HSS Spring Refresh Begins

HSS 1305

HSS 1305 after being refreshed

For Spring Quarter 2014 the Classroom Refresh Project moves to the Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS) building, beginning with rooms 1305 and 1315.

One of the most noticeable improvements to the classrooms is the installation of a new projector. It is brighter than the previous one, which makes it easier to see the projection. Just as importantly, it also uses less energy to contribute to campus sustainability efforts. New projection screens also improve the picture.

Touch screen control panels were installed in the front of both rooms. The touch screen panel is a standard feature in all refreshed classrooms. It brings input, volume, and lighting controls together in one convenient place. A video about how to use the control panel is available.

HSS 1315

HSS 1315

Another new feature is the document camera in the ceiling of each room. The camera can be selected from the touch screen and used to display anything through the projector. All images captured by the document camera are included in course screencasts, if enabled by faculty.

HSS 1035 and 1315 also have six new lighting presets, which have been configured to light different situations.

If you need assistance using the installed media equipment, email Classroom Technology Supportto schedule an orientation or call 534-5784 (x4-5784) to receive immediate help.

Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) is proud to raise the quality of classrooms and lecture halls throughout campus through the Classroom Refresh Project in conjunction with Administrative Computing & Telecommunications (ACT) and Facilities Management.

More information about the Classroom Refresh Project:

ResNet/Help Desk Customer Survey Winners!

Four ResNet/Help Desk customer feedback surveys from Winter 2014 have been randomly selected for one of four UC San Diego Bookstore gift cards. Congratulations to:

  • Wenjia O.
  • Emily C.
  • Amy P.
  • Dimitrie L.

Winners have been notified through their UC San Diego email account.

Thank you so much to everyone who provided us with feedback to help us improve our services!

Winter 2014 Survey Winner

Winter 2013 Carmen PulidoAcademic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) congratulates Professor Carmen Pulido of the Department of Psychiatry on winning the Winter 2014 ACMS Faculty Survey drawing for an iPad Mini with Retina display. Professor Pulido was randomly selected as the winner from 116 survey respondents.

ACMS’s quarterly survey gives UC San Diego faculty the opportunity to provide feedback regarding classroom media equipment and support resources, Ted (UC San Diego’s learning management system), podcastingclickers, and instructional support resources like computer labs. The data helps ensure ACMS deploys resources that best support faculty in their teaching.

ACMS sends the survey to all faculty with courses scheduled in registrar-controlled classrooms.

Visit the Faculty section of the ACMS website for information about ACMS educational technology and support services.

ACMS Aces: Ernie Luna

Ernie LunaWhen upgrading or designing audiovisual (AV) systems in rooms, it is often hard for departments at UC San Diego to identify the best system to meet their needs. Audiovisual Design & Engineering, a recharge division of Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS), is here to help UC San Diego understand AV systems and make the right choices. They design and install AV systems across campus. Ernie Luna is the head of AV Design & Engineering.

“If it comes to anything audio and video, we do it,” Ernie said. He starts with a meeting to understand the needs of a department. “We really spend a lot of time talking to the people, finding out what they need to accomplish, what their expectations are, what type of people will be using the room. Then we can help them find something that’s going to do the job,” Ernie explained.

Ernie helps departments understand what different AV systems entail so they can make the right choices for their needs. AV systems are more than just a display on the wall. Electrical work is needed to provide power and receive content or perform videoconferencing. Additional equipment like cameras and a sound system are sometimes required as well. Ernie guides departments through the process of choosing a solution that fits their needs and budget.

AV Design & Engineering recently finished working on the new Biomedical Research Facility in the School of Medicine. They designed and installed the AV systems in 12 rooms, covering the spectrum of available systems. Two of the rooms have high-end videoconferencing equipment including dual cameras, dual LCDs, and a projector. “There [are] also some smaller rooms that are used for basic conferencing needs,” Ernie said, “as well as a presentation area, digital signage, and breakout areas in the lobby.”

Ernie began his career in AV engineering with an entertainment company that installed theme park entertainment systems. “It was fun,” Ernie said. “I traveled all over the world. I would do long stints installing these systems and they were high-end audio systems, 3D projection screens, and video motion simulation seats. It was a good use of AV technology for a very fun purpose. I liked that because it was a lot of work to do these systems, but the end result was people coming in and having a good time.” Ernie came to work at UC San Diego because of the investment that the campus was making in its future. “There’s been a lot of new research buildings, high-end education buildings,” Ernie explained, “and it’s definitely something you want to be a part of.”

