Active Learning Center Open House

Information Technology invites you to attend the Active Learning Center’s (ALC) open house on Friday, August 22, 2014, from 1:00pm to 4:00pm in MEEM 120. The ALC, formerly known as the MEEM “Fishbowl,” has been completely transformed into a technology-rich collaborative learning space, featuring 72 student computer stations, 3 instructor stations, and 29 collaboration LCD monitors.

Unlike the traditional learning space, the “front” of the classroom has been eliminated, allowing faculty to facilitate both heads-down concentration work and group collaboration, as well as provide hands-on technology for their students. In addition, when this room is not scheduled for classes, it will be available to all students as a computer lab.

Please join us this Friday to learn more, as staff will be on hand to provide tours and demonstrations. For further information, please contact it-help@mtu.edu or call (906) 487-1111.

IT Update – Returning Students

Michigan Tech IT is looking forward to the start of fall semester. It’s been a busy summer at Michigan Tech with some major changes and improvements to campus IT systems:

  • Based on feedback received, we are taking the following steps to improve wireless network access:
    • The “MichiganTechSecure” network is no longer available; it was causing disconnect issues with most users. Please make sure you’re connected to the network named “MichiganTech.”
    •  The old bandwidth cap on wireless has been removed.
    • Installation of the Bradford Agent software was previously required for wireless security. The Bradford System now uses a “dissolvable” client that does not require permanent installation on your machine. The old Bradford software can now be uninstalled; instructions are at:  http://www.it.mtu.edu/bradford-agent/.
    • Over the summer, Michigan Tech IT hired a consulting firm to evaluate wireless connectivity throughout campus. Based on their report and feedback from residence hall students, we are in the process of installing nearly 700 new access points in the residence halls, which results in roughly one access point in every other room. This project will not be completed before move-in weekend; it will be a continuous process until all access point are active. We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we finish this important project to provide exceptional wireless coverage.
  • This summer the former MEEM “Fishbowl” was renovated into the new Active Learning Center. This is a “flipped” classroom that focuses on collaboration and doesn’t have the front of a traditional classroom. Like all computer classrooms, when this room is not scheduled for classes, it will be available to all students as a computer lab. Design information on this room can be found at: http://www.mtu.edu/alc. Watch renovation progress on a live webcam at: http://www.mtu.edu/webcams.
  • Have you previously downloaded software from Michigan Tech IT’s software download center?  If so, there may be updates available this fall.  Visit the software download center at: http://downloads.it.mtu.edu.
  • Finally, Michigan Tech IT is available to help you with any IT issues you experience as you begin the new year. Please contact us at it-help@mtu.edu or (906) 487-1111. You can also follow the latest IT news on our Facebook page at http://facebook.com/MichiganTechIT.

IT Update – New Students

Michigan Tech IT is looking forward to the start of the fall semester and all the new students who begin to arrive on August 23. Below are some helpful things to know before you get to campus.

  • Michigan Tech has negotiated many software packages for students to install and use on their personal computers at no cost while at Michigan Tech. Software availability varies by major but includes: AutoCAD, EndNote, Matlab, Mathematica, Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus, Microsoft DreamSpark, Microsoft Security Essentials, and more. Most of the contracts require that you be an active current student to download and install, so software will be available once the fall semester begins. Visit the software download center at: http://downloads.it.mtu.edu.
  • If you haven’t already done so, make your New Student Orientation weekend a little easier by uploading a photo for your Michigan Tech HuskyCard ID. You can do this by logging in at mymichigantech.mtu.edu and following the HuskyCard photo item instructions. Students without a photo uploaded will need to have their photo taken on campus and wait for their card to print; students who upload their photo in advance will have their pre-printed card waiting for them at HuskyCard pickup.
  • Wireless routers are not allowed in the residence halls. Save yourself time and money by not buying a wireless router. If a student has a wireless router that we detect, we will ask the student to remove the router to reduce interference with our existing wireless network.
  • Over the summer, Michigan Tech IT hired a consulting firm to evaluate wireless connectivity throughout campus. Based on their report and feedback from residence hall students, we are in the process of deploying and activating nearly 700 new access points in the residence halls, which results in roughly one access point in every other room. This project will provide exceptional wireless coverage throughout the halls. This project will not be complete before move in weekend. It will be a continuous process until all access point are active. We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we finish this important project.
  • Printing is available throughout campus and the residence halls. Find out where printers are available on our web site at http://www.it.mtu.edu/printing/. Information on printing in the residence halls is at http://www.it.mtu.edu/res-print/.
  • Finally, Michigan Tech IT is available to help you with any IT issues you experience as you begin the new year. Please contact us at it-help@mtu.edu or (906) 487-1111.

IT to deploy nearly 700 wireless access points in residence halls

In response to residence hall student concerns and the growing need for wireless coverage, over the summer IT hired a consulting firm to survey all the Michigan Tech campus for wireless coverage.  The result is an ambitious project to install nearly 700 new access points in Wadsworth Hall, McNair Hall, Douglass Houghton Hall, and Hillside Place. The project kicked off on August 4, 2014 with contractors installing raceway and patch cables in nearly every other room in the halls. This project is ongoing and expected to be completed in early fall semester.

Project status can be followed at it.mtu.edu/wireless-project-status.

