Course, Major, Dorm and Class mailing lists

In 2013 the Computing Committee surveyed the faculty to identify priorities for CIS.  The second highest priority (after “Improve the Portal”) was “improve the course mailing lists system”.   Since then, we have been steadily moving lists away from the old software (called Majordomo) to Google Groups within our Google Apps for Education domain g.hmc.edu.  I am writing now to let you know that we are about to move some widely used lists to Google Groups.

There are two kinds of list:  ad-hoc lists that are created by hand and automated lists that are created by scripts that draw on information in the student information system.   We (and you)  have been creating ad-hoc lists on google groups for some time.  We are now ready to migrate the automated lists to Google Groups and also to automate more lists, such as faculty-l, staff-l and some departmental lists.

The automated lists on Google Groups are now working in parallel with the Majordomo lists (so you can write to either).  On Wednesday, August 26 we will turn off the majordomo lists for the following categories of automated lists.:

  • section (“math-60-1-L@hmc.edu” will become “math-60-1-2015-FA@g.hmc.edu”)
  • major lists by year (“bio-majors-15-L@hmc.edu” will become “bio-majors-15@g.hmc.edu”)
  • dorm (“atwood-dorm-L@hmc.edu” will become “atwood-dorm@g.hmc.edu”)
  • class (“HMC2019-L@hmc.edu” will become “HMC2019@g.hmc.edu”)

You do not need to memorize any of these names, as they will appear in both the Directory and your  “My Groups” listing at groups.g.hmc.edu, as well as autocompleting when you compose a message in gmail.

Your course lists will be automatically updated three times per day, on the same schedule as Sakai. And you will be able to read archived messages at any time.

There should be no major changes for people who wish to use the lists. There are some new additional features of Google groups that you may find useful, such as the ability to view and respond to messages on the web, view archives and view member lists.  To distinguish automatically created lists from manually created ones, we will not be using the “-l” convention on Google Groups, so automatically created list addresses will have the format “groupname@g.hmc.edu”, whereas ad-hoc lists will continue to have “-l” at the end.

I would like to publicly thank Andy Davenport who has done patient and careful work to develop a system for automatically creating these lists.

As usual, I would appreciate any feedback you might have.

Technology in the Shanahan Center Fall 2015

Shanahan CenterDear faculty,

Short version:

If you are planning to use only the video projectors or LCD screens in the Shanahan Center this Fall, then read no further.

If you are planning to use any other technology, such as clickers, lecture capture or laptops, please don’t wait until the last minute to submit requests.  We need at least 48 hours notice to serve you well.

To request the use of any of the technologies described below please send an email to the CIS Help Desk at helpdesk@hmc.edu or use the AV Request form at http://www.formstack.com/forms/hmc-avrequest.

Long version:

In addition to the video projectors, LCD TVs (in the 12-person classrooms), speakers and screens, many rooms have resident document cameras, Blu-Ray/DVD or DVD/VHS players. You can find a full list of which rooms have what equipment at this link: http://goo.gl/4Mj1Nx.

Other technology available for use in the Shanahan Center includes:

  • Laptop carts
  • iClickers
  • Lecture capture
  • Video cameras for displaying experiments
  • Smartboard

More details on these other technologies can be found below:

We have three carts with 45 laptops, 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 https://www.hmc.edu/cis/services/laptop-cart-reservation/.

You can find a full list of the software that is included on the laptops and the CIS lab computers at this URL: https://goo.gl/d5uF4i.

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. You can visit the CIS web site for more information at https://www.hmc.edu/cis/services/classroom-recording-mediasite-lecture-capture/.

Clickers (personal response systems) are also available for loan. At this point all students have purchased iClickers so all you need is a wireless receiver and the iClicker software installed on your computer.  We have extra iClickers if you have non-HMC students in your class. More information about the iClickers can be found at https://www.hmc.edu/cis/services/iclickers/.

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.

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 6 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 our AV request form at http://www.formstack.com/forms/hmc-avrequest or send us an email at helpdesk@hmc.edu.

We ask that you give us at least 48 hours notice when submitting a request. Please do not wait until the last minute to submit requests! We had a bit of a scramble last Fall semester with many last minute requests for clickers, laptops and lecture capture.

Have a great Fall semester!

