General

New myUConn App for Android tablets

The Applications and Technology Solutions team (ATS) has launched a new version of the myUConn App for Android tablets. The myUConn app is the official app of the university which lets users quickly find dining hall menus, course listings, interactive maps, and real-time tracking of buses along campus routes. Previously, the myUConn app was only available for iPhones, iPads and Android phones. After numerous requests from students and faculty who wanted to access UConn-related information from their Android tablets, ATS finalized the development and release of this new version.

myUConn became available online for Android tablet products on Thursday, November 21, 2013 and is free to download and use. Please note, the Android tablet version is only available for screen sizes 1280×800 or larger. Support for smaller tablets will be available in the near future.

To-date, the myUConn App features include:

  • Bus Tracking Service: See a bus approaching a scheduled stop using GPS technology, in real time. Searches are either by bus line or by a particular stop. In addition, one can view all bus routes in full screen and use the device’s touch screen to pinch and zoom for better detail.
  • Campus Directory:  Browse for e-mail, telephone number, and mailing address of UConn faculty, staff, student, department, etc. Recent searches can be saved, people can be added to contact lists, and perform reverse searches using a telephone number.
  • UConn’s Current Course Catalog: Search by career and subject, a specific course and its details, or bookmark courses as “favorites” to view later.
  • Interactive Maps: Easily pick an address or building from the menu while seeing its location and pinpoint an exact location while searching by using a helpful locator service.
  • Residence Halls Dining Menus: Easily view dining options throughout the current week. Also included is a daily calorie counter and favorites section.
  • Live streams:  Campus emergency alerts; WHUS 91.7 FM radio; and UConn Daily Digest.
  • Student ID Finder: Easily look up Student Administration (SA) ID; requires entering a NetID and NetID password.
  • Student Resources: Campus phone numbers, links, and descriptions, which range from tutoring to Public Safety services.

We hope the myUConn app is as useful to you as it is to so many other UConn students, faculty and staff. The mobile development team will continue to seek suggestions and feedback about other helpful resources the UConn community would like included as the myUConn App evolves and features are added.

Suggestions and feedback can be submitted to mobiledev@uconn.edu and also through our contact page on our website.

Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for important news and updates.

UITS Marks the Anniversary of its Roots

Sunday, June 23 is the 55th anniversary of a faculty committee recommendation that resulted in creation of the University Computer Center – today known as University Information Technology Services (ITS).

Electronic technician Ronald Labranche and Associate Professor Jon Lof

Electronic technician Ronald Labranche and Associate Professor Jon Lőf are seen in the Computer Center on November 21, 1961, just a few months after the center began operations in two rooms of the Engineering II Building on the main campus in Storrs. [Source: University Archives, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.]

It was on that date in 1958 that the University Computer Center Committee, appointed by President Albert N. Jorgensen, issued its report and made recommendations for the future of computing at the University.

The Computer Center began operations during the late summer of 1961, three years after the report was issued.

“This report is concerned with the need for an electronic digital computer installation at the University of Connecticut,” is how the committee members opened their 1958 report.

“A digital computer performs complex mathematical operations by numerical calculations at tremendous speed and with high precision. It is sufficiently versatile to handle a very wide range of business and scientific problems.

“The analog computers now installed on campus are for specific applications and are not designed to perform many types of mathematical and scientific calculations done by the digital computer,” reported committee members.

In a section of their report titled “Present Indications of the Need for a Computer Facility,” the committee said “It is clear that the University is ready to make effective use of an intermediary-size computer. Probably the clearest indication of this is the amount of research of a statistical nature now being carried on.”

The committee recommended a staffing budget of $29,000, suggesting a director (on half-time), two programmers, one computer operator, one key-punch operator, and one secretary.

In April 1961, on the recommendation of Harold Torgersen, dean of the School of Engineering and chair of the Computer Center Committee, Pres. Jorgensen appointed John Lőf, associate professor of electrical engineering, as director of the new center.  The Board of Trustees approved the Lőf appointment at a meeting on May 18, 1961.

Lőf, who served as director for 15 years, had joined the School of Engineering faculty in 1952. He died recently at the age of 97.

The committee in 1958 had also recommended a 5,800 square foot facility to house the Computer Center, including a 2,000 square foot computer room, 1,500 square feet for office space, and a 1,200 square foot lecture room with 50 seats.

A stand-alone facility was not to be, and the Computer Center started operations for the fall semester of 1961 in the Engineering II building.

Lőf, in a letter to all deans, director, and department heads of the University dated September 12, 1961, said “the digital computer of the University Computer Center is now in operation in newly rebuilt rooms 200 and 201 of the Engineering Building II.”

The new center, Lőf wrote, was equipped with “an IBM 1620 central processor, a punch card input and output system, a paper tape input and output system, additional magnetic core storage and off-line printing and punch equipment.”

The facility was open to the entire University staff for research and educational purposes on what Lőf referred to as an open-shop basis: “This implies that those who wish to make use of the computer will be expected to provide the major portion of the programming and machine operations for their own problems. The small staff of the center is ready to assist personnel in developing programs and operating equipment.”