If you want to explore AV solutions for your spaces, contact Ernie at ejluna@ucsd.edu or (858) 354-8498. Thanks for all that you do Ernie!

ACMS Aces is a series of articles that highlights the dedicated employees of Academic Computing & Media Services at UC San Diego. Keep checking back to find out more about the people behind the magic at ACMS!

iPad Research Paper Now Available

iPad pilot program participants learning new techniquesUC San Diego’s Instructional Technology Integration (ITI) launched a pilot project in Spring Quarter 2013 to examine whether faculty use of iPads could improve teaching and learning at UC San Diego. A research paper was produced on the pilot experience highlighting data and participant feedback.

“Faculty Use of iPads and Engagement in the Higher Education Classroom” outlines:

  • Project setup and methodology
  • Faculty preparation for use of the iPad in lectures
  • Faculty feedback as the pilot progressed
  • Student feedback
  • Lessons learned for future pilot programs involving iPads

Download the complete paper here.

Instructional Technology and Integration, a unit of Academic Computing and Media Services (ACMS), specializes in finding technology-based solutions that enhance teaching and learning.

Contact iti@ucsd.edu to find out how they can help you.

Become a Help Desk/ResNet Technician!

Looking for a job next year? Do you like helping people or enjoy troubleshooting computer problems? If this sounds like you, consider applying to be an ACMS Help Desk/ResNet technician!

The ACMS Help Desk/ResNet is hiring new technicians for the 2014-2015 academic year. We are looking for UC San Diego students who want to use their customer service skills to help other students, faculty, and staff with computer and/or networking issues. If this applies to you, fill out our online application today!

Worried that you might not know enough about computers and networks to apply? Some of the ACMS Help Desk/ResNet’s best technicians started with little technical knowledge but great customer service skills and were able to learn technical skills on the job. Our current technicians come from a variety of majors and backgrounds.

If you’re curious about what it’s like to work for ResNet, listen to some of our current technicians talk about their experience firsthand:

Many former ACMS Help Desk/ResNet technicians got jobs almost immediately after graduation thanks to their training and experience, and not just with technology companies! Some of them are now working with well-known companies like Titleist and FICO. Others were accepted to great graduate schools, including law school and pharmacy school. Read about some of our former technicians and what they’re doing now!

So what are you waiting for? Apply today!

Warren Lecture Hall 2110 Refreshed

Warren Lecture Hall 2110

In Spring Quarter 2014 the Classroom Refresh Project was focused on Warren Lecture Hall (WLH). WLH 2110 was the fifth and final classroom of the quarter to be refreshed.

The most notable new feature is the touch screen control panel in the front of the room. This panel allows faculty and TAs to control the projection inputs, lights, and speaker volume from a single source. A DVD/Blu-Ray player is conveniently located next to the touch panel.

Another improvement to the room is the reconfiguration of the lights. WLH 2110 now offers several lighting presets that provide the right amount of illumination for different situations. For example, presentation mode turns off lights by the projection screen but leaves lights on throughout the rest of the room. This makes projected material easier to see and gives students the light needed to take notes.

The projection is also brighter thanks to a new digital projector, mounted on the ceiling. The projector is also energy-efficient and helps UC San Diego achieve its sustainability goals. VGA and HDMI cables are provided to connect laptop computers to the projector.

The overhead transparency projector has been replaced by a new, more versatile document camera. This camera, installed in the ceiling, projects anything placed beneath it, not just specially prepared transparencies. These can be handwritten notes, photos, or objects. These projections can be captured by ACMS’s screencasting service, which allows students to review audio and media from class later. The audio for screencasting is captured through a microphone installed in the ceiling near the touch screen panel.

Facilities Management cleaned the room after the new equipment was installed, waxing floors and painting walls to ensure an inviting learning environment.

If you need any assistance using the installed media equipment, email Classroom Technology Support, or call 534-5784 (x4-5784) to receive immediate help.

Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) is proud to raise the standard of classrooms and lecture halls throughout campus through the Classroom Refresh Project in conjunction with Administrative Computing & Telecommunications (ACT) and Facilities Management.

More information about the Classroom Refresh Project:

Planned Email Maintenance March 26

UPDATE: MARCH 28, 2014 — Webmail maintenance has been completed. All users should be restored to full functionality. If you are experience any problems with Webmail, please contact the ACMS Help Desk to receive assistance.

UC San Diego student email will undergo the first phase of a defragmentation and capacity increase on March 26 between 4:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. Affected users may see a brief interruption in ACMS mail services during this window of time.

