Pepper Canyon 121 Refreshed

pepper-canyon-121Pepper Canyon 121 is the latest room to be refreshed as part of the Lecture Hall & Classroom Refresh Project at UC San Diego.

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. Pepper Canyon 121 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The overhead transparency projector has been replaced by a new, more versatile document camera.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 quality of classrooms and lecture halls throughout campus through the Lecture Hall and Classroom Refresh Project in conjunction with Administrative Computing & Telecommunications (ACT) and Facilities Management.

More information about the Classroom and Lecture Hall Refresh Project:

ACMS Aces: Treb Padula

treb-padulaElectronics Technician Treb Padula is the newest addition to Academic Computing & Media Services’ (ACMS) audiovisual (AV) installation team, which upgrades or adds AV systems to rooms across campus.

Treb works on the Lecture Hall and Classroom Refresh Project, which is finishing its third year of improving lecture halls and classrooms. “UC San Diego isn’t just keeping up with classroom technology. We’re on the cutting edge with the touch screens and projectors,” he said. “I’m blown away by the opportunity to work on systems like these.” He has ample basis to make such a statement. Treb joined UC San Diego after nearly ten years of experience at CSU Stanislaus where he performed similar AV installation work. One of his first projects was a similar classroom refresh project that added projectors to all of classrooms, a transition that Treb worked on for five years.

Other AV installations that Treb works on take place through ACMS’s AV Design & Installation recharge service, which is open to all campus departments. He recently finished an AV Design & Installation job upgrading two rooms at Geisel Library.

Treb also works with Media Event Support to provide sound reinforcement services at events around campus. He sets up microphones and speakers prior to the start of the event and runs the mixer board during the event. His first experience in sound work came in his college job working events for the local parks and recreation department.

One of Treb’s favorite pastimes is listening to audiobooks. He particularly enjoys experiencing each work’s approach to its source material. “Audiobooks have really become an art form,” Treb said, “and there are so many different types. There are wonderful, full cast, ensemble audiobooks that are done wonderfully and they suck you in. It’s like you’re watching a movie. Then there are audiobooks where someone is reading the book to you. Autobiographies are some of the best because often it’s the author reading them and that makes it really powerful.” Treb singled out Michael J. Fox’s autobiography Lucky Man and Wil Wheaton’s reading of Ready Player One as outstanding audiobooks.

Treb, at right, in with his steampunk stilts

Treb, at right, in with his steampunk stilts (click for larger view)

In his spare time, Treb and his wife participate in cosplay, especially at conventions like Comic Con. Their steampunk costumes have won contests and been featured in magazine spreads, which should surprise no one since Treb’s includes stilts.

Welcome to the team Treb!

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

Spring 2015 Faculty Survey Winner

Professor Ryan receiving her iPad from Pauline Nuth

Professor Ryan receiving her iPad from Pauline Nuth of the Academic Computing & Media Services Business Office

Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) congratulates Professor Margaret Ryan Family Medicine and Public Health on winning the Spring 2015 ACMS Faculty Survey drawing for an iPad Mini with Retina display. Professor Ryan was randomly selected as the winner from 132 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 responses help 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.

GoVirtual Maintenance Completed

UPDATE, JUNE 17, 2015: Maintenance on GoVirtual should now be completed. If you experience issues with the system, please contact the ACMS Help Desk at the information below to alert us. Thanks again for your patience!

JUNE 16, 2015: Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) is currently performing maintenance on GoVirtual. As a result, this service may be unavailable throughout today. We will update this blog post with new information as it becomes available.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding!

Please contact the ACMS Help Desk by email at or by phone at 858-534-2267 if you have questions or wish to report unannounced problems with other services.

Spring Refresh Concludes with CSB 005

CSB 005The Spring 2015 phase of the Lecture Hall and Classroom Refresh Project concluded this month with the completion of Cognitive Science Building 005.

Several installations were made as part of the refresh:

  • New energy-efficient projector
  • Power controlled projector screen
  • Additional lighting configurations
  • Touch screen panel to control media inputs
  • Document camera installed in the ceiling

The room was cleaned after the refresh was completed.

Want to learn how to use all of this equipment? An audiovisual system tutorial video is available.

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

More information about the Classroom and Lecture Hall Refresh Project:

ACMS Aces: Sean Osterthaler

sean-osterthalerMuch of what Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) does for UC San Diego is made possible by servers and applications working smoothly and efficiently in the background. Sean Osterthaler leads a team of system administrators who work diligently keeping this vital infrastructure running.

Sean, in collaboration with his fellow managers in the ACMS Computing Infrastructure unit, oversees the maintenance and support of computer software configurations in the ACMS instructional computing labs throughout campus as well as the server infrastructure that supports these labs. He is the main OS X system administrator in ACMS and often goes into computer labs to troubleshoot issues related to Mac computers. Sean’s experience in the Apple computing environment runs deep. He has multiple Mac computers at work and at home, has owned nearly every model of iPhone since its introduction in 2007, and even uses a couple Apple TVs at home. He’s also keeping a close eye on the progress of the new Apple Watch.

In addition to supporting the computer labs on campus, Sean and his team are instrumental in supporting the GoVirtual online computing labs where students can access many of the same software packages found in campus computer labs using their own devices. Student use of GoVirtual has increased over the last couple of years, but Sean hopes that an even greater number start using the service. “We keep close watch over the performance of the systems, examine what appears to work well and what doesn’t, and stand ready to bring more resources to bear should the need arise in order to ensure that this is—and continues to be—a valuable service for the campus community,” Sean explained. “We are constantly looking for and evaluating ways in which we could improve the service.”

