University of California, Riverside

Information Technology



May 2002 Meeting


Academic Computing and Computing Support Services Highlights

Planned Expansion of Campus Learning Management System Capabilities to include Assessment and Content Creation

C&C is considering piloting two products designed to facilitate student assessment (including creation of homework, submission of homework, and grading of homework). Two products have been reviewed (WebCalc and WebLink) that, if adopted, would be incorporated into C&C's campus Learning Management System support.

WebAssign

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Communications Highlights

UCR's Communications Worker Model Approved by Campus Executive Management

C&C recently received approval to implement its Communications Worker voice and data funding model. This recharge methodology is based on the system deployed at UCSD, but is a hybrid model (the Communications Worker fee, initially, will only be used to recover data network related costs). C&C's goal is to implement the plan by July 1, 2002.

UCR to Upgrade Campus Phone Switch: Alcatel wins Bid

Alcatel will supply UCR with a new, IP enabled phone switch during the summer 2002. Alcatel won the bid by an impressive margin; there was a substantial difference between Alcatel and the next vendor (NEC). Alcatel is a European firm might be the largest communications organization in the world. Alcatel will initially ONLY replace the existing central switch. Subsequent upgrades to the remaining campus voice infrastructure will be made during the next five years (including instruments, features, etc.). The initial deployment will feature approximately 100 VoIP phones.

AlcaTel

Evaluation of Intel Based Firewall Nearing Completion

Given the expense and inflexibility of vendor firewalls/bridges, C&C is evaluating firewalls built with commodity Intel-based hardware and open- source software. We intend to position these devices at the department level, and expect a maximum of two hundred machines to be fire-walled at any given location, thus the performance needs are not extreme. We are looking at Linux and BSD systems with the goal of testing two final candidates by mid-summer, so that we have a solution ready when school starts in the fall.

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Center for Visual Computing Highlights

CVC Completes Work on Jet Propulsion Laboratory project: Voyager's Discoveries: A History in the Making

CVC recently received a $25,000 sub-contract to produce a multimedia history of Voyager as well as a review of the science of the solar wind. The CD is wonderful. C&C is investigating how CVC's talents in this area (video, audio, graphics, animation, and macromedia development) might be put to further use facilitating campus fund raising and communications efforts.

Center for Visual Computing

Efforts Continue concerning development of Vice Chancellor of Administration Web Sites

Please visit http://cvcstaff.ucr.edu/john/mail_services/.

UC Mexus Web Based On-line Proposal / Evaluation System in Production

C&C has developed and deployed a web-based system that allows PIs located in California and Mexico to submit proposals for UC Mexus financed research. The system allows PIs to upload their science and budgets as Word or Excel documents and save them (via the internet) to the UC Mexus database. The system also contains "work in progress" functionality that allows a proposal to be saved (on UCR's internet available database) for ultimate completion at a latter date. UC Mexus management seems very pleased.

UC Mexus

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Administrative Computing Highlights

Initial Evaluation of Student System Upgrade Continues: Initial SCT Conference held in May

C&C continues its preliminary efforts to consider an upgrade to its OS/390 / VSAM based Student Information System (UCR purchased Information Associates system about 10 years ago; this product / firm was subsequently acquired by SCT). SCT recently visited UCR as part of this preliminary planning effort.

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Client Server Computing Highlights

Major Enhancement to Campus Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) to be released

UCR's currently deployed Physical Plant web / work order system will shortly add new wireless network enabled functionality. Selected Physical Plant staff will be given PDAs that feature bar code readers. These hand held devices browse the web (using UCR's wireless network) and allow Physical Plant staff to scan worker orders (via bar codes) and enter labor hours for job costing. Other than the PDAs, the functionality was completely developed by C&C programmers.

