CSG Spring 2013 – Campus Computing Sites, Public Labs, Computing Clusters in a BYOD World

CMU, Duke, Princeton, Michigan

Now used as collaboration and social spaces, quick access to kiosks, access to fasterm machines, large screens, printing, special apps, adaptive tech, electricity. Access for the have-nots. Parallel service: virtual access to specialized applications

Magnitude of spaces – most have shrunk the “rows” model, most have shrunk the the computer classrooms.

At CMU some departments have shut down labs, putting more pressure on central labs. Offering over 100 applications. Also using VDI. Strategy is to continue to decrease physical devices iteratively. Have a new site without computers but lots of connections for people and good videoconferencing. Will compare the use of that with sites that still have some devices. There are licenses that don’t work very well in this playing field, especially Adobe. Students prefer to carry iPads over laptops, and VDI doesn’t work well on tablet devices. 

Duke has had a hard time running the remaining Unix desktop labs due to short expertise on Unix desktops, so they’ve subjected the desktops to change management, but that frustrates faculty. They have VCL, but it gets very little use. May end up pushing labs back into the departments. 

Princeton has 1/3 the number of machines in labs that they had at the peak, but the amount of space they’re using is pretty much the same. Making spaces into collaborative spaces with big monitors, KVM switches, etc. In residential spaces they are defining lab spaces as preferred study spaces. They also observe that people aren’t carrying laptops but are carrying iPads. They run into labs between classes when they have to compose things for a 5-10 minute period. 

What they shall be: Collaboration and social space with access to large displays and keyboards, very large displays (wall size) for collaboration, printing, poster, 3D, adaptive technology, tools, electricity. Specialized labs with access to video/audio production. 

Labs evolving that are more specialized – more like chemistry or dissection labs. Chicago is working with a faculty member on a “maker” style lab with 3d printers, laser cutters, and space to do Arduino like projects. 

Global learning presents challenges, especially around software licensing. Some vendors have been reasonable, some impossible. 

VDI presents problems for software where people expect really fast screen refreshes, so doesn’t get well used in creative and design environments. Where sound and image need to be synchronized can present problems. 

Wisconsin has a restaurant that has a booth with a large screen that students can plug into while they eat. 

People are hearing requests for sharing a large screen over wireless. AppleTV is too idiosyncratic for large-scale rollout, but generates higher expectations. 

And with that… we are adjourned!



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