Systems and Software
CIS's objective has been to provide computing systems with up-to-date technology, appropriate for the courses scheduled to use the laboratories. Pursuant to this objective, at least one laboratory with high-end workstations for advanced courses and for student research has been in place.
Since 2000, the CIS department has upgraded the computing systems in at least one complete laboratory each year. Each of the four fixed laboratories have a video projection system. Each laboratory has a workstation for the instructor. The laboratories are designed to accommodate lecture, demonstration, student software development and experimentation.
Of the five current laboratories, one is a distributed facility with Intel x86 systems dedicated to networking courses. Each of the workstation laboratories (104, 200, 207, 209) have 31 Intel x86 computer systems. Currently 2 of these laboratories have quad-core systems, one has dual core systems and one has single core systems.
The laboratory workstations are one component of the computing resources available for student and faculty teaching, learning and research. In support of the computer system laboratories, the CIS department manages a number of server computer systems. The server systems support a number of critical activities that enable students to use the workstations in the laboratories. The CIS servers have recently been redesigned for "high availability" through redundant systems.
Students also have secure remote access (using ssh or scp)to our laboratory computers, so that they can safely access their stored data and programs. We provide seventeen Linux systems that behave as a cluster and the Linux server distributes users to these systems, balancing the load. All of the laboratory Linux software is available on these systems.
CIS students access their systems through their University AccessNet ID and each students' files and data are accessible from any of the laboratory systems.
It is imperative for CIS students to learn about a wide range of computer systems and applications software. Enabling such learning requires the acquisition and maintenance of such systems and software to meet the needs of our courses. The types of courses include low-level systems programming, software engineering, database design and implementation, data mining, artificial intelligence, the study of algorithms and data structures, many high-level programming languages, etc.
In the areas of knowledge discovery and data mining, database management, network applications (e.g. voice and video over the network) and systems, higher performance systems and sophisticated software are required. Our undergraduate curricula often require supporting distinct software environments.
We provide a basic set of software on all of our systems. The same operating systems images are used for all laboratory workstations to ensure that students have flexibility in moving from lab to lab.
The Software Development Laboratory (SDL) in the TECH Center also includes the same Linux and Windows environment for students.