. By this we typically select a few faculty members to test out new technology in their course, and then ask for feedback about how it worked for them. We then investigate the practicality of implementing that new technology either across campus, or for select courses/classrooms.
  • Instructional Design: Instructional Design is the process of developing learning experiences and course content. It’s a sort of “learning engineering,” using research, technology, and design thinking to build effective learning experiences.
  • Research Computing: Academic and Research Computing Services (ARCS) provides research computing services including high-performance computing (HPC), high-throughput computing (HTC), data intensive computing, Big Data analytics, large scale data storage resources, and other advanced digital services related to research activities.

Prof. Bill Daub Awarded XSEDE Research Allocation

Harvey Mudd College’s computational chemistry lab has been awarded supercomputing resources to support two senior thesis studies on density functional theory (DFT) calculations applied to ketal and ortho ester Claisen rearrangements. The award (165K core hours + 2 TB disk space) is worth about $8,000 for the first year and renewable based on the needs and progress.

Chemistry Professor Bill Daub was awarded startup allocations from the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) in 2016 and his students (Gabriel Phun ‘18 and Kareesa Kron ‘18) used the allocations for their summer research, producing a significant amount of results. One of his students, Gabriel Phun ‘18 told us the story of his summer research.

Based on the results, Prof. Daub (PI) and CIS’ Dr. Jeho Park (Co-PI) worked together and requested a substantial amount of computing time from two supercomputer centers (San Diego Supercomputing Center and Texas Advanced Computing Center). The proposal went through a competitive process, designed in a similar fashion to the NSF peer-review system. The committee notified us of its approval on December 15, 2017. The new research allocation, which is good until the end of 2018, will provide enough computing power for the students’ senior thesis studies. Unlike the startup allocations, which have some limitations like the project term being only one year, the research computing allocations can be renewed after the first year and more computing time may be added as needed based on the project progress. If you would like to know more about supercomputer resources through XSEDE, please contact Jeho Park at jepark@hmc.edu.

[Some useful links]

CIS Welcomes Chu Oguejiofor in the Research Computing Internship Position

Chu OguejioforAcademic and Research Computing Services is delighted to introduce our new Research Computing Intern, Chu Oguejiofor. Chu is a Ph.D. student at CGU, studying data science and analytics. He holds a M.S. degree in Business Analytics from Kent State University and B.S. in Computer Science from California Lutheran University. Chu has an excellent background in data visualization and analytics using Tableau and R. He also has a keen interest in machine learning and computer programming.

The research computing internship position was created to meet the growing demands for research computing services at Harvey Mudd. Chu will work with Dr. Jeho Park (the Associate Director of Research Computing at CIS) to provide workshops and one-on-one consultations for research projects and education that utilize data analytics tools and advanced high performance computing resources.