 

HMC Scientific Computing Workshop Series for Spring 2015

With the finals around the corner and the summer break soon to follow, we will wrap up the HMC Scientific Computing Workshop Series for Spring 2015 with these three popular workshops:

  • Essential MATLAB for Beginners (FULL)
    April 30th at 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm in Aviation Room at Hoch-Shanahan Dining Commons
  • R for Statistical Computing
    May 7th at 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm in Aviation Room at Hoch-Shanahan Dining Commons
  • Advanced MATLAB (for summer math/research students)
    May 21st at 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm in Aviation Room at Hoch-Shanahan Dining Commons

badge-samples-2-small
All these workshops are digital badge-earning opportunities. All participants who finish their required work in and out of the workshop will be awarded a digital badge through HMC CIS Digital Badge program. For more information about digital badges, please see https://www.hmc.edu/cis/digital-badge/.

Seats are limited. So if you are interested, please register at http://bit.ly/scicompworshops-Spring2015.

Essential MATLAB for Beginners will cover the following topics:

  • Basics of MATLAB Desktop — get to know about the MATLAB computing environment.
  • Scripts and Functions — learn the basics of MATLAB scripts and functions and their differences.
  • Data Import/Export — learn how to import external data and export MATLAB data for other applications.
  • Basic Plots — draw basic 2d plots and learn the simple manipulation techniques.
  • MATLAB Editor — know how to use the MATLAB editor for programming, debugging and publishing your MATLAB codes.

For the R for Statistical Computing workshop, you will learn:

  • How to make use of RStudio IDE.
  • How to work with Data (1): data types and objects.
  • How to create plots: simple plotting methods.
  • How to work with Data (2): Student’s t tests (two-sample and one-sample) and normality test.

We will continue on the Advanced MATLAB workshop to learn:

  • Advanced data structures: cells, structures, data types, and memory usage.
  • Data import/export: tips and tricks to handle data import and export.
  • Advanced use of functions: subfunctions, nested functions, anonymous functions, and function handles.
  • Debugger and profiler: ways to debug and profile MATLAB functions.
  • Performance considerations: memory allocation, vectorization, and parallelization.
  • GUI using GUIDE: A quick introduction to MATLAB GUI Development Environment (only when time permits).

Any questions? Contact Jeho Park at jepark@hmc.edu.

A Big Data Day Workshop at Harvey Mudd College

Harvey Mudd Scientific Computing Seminar Series: XSEDE HPC Workshop on Big Data

BigData_2267x1146_trasparentWe are pleased to announce a one-day Big Data workshop on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 from 8 am to 2 pm on the Harvey Mudd campus (Shanahan 2461). The workshop will be led by Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and the Scientific Computing Specialist at Harvey Mudd will be the on-site TA for local participants. This workshop will focus on topics such as Hadoop and Spark. If you are unable to attend the whole workshop due to your class schedule, I would recommend you the first two sessions to learn the basics of Big Data and do some hands-on programming using Java.

The workshop registration is required for the hands-on part. Please register at https://www.xsede.org/web/xup/course-calendar/-/training-user/class/378/session/629. The registration requires an XSEDE account which you can obtain from https://www.xsede.org/web/xup/my-xsede?p_p_id=58&p_p_lifecycle=0&p_p_state=maximized&p_p_mode=view&p_p_col_id=column-1&p_p_col_pos=1&p_p_col_count=2&_58_struts_action=/login/create_account.

* Workshop Agenda *
————————–
8:00 am: Welcome
8:30 am: Intro to Big Data
9:15 am: Hadoop
10:00 am: Lunch break
11:00 am: Hadoop (cont)
11:30 am: Exercises
12:15 pm: Spark
1:15 pm: Exercise 2
2:00 pm: Adjourn
(All times given are PST)

Due to demand, this workshop will be telecast to several satellite sites. This workshop is NOT available via a webcast.
——————-

Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions. I hope to see you at the workshop. Thanks!

Jeho Park, Ph.D.
Scientific Computing Specialist, HMC
jepark@hmc.edu
909) 607-9023

Digital Humanities Applications

From our friends in Digital Humanitiesdhcc-web

A reminder that faculty applications for the 5C Digital Humanities @ The Claremont Colleges (DH@CC) 2015 Summer Institute and Digital Course Development grants are due on March 6th. You can find applications at http://claremontdh.com/applications/, and learn more about these Mellon Foundation-supported programs at http://claremontdh.com/category/grant-applications/grant-descriptions/.

If you have any questions about DH@CC, please contact Project Manager AJ Strout at AJ_Strout@pitzer.edu.

February 2015 Update from the CIO

80101383152976HMCWeb10We had such a busy Fall semester that I was unable to send out updates.  In this one, I will cover developments since my last update in late August. I hope you have some time to read it.

People
Starting with the most important aspect of all organizations, I have the pleasure of introducing three people.  Taylor Calderone has joined us in a permanent position as a technical analyst on the User Support team.  Taylor has been with us for a while on a temporary basis, working primarily with audiovisual support.  When Corey LeBlanc left for Pomona’s Computer Science department, it was really great to see Taylor compete for and win the permanent position.