Sean often works on innovative computing projects. “Part of working with technology is understanding that there is always something new and exciting around the corner,” he said. Over the last two years, Sean has been involved in the Electronic Notebook project in collaboration with Professor Kim Albizati of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. ACMS supplied resources and support to bring electronic lab notebooks into upper division chemistry courses, replacing paper notebooks.

“One of the things I find most rewarding about working in a University environment is being able to readily see that the work I do really does make a difference. The work that we do here at ACMS has a profound impact on the lives of thousands of UC San Diego students in that education these days is heavily entrenched in technology,” Sean said. “Everywhere you look you see people using some sort of electronic device, many of which are accessing the email, file storage, software application, computing/instrumentation resources, and other services either in part or wholly provided by ACMS.”

Sean is one of several career staff at ACMS who started working with the department while attending UC San Diego as a student. In 1999, he accepted a full time position with the department and has been here ever since. “I love working in academia and you can’t beat the beauty of La Jolla in terms of workplace locale,” Sean said.

One of Sean’s favorite spots in San Diego is Double Peak, largely thanks to its gorgeous sunset views. He is the proud papa of Sasha the chocolate Labrador Retriever and Scooter the miniature Schnauzer.

The next time you use a computer lab, think of Sean and his team. Their work keeps everything running smoothly. Thanks Sean!

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

Thanks To Our Graduating ResNet Techs!

Jau, Kenny, Kevin, Maria, Michael, and StephenA large part of the services we are able to provide at Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) is made possible by the dedicated efforts of the student technicians who staff the ACMS Help Desk.

Six of our technicians who have served countless students, faculty, and staff in their time at the Help Desk will graduate this weekend.

Our congratulations go out to:

  • Jay
  • Kenny
  • Kevin
  • Maria
  • Michael
  • Stephen

We know you will go on to do wonderful things and hope that you will remember your time with ACMS fondly.

Thank you for everything you have done!

The Classroom Document Camera

Document camera in a lecture hall

This drawer is where you can find the document camera in a lecture hall.

All refreshed classrooms and lecture halls have a document camera, which projects anything put beneath it so that everyone in the room can see. If you have never taken advantage of this handy tool, here is a quick guide to getting started.

Where is it?

If you are in a lecture hall (any room with a free standing lectern), the document camera is in a drawer on the side of the lectern. There is a handle to help you find the drawer. Once you have pulled out the drawer, raise the arm with the camera to get it set up.

Document camera in a classroom

The classroom document camera is mounted in the ceiling near the front of the room.

If you are in a classroom, the document camera is mounted in the ceiling. It will be located near the front of the room, which is usually indicated by the location of

chalkboards and the touch screen control panel. Position a table beneath the document camera for easiest use.

How do I turn it on?

Turn on a dark touch screen by pressing it once. The UC San Diego logo will appear. Press the touch screen again to reach the menu. Press the button labeled “Doc Cam” in the lower right corner. This will begin projecting the document camera.

What should I put beneath the document camera?

Anything that you want. You can create hand written notes in real time, show photos, or demonstrate with objects. However, if you would not want your computer exposed to the item (like chemicals or liquids), please do not use it beneath the document camera.

Do I have any control of the document camera?

On the menu underneath the Doc Cam button and slightly to the left is the “Control Doc Cam” button. From this screen you can:

  • Zoom in and out
  • Auto focus if the image is unclear
  • Use iris control to change the light exposure

I signed up for screencasting for my course. Does that pick up feed from the document camera?

Yes. Screencasting does not continuously record, but picks up frames at intervals instead. You will not get a smooth video of anything you put or do beneath the document camera, but you will still get images captured.

Is there anything else I should know?

Additional help using the document camera is available through Classroom Technology Support.

ACMS Aces: Chuck Rose

Chuck RoseThe Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) Help Desk is students’ central source for technology assistance on campus. Chuck Rose is the Help Desk/ResNet Manager and oversees the support provided by the Help Desk.

“There is no typical day at the Help Desk,” Chuck said. The knowledgeable technicians at the ACMS Help Desk routinely answer questions about residence hall networking, email, and computer lab printing—and even that only begins to scratch the surface. They spring into action when service outages arise to resolve them quickly. Chuck described the two biggest issues handled by the Help Desk: “Almost every day we see something having to do with viruses [or] malware…and there’s usually always somebody that comes in to talk to us about wireless issues.”

The ACMS Help Desk can address so many different issues because of the cross training technicians receive. This gives them the breadth of knowledge required to serve the varied needs of students, faculty, and staff. These technicians are supported and reinforced by the Help Desk career staff. “I’ve surrounded myself with a staff that [is] amazing,” Chuck said, “and that’s what allows us to do good work at the Help Desk.”

Supporting students, faculty, and staff is the top priority for the ACMS Help Desk. To achieve this goal, Chuck and his staff are trying to create a culture that encourages technicians to do whatever it takes to help get issues resolved. Central to this effort is the servant leadership model, which Chuck explained is “different than your traditional top-down leadership and much more focused on the idea that leaders are there to support the people who report to them.” Technicians who self-identify as “leaders among leaders” get the opportunity to go through servant leadership training so they can be effective resources for their fellow technicians. One of the things that satisfies Chuck the most about his role at the ACMS Help Desk is getting to be part of the personal and professional development of the student and career staff.

Last year Chuck was elected as the Clerk of the national board of ResNet Inc. “I take the minutes during our monthly meetings but also get to provide direct input on our discussions,” he said in describing his duties. The board’s primary work is organizing ResNet Inc.’s annual student technology conference, which provides an opportunity for those involved in educational technology to share information and network with each other.

If you ever have a technology problem, Chuck and the ACMS Help Desk team are there to help. Contact them today!

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