May 2011 update from the CIO

We decided to rename May to Mayhem. Two new Directors, the end of year flurry, Commencement, beginning of Summer projects and, to top it all, we moved to Sprague 5 at the end of May.

New CIS Offices on Sprague 5
You should come by and visit our new offices and enjoy the view.  Many thanks to Rowan Reid of F&M for the work he did to help get the space ready and then move us in.  The beautiful and subtle color scheme is Rowan’s work too.  The goal was to create a space that is open and light filled, reminiscent of the Learning Studio on the first floor and we have achieved that.  Now CIS is learning about how to work in an open plan office, which is a first for most of us.

Advancement folk from Thomas-Garrett will now be moving into the Parsons basement area.  The data center/machine room stays in that location, at least for now.

Commencement Streaming
HMC provided a live video stream of the Commencement ceremony for the first time this year. It went marvelously well, and you can read about it and the technology involved at

I have written about the LabSTOR service several times in the past. It is a remote computing system that allows you to get access to applications stored on virtual computer images.   We are hoping that it will help do away with the need for people to visit labs where a particular piece of software is installed and instead get to the applications they need from any computer with an internet connection.   I’ve written a bit more detail about getting access at It is now connected to HMC’s Active Directory server, so you can login in using your Active Directory account (Charlie or Alice account).  Give it a try and let us know what you think.

As soon as Neal Pisenti ’11 and Ryan Muller ’11 graduated, they moved to Portland, OR to start working on a new version of Learnstream  (see along with Camille Marvin ’12 and Marko Milosevic.  Neal and Ryan had received a Shanahan grant, which CIS is augmenting in order to cover 8 weeks of work by the team.  In collaboration with the Physics department, they are going to produce some pilot modules for high-school students taking AP Physics C.

The Learnstream team decided to do a rewrite of the code from the ground up, using Extreme programming techniques and working in Ruby on Rails.  I video-conference with them once a week to learn about their progress.  They are doing truly spectacular work. I am really excited about this project because I think it has the potential to have a large impact on educational technology far beyond Harvey Mudd.

IPV6 class
In May we hosted a IPV6 taught by Internet2 staff in the Learning Studio. Attendees came from all around Southern California as well as the Claremont Colleges. Many thanks to Cynthia Humes (CMC) and Roger Wiechman for working on the logistics of this class.   Roger has been working to get CINE IPV6 ready for some time.  And we learned more on IPV6 day (June 8).

New Directors
We asked Mitch Shacklett and Cindy Abercrombie, our two new CIS Directors to interview one another for the news site.  Want to learn about a data center that could roll 18″ in any direction?  You’ll find that in the interview with Cindy at And if you’d like to learn more about what the HMC Director of Systems and Network does when he is not working on HMC infrastructure, visit

So that’s it for May’s update.  Whether you are here in Claremont or far away, we at CIS hope you have a great summer.  There are only 82 days left to the start of classes in the Fall, so enjoy every one of them!

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