Council on Academic Computing

September 20, 2004

Meeting Summary


COUNCIL FUNCTIONS

The Council on Academic Computing was designed as a forum in which representatives of the University’s campuses and schools could exchange information about academic computing.  Members of the Council should facilitate the university-wide exchange of information by disseminating the substance of the Council’s discussions to other members of their campus or school.

FUTURE COUNCIL ACTIVITES

Members of the Council met last May to discuss this year’s agenda.  The following planned activities and programs were derived from their suggestions:

Network Computing Program

Network and grid computing are becoming increasingly important within the field of computing.  The Council should consider the feasibility of a small grant program that seeds network and grid computing projects.  Ideally, researchers would use successful projects to garner external funding.

External Speaker Series

The Council should develop a speaker series that highlights new developments in academic computing.  Quantum computing and autonomic computing are potential topics.  Events can be structured as either lectures or half-day symposia.

Internal Speaker Series

Faculty often are unaware of developments in academic computing outside of their department or school.  The Council can facilitate the campus-wide exchange of ideas by inviting speakers to discuss their interests with the Council.  Topics could include bioinformatics, computational biology, modeling and simulation, and homeland security.

REPORT FROM COMPUTING SERVICES AND SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT

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

Software

The secure VPN service was announced on September 2.  Approximately 5500 people currently use the service.  The software update service was implemented in the beginning of August.  Approximately 5900 people have signed up for the service.  Spam and virus filtering has been available since June.  All e-mail messages are automatically scanned for viruses, and approximately 5500 people have activated the spam filter.

Wireless Computing

Wireless networks are funded by the student activity fee and are available in limited areas and only to students.  A university-wide wireless network would require a significant financial investment in order to coordinate effectively the University’s different computer technologies and systems.

Several other issues were discussed: