Feb 7, 2017

2015-2016 Year in Review

We invite you to view the interactive PDF report here using the Tizra digital publishing platform.

The end of the academic year seems like an appropriate time to pause and reflect.  We hope that you will not only look at the content but also click on the links in this interactive report for a broad view of the many ways IS partnered and collaborated with the campus community this past year, as well as the on-going technology strategic planning effort.

*Note: Please click the above link and use the gray arrow on the directed page to the right of the screen to scroll through all content. The document may also be printed using the fifth icon to the left on the directed page.

Phase I Findings Draft

Through collaboration with multiple administrative, academic, and staff groups across campus, this report was drafted to outline the current state of Wake Forest’s technology.

Phase I Findings Draft 

Learn more about cloud technologies

Educause’s Executive Briefing on What Campus Leaders Need to Know about Cloud Computing.

Phase I Findings Presentation

Findings from Phase I assessment were presented to numerous groups around campus. The full length video of the presentation from August 31st is available to you below.

Welcome

Dear Colleagues,

We invite your participation in an important initiative to plan the future of Wake Forest University’s information technology. Our objectives are to identify gaps in current technology capabilities, to generate ideas to improve the use of technology to support institutional priorities, and to define roadmaps to build the organizational and technology capabilities required. The scope is broad and will consider the many ways we use technology in learning, research, administration/operations, communications and assessment.

We have retained higher education IT consultants Phil Goldstein and Mary Beth Baker to assess our current state and facilitate a process to define future directions. Phil and Mary Beth work extensively in IT planning and have performed similar work for many institutions including, Brown University, Smith College, Case Western Reserve University, St. John’s University, and multiple institutions within the University of California and California State University systems. Their consultancy has three phases: (1) understanding our current pain points and opportunities, (2) developing a strategic roadmap for improvement, and (3) supporting implementation, including the potential selection of new administrative systems.  While the project will be broad, we have asked Mary Beth and Phil to pay particular attention to significant challenges including the network, the capabilities of Banner to meet our business process improvement objectives, readiness to support academic technologies, and some of the operational challenges we face within IS.

The consultants have met with a cross-section of academic and administrative leaders to discuss the University’s priorities and challenges and will continue to meet, paying special attention to the following foundational questions:

  • What are the most important priorities for your division or department?
  • Where is University technology well positioned to support your priorities and where do gaps exist?
  • How and in what areas should the University use technology in more innovative ways?
  • Do you have access to the data and analytic tools your organization requires to measure outcomes and support decision-making?
  • Does the University have an effective process for identifying technology investment opportunities and allocating resources to their best use?
  • Are basic technology services efficient and reliable?  How could foundational services be improved?
  • How can Information Systems partner more effectively with your organization?

Thanks, in advance, for your participation in this critical process.

Best regards, Rogan Kersh, Provost, Hof Milam, Executive Vice President, and Mur Muchane, Chief Information Officer

Feb 6, 2017

High Performance Computing

The WFU DEAC Cluster provides the critical infrastructure necessary for researchers to reliably upload research codes, perform large scale computations, store their actively utilized results, and have confidence in the persistence of their data in the event of storage failures.

Clusters provide enormous computational power to tackle more advanced scientific problems, opening up the possibility for our students to gain a unique perspective on topics in the forefront of research today.

Any Wake Forest University or Wake Forest University School of Medicine faculty member is strongly encouraged to request the use of the cluster for a course they are teaching. Several courses have already used the WFU DEAC cluster to enhance the student’s exposure to the advanced computing environment provided by the University.

Current Projects

iPhone HPC App

The iPhone HPC app will help the DEAC cluster users manage and view their submitted computational jobs. The flow of the app is for the users to use their credentials to the cluster and see the list of jobs they currently have running and/or waiting from our job and resource manager SLURM. The users will then be able to perform basic job management actions such as canceling or view detail of jobs as the basic goal of the app. The project is headed by Prof. Sam Cho and Prof. Daniel Canas from the Computer Science Department, and the work will be developed by a CS graduate student.

Software Engineering Course Project

A group of five students from the Computer Science department will be developing HTML and javascript applications for the DEAC cluster’s website that will report the health of the cluster and chassis, number of jobs and utilization numbers of the environment every hour as a class project. The goal of the project is to visually represent these various reports by querying our job and resource manager SLURM and integrate the reports into our website. The Software Engineering course is a graduate-senior level course in the CS department taught by Prof. Victor Pauca.

Performance Modeling of the DEAC Cluster

Our former summer-intern and Computer Science graduate student Riana Freedman is currently employing five distinct benchmarks on the DEAC cluster that provide meaningful metrics of processors, memory, I/O, network and GPU performance. The goal of this project is to model the performance behavior of the different hardware components utilizing algorithm numerical methods. This work is part of her Independent Studies course with Dr. Damian Valles from the IS department and Intro to Numerical Methods course with Prof. Grey Ballard from the Computer Science department.

For more information about HPC, visit the High Performance Computing page. 

Jan 23, 2017

Information Systems – new website!

The Information Systems website is now your one stop shop for everything IT.

Jan 19, 2017

January 2017 – Phishing email scams are on the rise

In recent weeks, you may have received phishing emails that look as though they are coming from Wake Forest University faculty, staff or students to other WFU users. It appears as if the WFU user is sharing important information in a document that requires your WFU username and password to access. Be skeptical when a message asks you to click on a link, especially when you do not know the person. Be even more aware when that link asks you for your password. If a website does ask for your credentials, feel free to contact the Information Systems Service Desk to determine if the request is valid.