Brian Reid has joined us in a temporary capacity to work on the User Support team. Brian came to HMC from the Geek Squad, and we are very happy to welcome him to the campus.

I am also very happy to announce that our Senior Network Engineer search has finally yielded fruit.  Duke Vu joined  the CIS team on January 5th.  He comes to us after a five year stint at JPL and we are really looking forward to adding his set of skills and insights to the team that works on that most fundamental of things, our network.  Duke will report to Mitch Shacklett, Director of the Systems and Network Group.

ITC
The intercollegiate Information Technology Committee (ITC) has  been very active of late.  This year, I get to co-chair the committee with Ken Pflueger of Pomona. Among the topics we are dealing with is the IT Assesssment by BerryDunn, which I mentioned in my last update.   The final version has been received and is under review by both the ITC and the Presidents Council.  The ITC agreed with many of its recommendations and has started to lay the groundwork to implement some of them.  The Council discussed the report at their January 2015 retreat and ITC is meeting with Council in March.  Council has urged the IT leaders to collaborate more deeply in order to build strong centralized services where appropriate, in particular in areas like networking, data centers, security, identity and access management and disaster recovery.

Related to the ITC, I have been helping out at CUC since the late Fall departure of the previous CIO. I am assisting Stig Lanesskog, the CEO of CUC, with IT decision making and keeping the department moving while they redefine the CIO position and launch a search.  It is an honor and privilege to help the consortium in this way, and will, I believe, yield benefit for HMC in the long run.

Workday
I hope you all saw the announcement about Workday Financial Management.  This is big news for lots of reasons.

Last year, the intercollegiate Budget and Financial Affairs Committee (BFAC) began looking for a replacement for the aging Datatel financial system that is run by the Claremont University Consortium (CUC).  The BFAC narrowed its requirements down to four or five “show stoppers”, two of which will be of great interest to our faculty.  The first was the ability easily to report across fiscal years, which is often very important to grant holders. And the second was support for all modern browsers. (You read more about their philosophy on user interface design).

There is so much to say about this topic that I have started a series of separate posts about it.

Password Policy
Password Policy: As you know by now, we did not implement the system change we had announced for October 27th, which would have required you to change your password every 365 days.  Thanks to good feedback from the community and the Computing Committee, I went back to the drawing board, connected with our financial auditors and finally we worked out an agreement that will require slightly longer passwords, but no annual changing of passwords.  Once per year, you will be required to check your password to ensure that it meets the HMC Credentials password requirements (the timing of this check is up to you, based on when you last changed or checked your password).  If your password meets the requirements, then you are good to go.  Only if it doesn’t meet the requirements will you be required to change it.

Email aliases
joseph.vaughan@hmc.edu, jvaughan@hmc.edu, vaughan@hmc.edu, joseph_vaughan@hmc.edu which one am I? We have traditionally tried to anticipate what people might think was someone’s address by populating our “Mail Central” with a number of aliases for the main address, which is always of the form username@hmc.edu. During the Fall semester we reviewed a number of issues with this system:

  • As the numbers in our community increase, it is more and more common to have name clashes, so that the underlying idea of being able to “make up” the email address if you know a person’s name is no longer valid.
  • Many systems now use email addresses as usernames, which means that they treat the different aliases as different accounts.  We have a variation of that problem with the Footprints Ticket System.
  • All modern email systems have some form of directory lookup and autocomplete of addresses, so you don’t have to remember them.

With this in mind, we decided to stop creating aliases for email addresses and just use the canonical form username@hmc.edu.  We did not touch existing aliases, but will no longer be creating them when we create accounts.

Other Topics
So this update has gotten long enough. But please visit our IT News site to read other articles:

NSF cyberinfrastructure grants

Dramatic increase in service requests in SCTL

CIS Digital Badge Pilot

Enjoy Spring Break and the rest of the semester.

Shanahan Center brings dramatic increase in service requests

As the table below makes clear, we are seeing a huge increase in the number of requests for CIS services in the Shanahan Center.

We are happy to have this “problem”, but we are having to work hard to make sure that we are delivering services as efficiently as possible.

To that end, we have reorganized within User Support to make sure that there more people available to provide audiovisual services.   We have also made sure that every request goes into our ticket system and our calendar.

One of the best ways you can help us is to always request audiovisual support via our request form. Give us as much advance notice as you can and be as specific as you can about your needs.

We’d also love to hear your feedback about how audiovisual services could be streamlined even more.  So send your ideas our way.   Thanks!