The “small staff” referred to Lőf as director, a stenographer, and two graduate assistants.

Lőf also noted in his September 1961 letter that the Computer Center staff was ready to “conduct workshops and other non-credit classes to instruct University staff and graduate students in programming (principally FORTRAN) and use of the facilities.”

On October 24, 1961, President Jorgensen sent a letter to Dean Torgersen and other members of the Computer Center Committee thanking them for their work and discharging them from the now dissolved committee.

As technology and computing power have advanced over the decades, the Computer Center has also evolved, moving into its present location in the Math/Science Building of the Edward V. Gant Complex in May of 1974, and, following reorganization in 2000, it became known as University Information Technology Services.

UConn Joins ‘eduroam’ Group for Worldwide Internet Access

UConn employees and students now have access to secure, free Internet service at thousands of institutions worldwide as part of the University’s participation in a global partnership of universities, research entities, and other organizations.

UConn joined the group, known as eduroam (short for “education roaming”), this spring and started offering connectivity in mid-May. The service allows anyone with a UConn-issued NetID to use those credentials for fully encrypted Internet access at thousands of other institutions that participate in eduroam in more than 60 nations and territories.

Read the full article on UConn Today.

Student Administration System Login Changes Coming

In an effort to align with the University’s goal of a single sign-on to access University systems, changes are on the way for how the University community accesses the Student Administration System. As the project progresses, additional details will be communicated.

Effective Friday, August 9, 2013:
• Those who currently log in to the Student Administration System using a seven-digit ID will log in using their UConn NetID and NetID password.
• Those that log in with an Alpha ID in all CAPS will continue to do so – no change in login ID or password.

For questions or concerns, please email StudentAdminSystemResponse@uconn.edu

In the Spotlight… Educause at UConn

The University is a member of Educause (www.educause.edu), a non-profit organization whose goal is “to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology.”

Since the information technology field is ever evolving and always changing, Educause has made it a goal for itself and its members to find new and innovative ways to implement new trends in IT to create more effective higher education environments. As a member of Educause, the University has access to a number of resources, such as: professional development activities, print and electronic publications, teaching and learning initiatives, data research and analytics, special interest communities, awards, and extensive online services.

Since the University is a member of the Educause initiative, individual membership is free and available to all University faculty and staff (—@uconn.edu email will be required). It is also asked that any and all employees who have already registered please keep their profiles up-to-date.

For more information about Educause, see their “About” section at http://www.educause.edu/about/mission-and-organization.

 

This article, by Tim Williams, first appeared in the February 6, 2013 issue of the Project Weeklies newsletter of the ITS Project Management Office.

In the Spotlight… An Introduction to CHERIS

CHERIS, the Connecticut Higher Education Roundtable on Information Security, is the brain child of the University’s Information Security Officer, Jason Pufahl.

The forum is a state-wide information security initiative that is open to all Connecticut higher education institutions. It is currently composed of 23 colleges and universities and the forum has had two meetings to date — the first one being here, at the University, and the second one at Quinnipiac, who co-founded the forum with UConn. The next meeting will be at Southern Connecticut State University.

The main purpose of the forum is for information security leaders, from the respective universities, to tackle  new and emerging security threats in the IT field, as well as exchange new ideas and practices to best combat such threats. For example, UConn’s ISO is currently working with Eastern Connecticut State University on security awareness through CHERIS.

For more information on CHERIS, email Jason Pufahl, the Information Security Officer, at jason.pufahl@uconn.edu.

 

This article, by Tim Williams, first appeared in the February 20, 2013 issue of the Project Weeklies newsletter of the ITS Project Management Office.

Information Security Tip: Scammers… We're On To You

Recently, some staff from UConn have received calls from scammers who try to get the person to log into their computer in order to stop viruses from being downloaded on their computers.  The caller claims that they are from Microsoft or another company and they need access to your computer in order to ‘fix’ it.They will try to get you to go to malicious websites that look legitimate. Unknowing victims will then install the virus (which gives the scammers full access to their computer) and the scammer will then attempt to receive payment for ‘fixing’ their computer, which is just another scam to get their bank information.

Remember…if you receive an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft Tech Support, hang up. They do not make these kinds of calls. Also, do not trust anyone who calls to ‘fix’ your computer over the phone.

For more information, contact: Information Security Office at security@uconn.edu

Friday, Apr 12, 5AM, UITS Prepares for Central Utility Plant Test

On Friday, April 12, 2013, at 5:30am, UConn facilities will conduct a test of the Central Utility Plant (CUP).  We do not anticipate problems; however, should the campus experience a power outage the ITS Data Center could also lose power. This will cause IT systems to shut down and negatively impact the delivery of most centrally supported IT services(HuskyCT, Student Admin, Kuali, etc.).

 In Preparation ITS

  • Notified the Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) vendor (Liebert) to be on-site.
  • Engaged ITS emergency staff to be on-site by 5:00AM to proactively respond to any given situation.
  • Notified all UConn IT System Administrators and Support Personnel.
  • Shut down faculty and staff Email (Exchange) at 5:00AM as a precautionary measure to avoid data corruption and allow us to quickly failover to the emergency site should it be necessary.
  • Shutdown the Oracle databases at 5:00AM as a precautionary measure to avoid data corruption. The KFS, Student Administration and Human Resources functional and technical users were notified.

