Job posting: Group Leader User Support

We are recruiting!

Harvey Mudd College seeks a group leader for its computing and information services User Support group.
We're now hiring!

As group leader you will lead a team of three full-time and one-part time staff, as well as a number of students, who provide full computing support to approximately 400 faculty and staff and limited support to 700 students.  You will manage work flow and provide second tier technical support. The group leader is responsible for determining service levels, planning for support delivery and ensuring that computing support is timely, professional and effective.   You will also oversee student computing labs and the purchase, setup, distribution, and support of desktop hardware and software for faculty and staff. Draft hardware and software policy proposals for management review. Consult with faculty and staff about computing needs.

Reporting directly to the CIO, the Group Leader forms part of the Computing and Information Services management team.

What you’ll definitely need to have: ability to develop and lead a team of support specialists, broad technical knowledge of Windows, OS X and Linux desktops, understanding of support issues in a higher education environment, experience using ticket systems such Footprints or Remedy, experience using a Content Management system such as Cascade, Vignette, Plone or Joomla!,  ability to trouble shoot both technical and work flow issues, ability to work effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and with varying technical skill sets.

What we’d like you to have: knowledge of mobile computing support issues (PDAs, netbooks),  an acquaintance with discipline specific applications such as Mathematica or SPSS, knowledge of the Sakai course management system, the Footprints ticket system and the Cascade Content Management System.

What you can expect: Lots of challenges! A great working environment: Harvey Mudd College is a liberal arts college that enjoys an excellent reputation as one of the premier engineering, science, and mathematics schools in the nation. You will be part of a small community and surrounded by very bright people who are dedicated to the HMC mission of producing well rounded engineers, scientists and mathematicians.

Starting salary is competitive, dependent upon qualifications. This position is full-time and eligible for participation in a competitive set of benefits.

For more information, the full job description and application procedures please visit

Tablet PCs go to students and faculty

Earlier this year, Barry Olsan kindly helped us obtain a number of Tablet PCs from Lenovo as part of a matching grant program at IBM.

Ashley Nelson picks up her Tablet PC from Raymond Allen

In August we sent out a message asking people to tell us what they would do if they had a tablet to use in class during the Fall semester.  We got 25 great responses and I had to choose 10 winners, with help from the Computing Committee.  We let the winners know last week and they soon turned up at the Help Desk eager to pick up their new Tablet PCs.

It was no surprise (this is Mudd!) that there were some intriguing ideas in the applications. One student is going to do a kind of controlled experiment by taking notes the traditional way in one class and using the Tablet in another. Another is going to install Linux and tell us what he learns about the experience. Still another is going to look at the question of whether some classes are more suited to Tablet use than others (Chinese vs Engineering?).

Some faculty received Tablet PCs as well.  Erik Spjut will test the system with an eye to using it in a Spring class.  Zach Dodds is going to make use of the tablet in a Robotics class and Don Remer is going to use his tablet “live” during lectures.

All the winners have agreed to share information about their use of the Tablet PC at a round table discussion in the Spring Semester.  So watch out for news of that event.

Trang Pham with her new Tablet PC

This is an exciting experiment for CIS as well.  With this pilot, we hope to learn more about how Tablet PCs can work in the HMC environment.  Since they came with Windows Vista, we will have the opportunity to learn more about that operating system and develop a sense of the impact it will have as it becomes more common.  And it is just great to be able to give out some free stuff!

We are going to be sending out a similar call for applications to use a Tablet PC for the Spring semester, and we’ll also have an Apple iTouch or two for people to try out.

Here is the list of people who received Tablet PCs this time round.

Erik Spjut picked up his Tablet PC last week

Trang Pham
Alex Ross
Ashley Nelson
Alex Hagen
Ben Margolis
Jeremy Brown
Don Remer
Erik Spjut
Zach Dodds
Greg Herschler

So if you see one of them walking about with a Tablet PC, ask them all about it.  It might give you ideas for an application for the Spring semester!

New Wireless Network

Good news about the HMC wireless networking infrastructure!

During the summer, the Claremont Colleges reached agreement on how to move forward with the next generation of wireless networking, which will eventually replace the CINE wireless network.  As a result of that agreement, HMC invested in new wireless access points and switching equipment, which we have started to deploy across the HMC campus.

The new wireless network uses 802.11n technology (more secure, faster!) and does not require the registration of MAC addresses.  Wireless users will have a similar experience no matter which College they happen to be visiting.

Our deployment plan is as follows.  We started with the areas that had the least coverage and we will be placing up to twelve access points in some buildings.

Even though we will be putting the access points in place during the Fall, don’t expect to be able to use the new network in production until Spring semester.