Do not become a phishing victim:

  • Set up Google 2-Step Verification for added security. This prevents hackers from being able to access your email account even if they have your password. Learn more at infosec.wfu.edu or contact the Service Desk.
  • Be wary of all links in emails. If in doubt, contact the sender to validate the request.
  • Never provide your personal information in response to emails.
  • Malware is often delivered as an email attachment. Most common safe attachments are .doc, .docx, .ppt, .pptx, .xls, .xlsx.  Don’t open attachments that end with .ws, .zip, .docm, .exe, .js, .scr

Did you get a phishing email and provide your personal information?

Change your password immediately and delete the message. If you have questions about changing your password, visit this link: http://is.wfu.edu/services/account-password/

Tis the season…

It’s tax season and every year new phishing attempts appear to come from the IRS. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. Please forward any unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS or an IRS-related function to phishing@irs.gov.

Want to learn more about phishing emails?

Review this helpful course from Lynda.com. Click the sign-in button in the top right corner.

If you have any questions or concerns about security-related topics, please contact the security team at infosec@wfu.edu.

Jan 18, 2017

Include Lynda.com in your New Year’s Resolution

Useful Courses

And for folks who like a challenge…

Lynda.com is available to all WFU students, faculty, and staff.

lynda.wfu.edu

Jan 6, 2017

Alumni Gmail

Follow this link for information on accessing your Alumni Gmail account and the WakeNetwork.

Dec 21, 2016

Call for Proposals – Summer Technology Exploration Program (STEP) Grants 2017

 

The Office of the Provost and Information Systems are excited to announce the 7th annual STEP grant call for proposals. This joint grant program has and will continue to provide funding for faculty summer projects to explore new and existing technologies with the potential to enhance teaching, scholarly, and creative work.

Sponsorship and Funding:

Office of the Provost and Information Systems.

Eligibility:

Reynolda campus faculty.

Deadlines:

Proposals should be converted to a PDF and sent to step@wfu.edu by February 20th, 2017.

Evaluation:

The Committee on Information Technology (CIT), in combination with Information Systems will evaluate proposals.

Examples of technology explored with prior grants include iPads or other tablets and associated apps, Chromebooks, Kindles and other eReaders, WFU DEAC Cluster use for data mining, incorporation of Google Sketchup, and lecture capture and live streaming systems.  The University owns licenses for video collaboration software and has nearly 25 new next‐generation video conference rooms.

Such technologies are encouraged as part of the proposals, however, use and development of other technologies, including but not limited to, Virtual Reality, also known as immersive multimedia or computer simulated life (Oculus), 3D printing, Innovative Human Interface Devices (MaKey- maKey, Thalmic Myo, Leap Motion USB), Imaging (GoPro and Lytro), Aerial tools (drones), augmented reality (Star Chart) and Wearables (Apple Watches, Fitbit) are also welcomed.

A summer stipend up to $2,500 for faculty on 9-month contracts or professional development funds up to $1,000 for faculty on 12-month contracts Up to $1,000 can be requested for other necessary and justifiable expenses. Some examples could be, but are not limited to, hardware, software, training classes, and consulting.

Proposal Criteria:

  • Identify an academic problem or goal, and explain why you think this technology might help address the problem.
  • Link the technology choices to the enhancement of teaching or of scholarly or creative work.
  • Describe what you believe success would look like and how you will assess the project.
  • List technology support staff as well as their responsibilities.
  • Make efficient use of already available resources (if applicable).
  • Demonstrate the possibility to extend findings to other academic applications in the University (if applicable).

As a grantee, you agree to:

  • Collaborate with a technical expert. This could be an individual from the Instructional Technology Group (ITG), Information Systems, ZSR Library, etc. We also welcome collaborative efforts among faculty.
  • Attend several meetings with other grant recipients throughout the summer and during the fall semester to share findings and explore pedagogical and scholarly challenges. A schedule of meetings will be arranged among participants in the summer and fall.
  • Report back (in any format, including written, video, or creative technology-enhanced format), on the exploration and assessment of technology. The report should be sent to step@wfu.edu by January 6, 2018. If the project is not completed by January 6th, provide an interim report on this date. The full report can be submitted when the project is completed.The report should address the question: Does this technology enhance teaching, learning, scholarly, or creative work? Include method of assessment, an outline of expected applications, and any anticipated challenges with scaling up or sustaining this use.
  • Present at TechXploration in April 2018.

Grant recipients are also encouraged to share lessons learned with other faculty by mentoring other faculty member wishing to use the same strategy, offering training classes, or writing educational materials for use by others.

Applications due by Monday, February 20. Awards will be announced by Friday, March 3rd.

For additional questions please email step@wfu.edu.

Download the STEP Application

 

 

Dec 6, 2016

WakeWare – New MacBook Pro line available

First-year Student Purchasing (includes required 3-year AppleCare Protection)

Faculty/Staff/Upperclass Student Purchasing

Specs of new Macbook

Dec 2, 2016

New web presence

Information Systems has a new website! help.wfu.edu, infosec.wfu.edu. video.wfu.edu, and IS.wfu.edu have all been consolidated into a much easier to use platform. Explore Services or check out the Help Page to get started.

Stay tuned for an official announcement in January!