This time frame was selected as having the least impact on users due to the low usage between these hours and the campus Spring Break. We apologize for any inconvenience.

ACMS Aces: Brian Parent

Brian ParentAcademic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) provides a variety of services to UC San Diego to enhance teaching and learning. The foundation for many of these services is the network of servers and hardware that is overseen and maintained by the Computing Infrastructure group. One of the programmers who ensures the smooth operation of ACMS’s services is Brian Parent.

Brian’s team is responsible for systems administration for many of ACMS servers. “We take care of the LINUX and Solaris machines and keep their systems patched and up-to-date,” Brian said. These servers support services like student email, centralized file services, and perform tasks such as logging and monitoring. Brian’s team maintains servers used for various disciplines (including engineering, programming, and social sciences among others) to write and compile programs. The team also maintains data backups and supports student printing. Brian’s hard work behind the scenes prevents disruptions in service through planned maintenance and minimizes downtime when problems arise.

One of the best parts of Brian’s job is that he gets to solve problems as he administers systems. “Being stumped presents a challenge and it’s like a puzzle,” Brian said. “If you like to do puzzles, then you like to do this kind of work.” Brian added that, “we pretty much always know there’s a solution. There’s some way to fix [the issue at hand] or do it differently.”

Brian’s expertise comes in part from his long history working for ACMS. He has worked for the department for over 30 years, starting as a student worker with the department when he was an undergraduate at UC San Diego. “I saw some other students using fancy typewriters that would type everything for them. They were using word processors, which were new to me at the time,” Brian said. “I found the people at the Computing Center, which [would become ACMS], and I asked them questions. ‘How do I get an account? How do I do this word processing thing? Where do I get the paper?’ And on and on. I guess I asked enough questions that eventually they said, ‘Why don’t you come and work for us?’” When Brian graduated, he accepted an offer of full-time employment with the department. “I thought, ‘I’ll give it a shot. I’ll put in two or three years here and then I’ll get a “real job.”’’ And here I am, 29 years later, still at it,” Brian said with a smile.

LightRider picture

“LightRider” – Photo by Chuck Rose

Brian is an avid bicyclist, commuting to UC San Diego daily on his bike. “It’s good exercise and I get the best parking place on campus: my office. It’s the way to go,” Brian said. He encourages others to try biking, saying, “Anybody can do it who wants to.” Brian strongly recommends that people take a bike safety class, even though it may not seem like it may be unnecessary. “There are very specific behaviors that cyclists can use to improve their safety that are not intuitive and are against, in some cases, existing culture,” Brian explained. In the past, Brian has done his part to help promote bike safety, serving as a class instructor.

The next time you log onto your UC San Diego email or use a LINUX or Solaris machine, think of Brian and his team and the hard work they do keeping the servers that support these services running smoothly. Thanks Brian!

ACMS Aces is a series of articles that highlights the dedicated employees of Academic Computing & Media Services at UC San Diego. Keep checking back to find out more about the people behind the magic at ACMS!

Foreign Languages for Free

Mango Languages logo

Want to learn a language but don’t want to enroll in a language class or buy expensive software? You’re in luck! UC San Diego students, faculty, and staff can learn a new language with the free Mango Languages Online.

Mango Languages Online focuses on interactive vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and culture. Users build fluency through guided conversations, learning sentences and phrases that they can use in real situations after taking a single lesson.

Mango Languages offers 52 different languages (some in multiple dialects) ranging from the familiar, like Spanish and French, to less common, such as Scottish Gaelic, Hawaiian, and Dari. There are also 17 different courses that help non-native English speakers improve their skills in English.

Mango Languages Online also offers Mango Premiere, where you learn language through films.

Mango Premiere is available to UC San Diego students, faculty, and staff for no additional charge.

Access Mango Languages Online in one of two ways:

1. Students:

Find a shortcut to the Mango Languages Online website on the desktops of many of the Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS)-managed public computer labs around campus, including the:

  • Language Lab
  • Geisel Library
  • Biomedical Library
  • Triton Lounge
  • Sun God Lounge

All you need is your UC San Diego student Active Directory account username and password to log in to lab computers.

2. Staff, faculty, and students:

Access Mango Languages Online from any computer on UC San Diego property (including ResHalls and the UC San Diego Health System) at the UC San Diego login page for Mango Languages Online. Please note that Mango Languages Online will not work from computers using a web proxy, virtual private network (VPN), or private IP addresses.

Mango Languages Online can help you learn a new language, improve your existing language skills, or just give you phrases for your next vacation. Check it out today!