Physical Plant Work Order System

New Enhancements to the Enterprise Reporting System (ERS) Deployed to the Vice Chancellor of Administration

UCR's Enterprise Reporting System (ERS) queries the campus Data Warehouse from WITHIN Microsoft Excel and produces formatted spreadsheets (with formulas) for financial analysts. A new version of the ERS was just released for the Vice Chancellor of Administration (VCA). This version automatically produces 70% of the quarterly VCA budget recap (last years actual, current year budget, permanent budget) allowing managers to complete the recap in hours instead of days.

New Accounts Payable Management Tools (Purchase Order Aging System, Mail Notification to Mark "P.O.s as Received") Released

C&C has just released a series of tools to facilitate central management of the campus Accounts Payable system. Specifically, enhancements include a web based Purchase Order aging system (P.O.s are aged, by status, telling accounting and departmental management which orders might lead to problems with a vendor). This effort (as well as others such as an automated e-mail notification system) has reduced the average "match exception" report to 100 or so P.O.s. The goal is to reduce this quantity to 50.

PO Aging System

Efforts Continue to Provide More Closing Tools and Reports for Accounting

During FY 2000 / 2001, C&C provided Accounting with tools to greatly improve the closing process. Importantly, one tool was the "Trial Closing / Carry Forward" system that calculates "pro-forma" closing and carry forward balances (by FAU distribution) for Accounting's review. This system can be run iteratively as part of the campus closing process. C&C is attempting is creating additional tools to facilitate Accounting's closing efforts (notably, this fiscal year, completely automated financial schedules as well as a more table driven closing UCOP reporting / translation system).

Competency Management System Review Underway, Including Review of System Developed by Lawrence Berkeley Lab

In partnership with Environmental Health and Safety, C&C is investigating LBL's ASP / Oracle based Competency Management System (and data warehouse). If adopted at UCR, the Office of Research Affaires and Human Resources would utilize this system to track and manage their training and certification efforts.

Competency Training Management System

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Systems Computing Group

Web Mail Appliance Acquired, Deployment Scheduled for September

After many months evaluating various products and deployment strategies, C&C has acquired the Mirapoint web mail system. The system is a web mail (POP, IMAP) "appliance" that C&C hopes to have operational by September 2002. The purchase includes 850 GBs of usable disk. The initial roll out will be to students with faculty and staff currently scheduled to follow in January 2003.

Mirapoint

"Network Appliance" Disk System Acquired (1.3 Terabytes of Disk). Deployment Scheduled for September

To meet growing C&C / campus needs for reliable and robust Solaris served disk space, C&C has invested in a 1.3 TB Network Appliance disk system. This disk will initially be deployed to support student-computing needs. The system will also provide support for the campus Learning Management System (Blackboard) as well as CorpTime (campus calendaring system). The system will be evaluated for ultimate deployment supporting the campus Financial System.

Network Appliance

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Student Computing Support Group

Self Service Kiosks in Production; Monitor Chat Room Deployed

Campus / student growth has required C&C to rethink how it provides technical support to undergraduates. A C&C study earlier this year indicated that 10 or so common issues result in the majority of questions received at the student help desk. Therefore, C&C put together a team that built a series of student self-service kiosks that answer student questions or resolve issues without C&C staff intervention (for example, how to obtain a Blackboard account, how to utilize student e-mail, how to change a password, how to increase the print quota, etc.). This new service has provided a tremendous boost to C&C productivity and students are receiving much better service. C&C has also implemented a "lab monitor chat room". C&C monitors can interact with one another to route students to the least busy facilities and to collaborate real-time to resolve technical problems (brought to them by students).

Student Computing Services

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Other

SEVIS Planning Underway

SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) is a project aimed at providing uniform, nationwide reporting on foreign students with certain visa types. Data is to be gathered and reported to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in XML format. C&C's AVC and the Dean of University Extension have been asked to co-chair a campus work group. Currently, INS is requiring the first submission of this data by January 2003.

France Cordova, Vice Chancellor for Research and Professor of Physics at UCSB, has been Named to Replace Raymond Orbach as Chancellor at UCR.

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More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Computing & Communications
Computing & Communications

Tel: (951) 827-4741
Fax: (951) 827-4541
E-mail: helpdesk@ucr.edu

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