OIT Technology News: Spring 2018 Summary

OIT Technology News
In this edition of OIT’s Technology News, we highlight the results of the 2017 Student Technology Needs Assessment, how machine learning is defending campus systems, the positive impact of Microsoft Certifications for staff, protecting yourself from hard drive failure with CrashPlan Pro, plus much more.

Results of the 2017 Student Technology Needs Assessment

We recently surveyed over 1,900 undergraduate and graduate students at SMU regarding technology use and support in order to assess and improve existing OIT services and discover new and innovative areas to pursue.

2017 SMU Technology Needs Assessment infographic Sample
CylancePROTECT Protecting Campus from Malware with Machine Learning

CylancePROTECT was introduced to the SMU campus as a way to improve securing systems against viruses and malware. As the University became regularly inundated with malicious files, employees could not be expected to keep up with the volume and complexity of these new threats. As the threats evolved, so did our method of protection – machine learning.

CrashPlan Pro backup solution becomes standard for Windows 7

In order to adhere to SMU policy 12.3 and ensure employee files are protected and recoverable in the event of a hardware failure, CrashPlan Pro backup software will now be deployed automatically to faculty and staff computers.

Preparing for a Data Science Future

“In addition to the focus on data science and data analytics, interdisciplinary collaboration is also vital to success in undergraduate education.” SMU’s CIO Michael Hites on Preparing for a Data Science Future in March’s CIO Review.

Canvas Corner

Canvas Corner: March 2018 Edition

This month in Canvas Corner, we cover general updates to announcements, new section-specific announcements, comments on announcements, and updates to Canvas Mobile.

SMU Staff Engage in Microsoft Office Certification Pilot Program 

Over 2 dozen Microsoft Office certifications have been issued to staff since the program’s launch in September. See what SMU Staff are saying about how the Microsoft Certification program is benefiting them.

New Site for Tech Purchases Coming Soon

Each year, hundreds of computer orders are processed requiring coordination between Purchasing and OIT. In reviewing the ordering experience, we decided to make some major improvements. Next month, we will launch a new site for technology purchases allowing you to order computers, tablets, monitors, and accessories for departmental purchases.

Windows 10 Deployed to Classrooms This Summer

While Windows 10 is the standard OS for faculty and staff computers, we have kept Windows 7 as the standard throughout all labs and classrooms to provide a consistent experience for faculty and students in these spaces. Over this summer, all managed computer labs and classroom instructor stations will be upgraded to the latest OS.

OIT Helps Physics Researchers

When some Physics researchers needed a few dedicated computers for running experiments, they reached out to OIT Customer Service Director Rachel Mulry to see if she could help. Within 24 hours, several laptops were found that could be donated to meet the needs of the ATLAS experiment.

OIT Quick Tips: Your Videoconferencing Options

We have several options for videoconferencing on campus. In this video, see how you can easily take advantage of videoconferencing in your area.

Published by

Ian Aberle

Ian Aberle is the IT Communications Specialist and Trainer for the Office of Information Technology (OIT) at Southern Methodist University (SMU). He started at SMU in 1996 and for much of his career at the University had managed the SMU STAR Program before joining the Training & Communications Team in 2015. In his free time, Ian enjoys photography and road trips with his family. You can see examples of when the two collide at http://ianaberle.com.