The College of Engineering information technology (IT) environment is continually evolving, and developments occur regularly. In order to keep the College community informed about what is going on with IT around campus, CAEN posts regular updates on this site.
Movable furniture and other equipment can be configured for multiple uses in CAEN’s flexible learning spaces and classrooms. An advantage is having a room that is able to be used for lecture-style teaching, student group collaborative work, or a course discussion. Wall-mounted monitors and movable whiteboards in the rooms can also aid the student learning experience.
The recommendations below are based on interviews with College of Engineering instructors, and observations of courses utilizing flexible learning spaces.
Movable Tables and Chairs
Instructors have the opportunity to use several different layouts in flexible classrooms, and depending on their teaching needs, they are encouraged to think about the different ways the furniture can be used. For example, small group layouts allow instructors to interact directly with students, particularly during collaborative group work, as may be done in design courses. It is also important to set classroom norms at the beginning of each term, and explain the room layout(s) you will use, so students know how to arrange the furniture. Creating an image or slide, and displaying it at the beginning of the class, will aid the students in arranging the furniture to conserve class time (see our example PowerPoint template).
Example Furniture Layouts
Wall-mounted Monitors and Movable Whiteboards
Monitors around the periphery of a classroom can be connected-to in a few ways. For example, they can be used by instructors to project slides and other class content to all displays in the room, allowing students to see the material even if their back is to the instructor or the main projection screen. Students may also connect a laptop to individual monitors for collaborative work, allowing instructors to easily view and evaluate a group’s progress. Refer to our main Flexible Learning Spaces page for instructions on connecting to the monitors and changing the display settings.
Each flexible classroom also contains movable whiteboards for students to use during collaborative group work. Similar to the monitors, these can allow faculty to see student work, and offer hands-on instruction as needed.
Starting Monday, January 21, an equipment checkout service will be available to College of Engineering students, faculty, and staff. The program is administered by CAEN, and checkout will be performed at the Library Reserves Desk on the second floor of the Duderstadt Center. Chromebooks will be available for checkout by requesting a “CAEN Chromebook.” Possible future equipment includes presentation remotes, portable document cameras, microphones, assisted listening devices, USB web cameras, and VR headsets. The type and quantities of equipment may vary over time.
Now available in CAEN computer labs for the start of the Winter 2019 term is a new release of MATLAB that includes access to all available MathWorks toolkits. This new release of MATLAB can be accessed by selecting the version that starts with “MATLAB 64-bit R2018b” (note the “R2018b” in the name).
Later this term, ITS will make this version of software available for download and installation on student-owned computers. See the ITS MATLAB License for Students website (requires login) for details.
Fifty-six (56) HP Z38c 38” LED monitors, the largest individual displays installed to date, have been deployed in the Duderstadt Center (third floor South West and East Alcove) and the CAEN computer lab in FXB B085. The monitor’s native resolution is 3840×1600.
The CAEN Lab in Shapiro B000 will undergo renovations, and be closed from February 25 until March 11, 2019. Most of the renovations are being scheduled during Spring Break to minimize disruption. After the renovations, the number of computers will increase to 50. The renovations will include an expanded space with new modern furniture and chairs, as well as new carpet and paint. The new furniture will feature both conventional and sit-stand workspaces, and will have a mix of collaborative and individual workspaces with some acoustic and visual privacy.
Starting Friday, January 4, students and faculty will no longer be able to access the LS-DYNA software application using CAEN’s remote access services. This includes both the Windows Remote Desktop Service and the Linux Login Service. Due to vendor licensing terms and conditions, access to the software must be removed from these remote access services.
Some College of Engineering classrooms, including two CAEN computer labs, are now equipped as flexible learning spaces through the use of highly flexible furniture and integrated technology. These classrooms can be reconfigured for multiple uses, such as lecture-style teaching, allowing students to collaborate and work together in groups, and engaging in a whole-class discussion. Many rooms also have wall-mounted monitors that can be used to display content from the instructor lecturn, or individual student laptop connections at each station.
As announced by ARC-TS, the Flux high-performance computing (HPC) cluster will be replaced in early 2019 with a new computing cluster named Great Lakes. Since there are a number of differences between Flux and the new Great Lakes environment, a test cluster named Beta has been created and is now available for researchers who would like to get started learning about the new environment.
In order to assist researchers, CAEN will be holding two training sessions in November for experienced Flux users who would like to get an early start learning the Great Lakes environment. Seating is limited, so we encourage users to register for a training session using the following links:
Three drop-in help sessions have also been scheduled to assist researchers who are migrating their data and code to the new environment. There is no need to register for these drop-in sessions, which will be held at the following times and locations:
Tuesday, November 20 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Beyster 1620
Tuesday, December 4 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in GFL 224
Wednesday, December 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon in EECS 4440
Anyone who has questions about these training sessions or the new Great Lakes environment, or would like to schedule an individual consultation, may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.