Follow Michigan Tech IT on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/MichiganTechIT) or Twitter (@MichiganTechIT) for updates.

July 2014 Wireless Service Improvements

IT is making changes to the campus wireless network including: the Bradford Persistent agent is going away, MichiganTechSecure is going away, and the wireless bandwidth cap is being removed.

Based on specific campus wireless issues, IT is making the following service improvements, effective Monday, July 21 at 6:00am.

Specific Changes:

  • Wireless security will be through a “dissolvable” agent instead of requiring the Bradford persistent agent. Users with Windows and Mac laptops had previously been required to download and install the Bradford Agent software. Beginning Monday, IT will use a “dissolvable” agent, which will run once but not permanently install on your device. Since the Bradford Persistent Agent will no longer be needed, you will be able to permanently uninstall the Bradford client from your device. Uninstall instructions are located at: http://www.it.mtu.edu/bradford-agent/.
  • The MichiganTechSecure wireless network will be decommissioned. This network was never intended for use beyond a few machines and has caused issues with disconnecting hosts. Users should instead connect to the MichiganTech wireless network for a more reliable experience; this network is no less secure than the MichiganTechSecure network.
  • The bandwidth cap on wireless access has been removed. Last year, wireless usage was limited to 5 Mbps (Megabits per second) per device; this was updated to 15 Mbps in April. Beginning Monday, the cap will be removed completely. This does not mean unlimited data on wireless – as wireless capacity depends on your distance from an access point and its current traffic – but we will continue to monitor the wireless service and appreciate your feedback if you have any issues.

Which actions are required?

  • When connecting to the wireless network, please use MichiganTech instead of MichiganTechSecure.
  • Remove the Bradford Agent from your machine (if applicable) using the instructions located at http://www.it.mtu.edu/bradford-agent/.

These changes are planned to improve wireless service and stability. As always, if you have concerns or issues please let us know by contacting IT Help at 906-487-1111 or it-help@mtu.edu. If you need assistance joining your device to the MichiganTech wireless network, you can also stop by with your device at the IT and Library Service Center.

Wireless Network Change

The “MichiganTechSecure” wireless network will be going away soon.  This network was originally intended for a limited number of machines and not for general availability. When this change is made, users will need to make sure they are joined to the “MichiganTech” wireless network instead of “MichiganTechSecure.”

There is no need for concern; the “MichiganTech” wireless network is as secure as the “MichiganTechSecure” wireless network.

If you experience any issues or have any questions, please contact IT Help at it-help@mtu.edu or 906-487-1111.

Wireless Network Survey

In a continued effort to improve the wireless network and plan for its expansion, Michigan Tech IT will be working with engineers from Meridian IT to conduct wireless surveys in all Michigan Tech buildings. In order to get a comprehensive report, we need to access nearly every room in every building. The survey will take only a few moments in each room. Every effort will be made to minimize disruptions. The survey is underway and expected to be completed by Friday, June 20, 2014.

Everyone’s cooperation with this important project is very much appreciated. Any questions or concerns may be directed to Kurt Smith, Director of Telecommunications, at kcsmith@mtu.edu or 906-487-1887.

The Michigan Tech IT April Update

Michigan Tech IT would like to update you on the latest news.

  • Follow the ALC! The Active Learning Center, or as you may know it as “The Fish Bowl,” is being completely remodeled this summer. We’ll be posting updates on construction progress on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/MichiganTechIT.
  • We’re looking for the next Chris, i.e., a super intern to work with IT on customer feedback, marketing, and more. Interested? Contact Josh Olson at jolson@mtu.edu.
  • Microsoft Office 365 is now available for currently enrolled students to download free of charge at http://it.mtu.edu/downloads, along with many other packages such as Matlab, Autodesk, and Endnote.
  • Some of the feedback and suggestions we’ve received over the past month, include:
    • increased support for media player connection to the network
    • suggestions on guest wifi access; and
    • circulation of flyers for IT news updates.
  • You can continue to anonymously leave feedback on Michigan Tech IT services via this Google form: http://goo.gl/hMOF48.

Central Storage Maintenance and Potential Unavailability

WHAT is going on:

Please be advised that IT Infrastructure Services will be conducting central storage maintenance to continue to improve the stability and performance of the storage systems.  This maintenance may cause brief intermittent outages of access to central storage, so please attempt to minimize utilizing your home directory or network file shares during the maintenance window described below.

WHEN it will happen:

The scheduled storage maintenance will be from Friday May 9, 2014 at 8:00pm to Saturday May 10, 2014 at 8:00am.

WHY are we doing this:

The performance and stability of the new central storage system is our top concern.  We sincerely feel that you – the faculty, staff, and students – deserve the most affordable, stable, versatile, and highly-performing storage system available.  IT management and staff have been working closely with our storage vendor and together we have developed a detailed quality improvement plan.  This maintenance window will allow us to implement the many improvements in this plan with the least amount of negative impact on users.

WHOM will this affect:

The storage system undergoing maintenance affects all campus home directories, most academic and research shares, and most administrative data.  All students, staff, and faculty may see intermittent access loss to their home directories during this maintenance window. This maintenance will not affect storage attached to the Superior High Performance Cluster nor any other locally-attached storage.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact IT User Services at (906) 487-1111 or email it-help@mtu.edu.