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Max’s Minute: The New myBoiseState

Max Davis-Johnson

Max Davis-Johnson, Associate Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, announced the start of development on the next version of myBoiseState back in 2014.

We’re happy to announce we were able to accomplish everything he promised, as well as add additional features and services we hadn’t thought of at the time.

Now Max has returned to share his enthusiasm for the new myBoiseState, coming Tuesday, February 2. We hope you enjoy.

Research Computing Days Feb. 16-17, 2016

Research Computing Days 2016 header

The campus community is invited to Research Computing Days from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 16 and 17 in the Student Union Lookout Room. Find out how computing tools and resources can help to transform your research. Regardless of the type or combination of your data, you’ll learn more about the tools that store, format, process and visualize your data in new ways.

This free two-day event features presentations by Rudi Eigenmann, director of the NSF Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Program, and Steven Gordon, education director of Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE)/Ohio Supercomputer Center.

Anyone looking to know more about using advanced computing for research should attend (from graduate assistant to established researcher). With two days of presentations and workshops, Research Computing Days features:

  • Special guest speaker presentations from NSF and XSEDE/Ohio Supercomputer Center
  • Lightning talks presented by Boise State researchers about big data and computing
  • Resources fair to learn more about the services supporting Boise State researchers
  • Workshop to learn how to integrate computer science into the curriculum
  • Free lunch sponsored by the Office of Information Technology (OIT)
  • Drawing to win a free iPad

WHAT IS RESEARCH COMPUTING?

The National Science Foundation defines cyberinfrastructure, or research computing, as a collection of advanced technologies and services to support scientific inquiry. This includes:

  • Computing clusters as well as high performance and high throughput computing systems
  • Data management, data integration and data storage systems
  • High-speed networks
  • Data mining and data visualization
  • Collaboration and security tools
  • The people who design, build and support these systems

The seminar is presented by the OIT Research Computing Services, Albertsons Library, and the Division of Research and Economic Development.

For more information, email Brian McDevitt at brianmcdevitt@boisestate.edu or visit the Research Computing website.

Manage Your Video Content in One Place

TechSmith Relay Library Video

Upload video files from your computer, create screen recording videos and even import YouTube videos using your Boise State-managed TechSmith Relay Library! Watch this one-minute video to learn about these features:

  • unlimited storage for your videos;
  • share videos with individuals, groups or the world;
  • embed any video from your TechSmith Relay Library into Blackboard;
  • create screen recording videos with the TechSmith Relay Recorder;
  • add a quiz to your video to fully engage your students or audience;
  • analytics show you how many people and who watch your videos and for how long.

You can log in to your TechSmith Relay Library to download the required TechSmith Relay Recorder that allows you to upload videos and create screen recordings here:

Microsoft Office 2016 Now Available

Office 2016

Microsoft Office 2016 for Windows and Mac is now available to install on University-owned computers!

What’s new in Office 2016?

  • Tell Me box: Start typing a question or what you are trying to do and Office will guide you through the process and offer additional resources.
  • Excel has new one-click forecasting and six new chart types.
  • The Ribbon has new colors: Word is dark blue, Excel is dark green, and PowerPoint is orange.
  • Word and Excel have improved version history.
  • More Send As options, including PDF.
  • Improved cross-platform and cross-device experience.
  • Power Query allows you to import data from public sources (such as Wikipedia and Facebook) into Excel.

To learn more about Office 2016, please visit Microsoft’s support site.

If you would like to upgrade to Office 2016, contact the Office of Information Technology Help Desk at (208) 426-4357 or helpdesk@boisestate.edu.

Mac OS X 10.11 Now Available

Apple 10.11

The Office of Information Technology now supports Mac OS X 10.11. Details on Mac OS X 10.11 are on Apple’s website.

OIT now supports Mac OS X 10.9, 10.10, and 10.11. If you have a Mac with 10.8 or below, contact the Help Desk to get your computer up to date with security and support standards. If your computer is not supported by OIT, please contact your local area or network administrator for upgrade information.

To schedule an upgrade for an OIT-supported computer, contact the Office of Information Technology Help Desk at 208-426-4357 (HELP) or helpdesk@boisestate.edu.

