Council on Academic Computing

May 26, 2004

Meeting Summary


Members of the Council met on May 13, 2004, to discuss the Council’s agenda for the upcoming year.  Attendees suggested that the Council

  • Advise Computing Services and Systems Development on campus computer security issues
  • Work with the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center to develop seed funding for network computing projects
  • Create an ongoing speaker series that highlights trends in academic computing
  • Sponsor a series of half-day thematic events that facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration


Mark Weixel discussed his High Performance Network Applications Initiative award entitled the Portable International Lecture System (PILS).  Mr. Weixel and his collaborator, Wolfgang Schloer, developed PILS to broadcast and record the events sponsored by organizations within the University Center for International Studies (UCIS).  PILS was designed to further the outreach mission of these organizations.  The system is comprised of a digital video camera, a laptop computer outfitted with broadcast and other associated software, and a server.  Real-time or recorded events can be viewed when viewers access the PILS website.  Real-time events can be “hung out” on the University network so that any number of viewers can access the broadcast.


Jinx Walton, Director of Computing Services and Systems Development (CSSD), discussed several issues:

  • CSSD is addressing the problems that it expects to accompany this fall’s influx of students.
  • The spam-filtering service will be available for “” e-mail addresses next week.


Several other issues were mentioned:

  • Problems associated with detecting and removing spyware
  • A May 19 event that highlighted computer applications to biology and chemistry
  • Three University projects funded by the Biotechnology Greenhouse
  • Funding for quantum and autonomic computing