Provost Ludden asks students to name SMU’s new supercomputer

Joe Gargiulo

Provost Ludden asks students to name SMU’s new supercomputer

The December 2013 arrival of a new supercomputer at SMU expands the University’s high-performance computing capacity to weigh in among the top academic computers in the United States.

SMU's supercomputer, delivered in December 2013“High-performance computing is a transformative technology that impacts many fields across the intellectual landscape, including physics and finance, chemistry and computing, engineering and economics, digital art, computer gaming, biology, data science, and many more fields,” said SMU Provost Paul Ludden in a letter e-mailed to students.

“We are calling for SMU students to submit recommendations for a name for SMU’s powerful new computing equipment,” Ludden wrote.

The new supercomputer was known by the name “MANA” at its previous home at the Maui High-Performance Computing Center, one of the five U.S. Department of Defense Supercomputing Resource Centers, said Professor of Mathematics Thomas Hagstrom, director of SMU’s Center for Scientific Computation.

“When installed in Maui its throughput capacity was 103 teraflops, which ranked among the top 500 fastest supercomputers in the world. That is 103 trillion arithmetic operations per second,” Hagstrom said.

Joe Gargiulo, SMU chief information officer, anticipates that “the peak theoretical performance of MANA combined with SMU’s current system would exceed 120 teraflops.” MANA is being installed at SMU’s new data center.

The top 5 entries in the naming contest will each receive an iPad mini, and the winning name will be selected via e-mail vote by SMU faculty, staff and students, Ludden said. The first-place entry will be announced at the dedication of the new supercomputer, and the winning student will receive a new laptop.

The 5 finalists will be selected by an SMU panel consisting of Jim Quick, associate vice president for research and dean of graduate studies; Patty Alvey, director of assessment and accreditation and Richards Creative Professor of Advertising; Rick Briesch, associate professor of marketing; Hagstrom; Jingbo Ye, professor of physics; Ramon Trespalacios, student body president; and Katherine Ladner, student body secretary.

December 13, 2013|News, Research|

Campus celebrates Veterans Day 2013

SMU Veterans pinVeterans Day 2013 is Monday, Nov. 11, and SMU will honor its military vets in many ways this week:

• SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility will present SMU Veteran lapel pins to all University vets – students, faculty and staff – to recognize their service and identify their membership with the University’s veteran community. The Maguire Center will present pins 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11 at the Main Quad flagpole. In addition, Ruthie’s Rolling Café will offer free sandwiches to vets wearing their pins.

• The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum will offer free admission to all veterans, retirees, active duty, National Guard, Reserve, and Coast Guard service members on Veterans Day. The Museum is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Veterans Day 2013; the offer is good for all tickets sold at the admissions desk that day, but not applicable to tickets sold online. Any service member participating in the free admission offer will be asked to show a form of identification upon purchasing their tickets. For more information, e-mail bush43media@nara.gov.

• The Office of the Provost hosts a luncheon honoring veterans 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14 in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center. The keynote speaker is U.S. Army Col. Miguel Howe (Ret.), director of the Military Service Initiative in the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Special presentations will also be made by:

  • SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Paul Ludden
  • University Chief Information Officer Joe Gargiulo (U.S. Navy 1975-77, U.S. Navy Reserve 1978-80)
  • SMU Chief of Police Richard Shafer (U.S. Air Force 1973-94)
  • SMU Color Guard
  • Associate Vice President for Campus Services Julie Wiksten ’78, ’92
  • Brandon Montgomery ’14, president, U.S. Military Veterans of SMU (U.S. Marine Corps 2005-10)
  • Blake Helm ’14 (M.B.A.), vice president, Cox Veterans in Business (U.S. Army, 2005-12)

• In addition, the Office of the Provost and SMU Military Veterans are collecting holiday toys and care package items during the luncheon. Please bring a new unwrapped toy for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys For Tots program and personal items for active-duty U.S. military service members. Visit the United Service Organizations (USO) website for a list of suggested care package items.

• SMU’s Central University Libraries invite you to view one of DeGolyer Library’s finest collections in digitized form: the Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs. Shaffer’s evocative images depict the indigenous populations and local conditions of North Africa, Italy, Southern France, and Germany from 1943 to 1945. Included are 19 images of Mount Vesuvius that depict the volcano before, during and after its eruption in 1944.

November 8, 2013|Calendar Highlights, News|

SMU Digital Repository ready for faculty submissions

SMU Digital Repository logoSMU’s Central University Libraries, Office of Research and Graduate Studies, and Office of Information Technology have combined resources to create the SMU Digital Repository, an online archive for collecting and sharing the scholarly work of SMU faculty, staff and students.

The repository is the product of a strategic partnership headed by CUL Dean and Director Gillian McCombs, Associate Vice President for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies Jim Quick, and Chief Information Officer Joe Gargiulo.

Using the Digital Commons software platform created by Berkeley Electronic Press, the SMU Digital Repository provides open access to research documents, articles, preprints, working papers, conference agendas and papers, and scholarly image collections created by SMU faculty, students, and academic staff.

The Digital Commons software also allows the publishing of open-access or subscription-based journals, and includes journal management software to customize workflows.

In the early stages of building the repository, “we’re focused on getting faculty members comfortable with the interface and with the idea of storing their work online,” says Josh Lupkin, faculty liaison for the Digital Repository. “Professors are used to communicating with colleagues in particular ways and publishing in venues specific to their fields. We’re not competing with those, but offering them another way to showcase their work and to make it more visible and accessible.”

Repository staff members are available to address any questions regarding storage, Lupkin says. For example, “some faculty members may have concerns about uploading papers to the Repository, because of publishing agreements. In those cases, we may be able to store an abstract with descriptive keywords and an outside link to the full publication.