If the Data Center Does NOT Lose Power as soon as we are assured the power is stabilized, ITS will restore Email and bring the Oracle Databases back online. Status updates will be posted to the web site (http://itstatus.uconn.edu)

If the Data Center Loses Power ITS will fail over to the emergency backup site and the following critical IT services will be available:

  • Web Pages (alert.uconn.edu, uconn.edu, today.uconn.edu, itstatus.uconn.edu)
  • Authentication (LDAP, Active Directory, CAS, Kerberos)
  • Wireless Network
  • Email  for Faculty & Staff (Exchange)
  • ListServ (emergency-contacts@itnews.uconn.edu)

Once the Central Utility Plant test is completed and Facilities assures us that power is stabilized, ITS will begin to restore all IT services within the Data Center.  A full service restoration takes approximately 2.5 hours. Status updates will be posted to the web site (http://itstatus.uconn.edu).

If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact kathie.sorrentino@uconn.edu.

Online Student Evaluation of Teaching Available for Spring 2013

In the Spotlight…

Online Student Evaluation of Teaching Training for Faculty

With  ITS and OIR rolling out its new Online Student Evaluation of Teaching forms, faculty training workshops have been created in order to better prepare for a smooth  transition from the old  forms to the new forms.

The training workshops will be held at the Dodd Konover Auditorium at the UConn Storrs campus. Three dates have been set aside for the workshops:

  • March 28, 10:00 a.m. — 11:00 a.m.
  • April 1, 3:00 p.m. — 4:00 p.m.
  • April 3, 12:00 p.m. — 1:00 p.m.

Additionally, in order to increase student response rates for the new forms, faculty are encouraged to stimulate student interests in offering feedback. Some proven practices from other universities involve mentioning improvements to the course from previous feedback, building rapport with students throughout the semester, and making it explicitly clear to students that instructors value student feedback.

More information on the workshops, as well as training videos , can be found on the new online SET website

The University of Information Technology Services (ITS) and the Office of Institutional Research (OIR) will have a new online Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) form available for instructor evaluations for the Spring ‘13 semester. The Office of the Provost recently came out with an announcement detailing the new evaluation form. It reads:

“We are very pleased to announce that two years after the UConn Senate approved a new 5-point Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) form, we are ready to implement this change during Spring 2013. Further, we are also taking this opportunity to move away from paper bubble sheets to a completely online system, as many of our peer and aspirant institutions have already done. This further strengthens our green and sustainability initiatives on campus.

The new online system is easy to use, and students will be able to do their evaluations using laptops, tablets or smartphones. Although evaluations can be completed anywhere, we recommend faculty continue to give students some time to complete their evaluations while they are in the classroom, as was done with the bubble sheet system. All classes that are required to be evaluated should do so using the online system (this change is not applicable to Law School faculty). Two weeks before the last day of class, students will receive e-mails with a link to follow to complete their evaluations. The evaluations window will close for students on the last day of classes. Faculty will receive e-mails with links to their teaching evaluation results, including student comments, the day after finals week ends.

In exceptional circumstances, faculty may request to opt-out of the online system with approval from their department heads. Arrangements will be made to mail paper bubble sheets to these faculty.

This is really an exciting development for all of us, the first change in our teaching evaluation system in more than 20 years, and we look forward to working with all of you to make this a success.”

For more deadlines, detailed FAQs (both student and faculty-oriented), video presentations, and other pertinent information to help facilitate implementation of the new online SET, visit the UConn SET website.

 

This article, by Tim Williams, first appeared in the March 13 issue of the Project Weeklies newsletter of the ITS Office of Project Management.

 

New Security Protocols for Mobile Device Email Access

Beginning March 4, 2013, mobile devices* accessing the University Exchange Mail Server will need to be configured with certain security settings before access is granted.

Reasons for Change:

  • To protect University data stored on mobile devices, as required in the University’s Access Control Policy.
  • To address recent industry trends to which point to mobile devices as the top target for security threats in 2013.

After March 4, 2013, if you use your Android, Apple, or Windows mobile device* to access the UConn Exchange Mail Server, you will be prompted with the following additional security settings (if not already in use):

  • Set a numeric four digit passcode/password to unlock your mobile device.
    1. Android users will NOT be able to use the “pattern” option for screen locking.
    2. Passwords will NOT be recoverable so choose something you’ll remember.
    3. Mobile device will lock after five minutes of inactivity (This setting will be set automatically).

For those who use a personal device to access the UConn Exchange mail server, and choose to remove the mail account from their device so not to be affected, reference the appropriate link below for instructions.

* Devices:

  • Apple devices affected include:  iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
  • Android devices affected include: phones and tablets.
  • BlackBerry device affected is the BlackBerry 10.

 

For more information, contact: Technology Support Center at 860.486.HELP (4357)