Windows 10 Now Available! Here’s Why You Want It

Windows 10 now available from the Help Desk

Windows 10 is now available to install on University-owned computers! Lifehacker and PC Magazine created “Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade” lists but here’s what we think you’ll appreciate most:

  • You get back the “Start” menu!
  • Windows 10 starts up fast. No more wasted time between powering on and getting to work.
  • Edge Internet browser replaces Internet Explorer, is way faster and more secure.
  • The “Action Center” organizes your notifications in one place.
  • Improved interface and customizations include multiple desktops to streamline your workflows.

You can check out all the features of Windows 10 on the Microsoft website. Windows chief Terry Myerson describes in an interview that, “Windows 10 embodies what our consumer and enterprise customers are demanding and what we will deliver.”

When you’re already ready to have your computer or department upgraded, just contact the Help Desk at 208-426-4357 (HELP) or helpdesk@boisestate.edu to schedule a time.

DNS Changes Made to Increase Web Security

security

In September, we announced increased web security for our campus. This morning, January 6, the Office of Information Technology applied some additional safety measures to the network.

Specifically, all systems will now be required to use Boise State’s DNS servers. Any hard-coded domain addresses will no longer work. (Most systems are already set to use the University’s servers, but we still wanted to inform you of the change.)

For more information about Internet security on campus, please visit the OIT Cybersecurity Department webpage.

If you need assistance checking or verifying your DNS settings, please contact the OIT Help Desk at (208) 426-4357 or helpdesk@boisestate.edu.

Second NSF Grant Will Improve Movement of Data

National Science Foundation

Boise State has received a new $250,605 National Science Foundation grant that will improve our research network. This is the second grant awarded to Boise State in the past year!

“This grant will set the foundation for moving huge data sets – huge meaning multiple Terabytes ­– and allowing Boise State to participate in large collaborative projects across the country,” said Max Davis-Johnson, associate vice president for information technology.

The project’s goals are:

  • Build an enterprise-wide science DMZ
  • Improve campus and regional bridging across IRON
  • Enhance the use of computational cyberinfrastructure assets located at INL and at NSF-funded computational science Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) sites

For more details about this grant, please read the article published in UPDATE.

If you have questions about this grant or research computing, please contact Brian McDevitt, director for research computing, at (208) 867-5224 or brianmcdevitt@boisestate.edu.

Atomic Learning Discontinued

online training

Boise State has decided not to renew its annual contract with Atomic Learning.

Learn how students, faculty and staff can access online, self-paced instructional resources for a variety of software via our OIT Training site at oit.boisestate.edu/training.

Microsoft, Google and Adobe are just a few of the many popular resources available 24/7.

REEF Polling Adopted as Boise State Official Student Response Platform

IMAGE REEF Polling Selected as Boise State's Official Clicker Platform

On Monday, Dec. 7, the Technology for Learning and Teaching Group unanimously approved adopting REEF Polling as our campus-wide student response system (clickers). This vote was the culmination of ten months of product evaluations across nine courses in which we collected feedback from more than 950 students. REEF Polling replaces Turning Point as the officially supported campus-wide clicker platform beginning Fall 2016.

In the meantime, during Spring and Summer 2016 Turning Point 5 will continue to be the officially supported clicker technology on campus. The Office of Information Technology will continue to support faculty using the Turning Point software and devices.

The evaluation process measured the clicker products against established criteria in five categories – student perceptions, faculty perceptions, cost, accessibility, and system administration. Student and faculty feedback for REEF polling was overwhelmingly positive.

92% of students reported REEF Polling was easy to use in class and simple to set up.

Professors who used REEF Polling stated that it:

  • Enhanced the effectiveness of their teaching
  • Required little preparation before class
  • Easily integrated into their class lecture
  • Proved to be a stable and reliable technology

The Office of Information Technology will be leading efforts to manage the transition to REEF Polling. Throughout this process the team is committed to making the change as simple as possible for faculty and students. Look for additional communication beginning in January which will provide more information related to:

  • Spring/Summer semester faculty early adopter opportunities that allow you to try REEF at no cost to your students.
  • Trade-in/trade-up rebates and exchanges for current clicker owners
  • Turning Point slide conversion assistance
  • Faculty and Teaching Assistant training schedules and online resources

Pilot Evaluation Findings

For more information about the student response system evaluation, contact Daniel Gold in the Office of Information Technology LTS Office at 208-426-2648 or daniellgold@boisestate.edu.