“Above all else, this is a service to faculty that will afford them and their departments the benefits of increased relevance in Google and other searches.”

Details about the Digital Repository, including information about submitting materials, can be found at digitalrepository.smu.edu. Digital Repository team members are also available to present information sessions tailored to individual schools, departments and centers.

The University’s Norwick Center for Digital Services (nCDS) works with faculty and academic units to identify, manage, upload and present a wide range of text, image, video, audio, database, and other files that showcase SMU’s research and scholarly achievements. The Scholarly Digitization Program – offered by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies – funds digitization of materials through the nCDS for University faculty and staff members who would like to contribute nondigital materials to the Repository but lack the technology or funds required to digitize them. Up to $25,000 per semester is available, and applicants can apply for up to $5,000 of funding per project. The funding application form is available online.

The Repository is working with the Office of Engaged Learning to create a space for approved student work, Lupkin says. Papers from the first three students to complete Engaged Learning projects will be uploaded by May 2012. “The Repository will also give graduate students a forum for getting their work out into the world, after consultation with faculty advisors,” he adds. “It’s all about making connections.”

The Repository can even provide an online home for conferences hosted by a University center or department, Lupkin says. “This could mean anything from storing programs, papers and abstracts to presenting audio or video of individual sessions,” he says. “We can tailor the experience depending on the host entity’s needs.”

For more information, contact Josh Lupkin or Rob Walker at digitalrepository@list.smu.edu.

> Visit the SMU Digital Repository
> Create an SMU Digital Repository account
> Learn more from the SMU Digital Repository FAQ
Learn how to submit materials to the SMU Digital Repository

March 8, 2012|News|

SMU takes steps to maintain copier hard-drive security

Copier control pad stock photoData security issues ranging from software bugs to social network privacy have made news this year – and one of the biggest stories has involved the ease with which sensitive data can be retrieved from office copiers.

Almost every copier manufactured since 2002 has a built-in hard drive. As the copier is used to copy, scan, fax, e-mail or print a document, an image of that document is stored on the hard drive. That image remains on the drive until overwritten by a subsequent job.

As a result, a copier hard drive may contain snapshots of pay stubs, Social Security information, insurance documents, birth certificates, bank records, credit card statements, income tax forms, confidential memos and other data that can be used for identity theft and other malicious purposes.

> CBS News: Digital Photocopiers Loaded With Secrets

SMU’s copier fleet, which is leased from ImageNet Inc., stores data on embedded hard drives during the normal course of machine usage. SMU’s Auxiliary Services, Mail Central and Office of Information Technology are working together to ensure any data stored on these drives is protected and the data is wiped from the drives as the copiers are retired.

Both Canon and HP – the manufacturers of the copiers SMU leases from ImageNet – have taken measures to protect the data on their hard drives. These measures range from using proprietary file systems on the hard drive to writing the data to the hard drive in noncontiguous space, making it difficult to retrieve and reassemble. Both machine providers also offer the ability to encrypt the data as it resides on the hard drive.

“The security and privacy of our information assets are our highest priority at SMU,” says Joe Gargiulo, SMU’s chief information officer. “Security is everyone’s responsibility, so it’s important that we work with all departments that have copy machines to make them aware of the potential vulnerabilities of copier hard drives.

“OIT has been diligently working with our copy machine vendor to ensure that the hard drives are encrypted, that they are protected from the Internet, and that the hard drives are erased before returning to the vendor.”

Departments should be aware of the issue as well, and report any suspicious individuals attempting to service a copy machine, Gargiulo adds.

As Mail Central coordinates the replacement of the University’s copier fleet, personnel are working closely with ImageNet to ensure each copier hard drive is wiped clean before the copiers are retired. ImageNet will provide SMU with a letter of certification for each copier as its hard drive has been wiped.

When new copiers are put in place, encryption will be enabled for each hard drive to ensure the data it contains is not recoverable if the drive is removed from the machine. In addition, the network connections to the copiers are being secured to ensure no one can gain access to the data on the drives through the network.

For more information on SMU’s copier program, contact Patrick Cullen, assistant director of auxiliary services, 214-768-3400.

> Visit the Office of Information Technology’s Information Security page
> Visit the Auxiliary Services homepage
> Visit Mail Central online

July 2, 2010|News|

Four staff members receive 2008-09 Presidential Awards

presidential-staff-awards-2009-300.jpgFour exceptional SMU staff members received 2008-09 Presidential Staff Recognition Awards at a May 21 ceremony in the Dallas Hall Rotunda. The honors recognize individuals who have shown outstanding performance, commitment, and ability.

This year’s recipients:

Gretchen Voight, assistant registrar for academic ceremonies, received the Presidential Award for New Employee Excellence, given to an individual who has been with SMU for one to three consecutive years.

Brook Benton Jimenez, assistant director of fitness in the Department of Recreational Sports, Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports, received the Presidential Award for Continuing Excellence, given to an individual who has been with the University for four or more consecutive years.

Joe Gargiulo, chief information officer for Information Technology, received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Leadership, given to a staff member who supervises one or more benefit-eligible employees and who “demonstrates exceptional leadership ability within his or her unit or across the University.”

Amber Kosik, director of SMU’s Hilltop Scholars Community in Perkins and Smith Halls, Residence Life and Student Housing, received the Presidential Award for Innovation, given to a staff member whose “creative, innovative ideas … significantly improve a work process or system or greatly increase the efficiency of an operation or unit.”

Read more about the winners at the Staff Association homepage.

Right, 2008-09 Presidential Award for Staff Excellence winners (left to right): Amber Kosik, Brook Benton Jimenez, Joe Gargiulo and Gretchen Voight.

May 22, 2009|News|
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