Hoch-Shanahan: August 08
West Dorm:  August 08
East Dorm: August 08
North Dorm: August 08
Atwood: September 08
Linde: September 08
South:  September 08
Sontag:  September 08
Case:  October 08
Linde Activities Center:  October 08
Platt:  October 08
Kingston:  October 08
Garrett House: October 08
Thomas-Garrett: October 08
Sprague Library: October 08
Olin/Beckman: November 08
Parsons: November 08
Jacobs/Keck: December 08/January 09
Galileo:  December 08/January 09

If you have questions about any aspect of the plan, please don’t hesitate to contact the CIS Help Desk at (909) 607 7777

HASTAC competition

An announcement from HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) came in this morning. It may be of interest to HMC students. With sponsorship from the MacArthur Foundation, they have announced a digital media and learning competition.

The website is

Here’s the announcement that came via email:

An announcement from

We want to hear your ideas about how you can make new technologies enable and enhance learning. This year the $2 million Digital Media and Learning Competition has special awards for those aged 18-25, to help you take your innovative ideas from the garage to implementation. Young Innovator awards range from $5,000-$30,000. Focus: Participatory Learning. Deadline: October 15, 2008. Find out more at


Looking for Young Innovators
$2 Million Competition

Focus: Participatory Learning
Application Deadline: October 15, 2008
Full information at:

Fall semester reminders for faculty

Dear Faculty,

Welcome back! I hope you had a great summer break. Just some reminders for the fall semester.

– CIS labs now available in VEMS

– Sakai Collaborative Learning Environment

– Audiovisual services and support

– New account requests for non-HMC students

– Shared folders on Charlie

– Course Mudd Shots

– Course mailing lists

– VPN (Virtual Private Network)

– Help Desk

Please read and SAVE this information for your reference.

CIS labs now available in VEMS

You can now view and request reservations for the 3 CIS labs in VEMS. The advantage to using VEMS is that you can see right away whether the lab is available. You can find VEMS at We will continue to accept reservation requests from email sent to as well.

Sakai Collaborative Learning Environment

Fall 2008 courses have been created and populated with students and faculty. Sakai’s address is If you’ve never used your LDAP password you can stop by the CIS Help Desk and Raymond, Chris or I can reset it for you so that you can login. We will be running imports from CARS/CX every night to add students as they add courses, and will also inactivate students who drop courses. Please remember to use the Auditor role when adding participants who are not on the official course roster in CX. Also, if you are teaching multiple sections of the same course and would prefer a combined Sakai site rather than separate section sites, please send email to and we can create a combined site for you.

Audiovisual services

I’m sure many of you are tired of being reminded about this, but please remember to use the A/V request Web form at to request an audiovisual setup. Please send your request at least 24 hours, and preferably 48 hours, in advance. You may want to take a look at the A/V policy at

There will be a staff member available during the lunch hour to handle audiovisual emergencies. So please call 7-7777 during the hours of 8:00 am – 5:00 pm if you need help with an audiovisual setup.

Also please don’t forget to TURN OFF the video projectors when you are done using them. The projectors can overheat when left on and the bulbs are VERY expensive to replace. Thanks!

New account requests for non-HMC students

If you have non-HMC students in your class and you want them to use the CIS labs, they will need a Charlie account. If they need to use the Macintosh lab they will also need an LDAP/Odin account. The Web form is available at

Please use the Web form when requesting accounts for any non-HMC students in your classes. We do NOT accept requests from the students themselves.

Shared folders on Charlie

Now that we have Sakai we hope that more of you will consider using Sakai instead of shared folders on Charlie for your courses and research. 😉 But if you do have a shared folder and need to change who has access to the folder please use our web form at

Course Mudd Shots

Course Mudd Shots have been updated for the fall semester. They are available at

Course mailing lists

You should have received an email message for each course mailing list that you own. Please be sure to read it carefully. Please save this message as you will need the list password to subscribe and unsubscribe people to the list. You can direct any questions about mailing lists to

VPN (Virtual Private Network)

As more faculty travel with laptops and move from using the HMC modem pool to DSL at home, we would like to remind you about the availability of the VPN. The VPN software allows you to connect to the HMC network to use HMC- and Claremont-only resources when connecting to the Internet via an ISP. It also allows you to send email without having to change your outgoing mail server settings. You can check out the VPN CD from the Help Desk.

Help Desk

Finally, if you have any questions or problems please call the Help Desk at extension 7-7777 or send email to

Have a good semester,

— Elizabeth

Elizabeth Hodas
Group Leader, User Support Group
Harvey Mudd College 909-607-4583

Course and Dorm Mudd Shots

Every semester CIS creates and maintains two web sites for the benefit of the HMC community. The Course Mudd Shots web site contains web pages for each course taught at HMC. On each course page are photos of all of the students registered for the class. While student photos are also available in the Jenzabar faculty web portal, the photos in Mudd Shots are larger and easier to print. Many faculty print out their Course Mudd Shots pages and create flash cards so that they can recognize the students in their classes by name on the first day of classes!

The Dorm Mudd Shots pages are similar in concept, except they are organized by dorm floors so that students can get to know the names and faces of students in their dorm.

The Course Mudd Shots pages are located at Dorm Mudd Shots are located at These pages are restricted by IP address so you must either be on the HMC campus or using the VPN in order to view them.

Course MuddShots were updated for the Fall 2008 semester on August 12th.