Shanahan Center Usage

 2012
before SCTL
2013
start of SCTL
2014
SCTL full operation
Lecture Capture Events
44216549
Laptops ReservationsLearning Studio *145 (Fall)349 (Fall)
Overtime Hours283377550 (Jan-Oct)
Total Support Hours12,03513,20913,883 (Jan-Oct)

NSF Cyberinfrastructure Grants

There are a few NSF grant programs currently accepting proposals that have to do with cyberinfrastructure, including one for Network Design and Implementation for Small Institutions and another category for “Instrument Networking, which recognizes scientific instrumentation as key campus infrastructure components to promote requiring high-performance, advanced networking”.

Together with Los Nettos, our regional network organization, we plan to apply, and are anticipating a site visit from NSF personnel in the near future.   All of the grants ask for examples of faculty who are either doing or are interested in doing work that involves moving large amounts of data or making use of high performance computing.

While Jeho Park has been in touch with several faculty, I wanted to send out a broad request.  If you have interest, please let Jeho or me know.  We are looking for examples of what people do or would do if they had access to the right resources — we’re not suggesting that you write a grant proposal yourself (unless you want to, of course).   Here are some examples of the kind of work enabled by high speed networking, drawn from a recent Internet2 announcement about the University of Connecticut:

  • The Computer Science & Engineering Department can perform wide area network performance research.
  • The Geography Department can continuously access high-resolution satellite images stored at external servers.
  • The Molecular and Cell Biology Department can transfer huge genome sequence reads produced by next-generation sequencers and the processed outputs within campus and with external sites.
  • The Physics Department can participate in the Open Science Grid, a global community of scientists, researchers, and experts in high-throughput computing, and regularly transfer terabytes of jobs to and from the grid within a day.
  • The Statistics Department can conduct research on high-dimensional statistical modeling and inference using large data sets produced by health and biomedical studies.
  • UConn Health can conduct research on quantitative cell biology and simulations as well as computational genomics that require terabytes of data transfer on a daily basis.

Additional information regarding this year’s solicitation can be found here: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15534/nsf15534.pdf

Thanks for reading!

Mathematica Seminar at Harvey Mudd College

wolfram-mathematica-10We are pleased to announce that a Mathematica seminar will be held on our campus (Aviation Room in Hoch-Shanahan) on Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 from noon to 1 pm. Please come join us to learn more about new Mathematica 10 features that can help your job done more easily and efficiently. Seats are limited, so please register for the seminar. Here’s the details:

Wolfram Technologies in Education and Research

February 24, 2015
12:00-1:00, including Q&A
Harvey Mudd College: Aviation Room in Hoch-Shanahan Dining Commons

This talk illustrates capabilities in Mathematica 10 and other Wolfram technologies that are directly applicable for use in teaching and research on campus. Topics of these technical talks include:

  • Enter calculations in everyday English, or using the flexible Wolfram Language
  • Visualize data, functions, surfaces, and more in 2D or 3D
  • Store and share documents locally or in the Wolfram Cloud
  • Use the Predictive Interface to get suggestions for the next useful calculation or function options
  • Access trillions of bits of on-demand data
  • Use semantic import to enrich your data using Wolfram curated data
  • Easily turn static examples into mouse-driven, dynamic applications
  • Access 10,000 free course-ready applications
  • Utilize the Wolfram Language’s wide scope of built-in functions, or create your own
  • Get deep support for specialized areas including machine learning, time series, image processing, parallelization, and control systems, with no add-ons required

Current users will benefit from seeing the many improvements and new features of Mathematica 10 and Wolfram Alpha Pro, but prior knowledge of the Wolfram Language is not required. All attendees will receive an electronic copy of the examples, which can be adapted to individual projects.

 

Registration: https://hmc.formstack.com/forms/registration_form_mathematica_s2015.

 

Workday Student

As I mentioned before,  the Claremont Colleges have decided to participate in Workday’s Strategic Influencer program for the Workday Student product.   This initiative is now taking more shape.  The following people have been appointed to the Workday Strategic Influencer Project Team:

  • Margeret Adorno (Registrar, Pomona)
  • Mark Ashley (Registrar, HMC)
  • Andrew Dorantes (Treasurer, HMC)
  • Robert Goldstein (CIO, Pitzer)
  • Elizabeth Morgan (Registrar, Claremont McKenna)
  • Joseph Vaughan (CIO, HMC)
  • Chris Waugh, (Director, Smith Campus Center, Pomona)

The Project Team will visit Workday headquarters in Pleasanton, CA on February 24 for the first meeting of Strategic Influencers and Design Partners.  These meetings will be broadcast so that you can listen in from home.  Workday will be conducting interviews with functional groups as well.  If you have views on what a Student System should do, now is the time to speak up!