They include frosh photos with the following caveats:

– Not all frosh sent in photos

– Not all course assignments have been made

– Course assignments may change depending on placement exams

We will be running updates every night or so. Frosh photos have also been uploaded to the Jenzabar faculty web portal as well. In addition we are planning on eventually uploading them to Sakai so that they will be available in the Roster tool. We’ll keep you posted on our progress with that project.

Dorm Mudd Shots have not yet been updated for Fall 2008, but should be available shortly.

RefWorks News

We have exciting news about our RefWorks license. If you’re not familiar with RefWorks, it is our web-accessible bibliographic database software that is administered by the Libraries. It is similar to EndNote but is completely web-based. RefWorks is available to all faculty, staff, and students at The Claremont Colleges. You can easily create a RefWorks account by going to the Libraries web site at and selecting RefWorks from their Quick Links menu.

A new feature called RefShare has just been added to our license. RefShare allows you to share your bibliographic references with other users, even users who do not have RefWorks accounts. You can share individual folders or your entire bibliographic database. When you set up a share, RefWorks generates a special URL which you can then email, post to a web page, or add to your Sakai site. Clicking on the URL takes the user to RefShare where they can view your references, comment on them, use them to create a bibliography and cite them in their papers. Pretty much the only thing users can’t do is edit the references or add or delete them. More info on RefShare is available when you login to RefWorks under Help/Tutorial/RefShare/.

There’s also a new version of Write-N-Cite for Windows. Write-N-Cite allows you to have an abbreviated off-line version of your bibliographic database.

Finally, we have a trial of a brand new service from RefWorks called RefAware until September 10th, 2008. RefAware is a current awareness service that allows you to created saved searches to find brand-new research in your field. I encourage you to try this new service out before the expiration. You can create a new RefAware account by going to and clicking on the “Create a New Account” link. You can even link your RefAware account with your RefWorks account in order to import directly into RefWorks.

Digital Humanities Fellowship

The Stanford Humanities Center has announced a Digital Humanities Fellowship for 2009-2010:

The Stanford Humanities Center seeks to award one Digital Humanities Fellowship for the academic year 2009-2010 to a junior or senior scholar.

The Digital Humanities Fellowship reflects the Stanford Humanities Center’s commitment to supporting new directions in humanities research. The fellowship is intended for humanities scholars whose research methods are critically shaped by information technology. Projects should be oriented to producing new research outcomes rather than focusing primarily on the creation of archives or software. Appropriate projects will approach significant questions in humanistic study with the aid of new research tools or methodologies.

Deadline is October 15, 2008. Full details at

Portal upgrade II

The faculty and student portal will be upgraded to version 6.4 on Monday August 18.  Here are some more details about it.

The portal is run on an application called Jenzabar internet campus solution (JICS), which in turn is part of a suite of Jenzabar applications that the Claremont Colleges selected some years ago.
Contents in the new portal (information provided by Sonya Zhang):

Faculty Portlets:
Faculty Course Control – Faculty Course Schedule, Course Details, Class List, Grade Entry.
Advisee Roster – Search for advisees, view their academic history or send email.
Course Schedules – Search for Claremont colleges courses.

Student Portlets:
Student Schedule – Student Course Schedule.
Grade Report – View grades by semester.
Unofficial Transcript – View and print unofficial Transcript.
Degree Audit – View roadmap towards the completion of your degree.
GPA Projection – Calculate projected GPA.
Course Schedules – Search courses offering at the Claremont Colleges.
Claremont Course Schedule – Another way of searching courses offering at the Claremont Colleges.
Student Account Info – View and pay student account balance online.
Residence Information – View your campus address.
Financial Aid Awards – View financial aid application status, documents, awards, and messages.
Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) Network – Contact alumni who are willing to assist you with your career planning and job/internship searches.

Interface of the new portal:

The interface of the new portal is tab-oriented. Each tab contains one or more portlets. Each portlet is set to be the minimized screen by default. This will offer you only the options you are most likely to be interested in. You can click the title of the portlet to view the maximized screen, which usually offers more user options. For example, in student schedule portlet, a student user can select different academic terms in max screen. On the top right corner of each portlet there is a wrench icon which provides customization options, depending on the portlets. For example, in advisee roster portlet, a faculty user can define preferred search criteria to be “active advisees”.

Portal upgrade I

Effective August 18, the HMC Campus Portal available at will be upgraded from version 4.2 to version 6.4.

Portal 6.4 Home Page
Portal 6.4 Home Page

As you know, the Portal provides information about things like course schedules, class lists, advisees, grade entry (for faculty) and unofficial transcripts (for students). It is part of a suite of software applications that the Claremont Colleges all use.

Some of you will already have used this version of the portal when you visited, a URL which will continue to function. If you need to access the old portal after August 18, you should visit

We believe that this new version of the Portal software will go some way toward resolving issues around performance and the user interface. We hope you will agree. Either way, we would like to hear what you think about the new software, so don’t hesitate to call, write or visit.

Thanks are due to Sonya Zhang for her hard work in getting the new software up and running, and to Registrar Noel Keller for advice.