Articles and Talks
What have we done lately?
This is the October 2008 CIO column for Computing@UW-Madison
Since May, the campus has devoted a lot of time and energy to outlining a strategic plan for campus IT. But during that time, we have also been designing, building, implementing and supporting the services that UW-Madison needs today. Here is a short list of what we have accomplished in the past several months:Instruction
- Bolstering Learn@UW — A patent dispute involving Desire2Learn, the software on which Learn@UW is built, threatened the viability of the campus’s learning management system. In response, we upgraded to a lawsuit-compliant release to ensure uninterrupted service. Also contributed to a campus effort to support Moodle as an open source alternative to Desire2Learn.
- Exploring a virtual world — We provided a space for UW-Madison in Second Life, the Internet-based virtual-world environment. This helps the growing number of instructors who use virtual worlds for teaching.
- Help for advisors — Work progressed on new features for the My UW-Madison portal, including Advisor Scheduling, Common Scholarship and Course Guide.
- Access to textbook information — A new feature in the Faculty Center of My UW-Madison enables instructors to list textbooks and other materials required for their courses. Students can use this information to shop ahead for the best prices.
- Project information posted — A new Web site (www.cio.wisc.edu/projects) informs the camps of current IT projects, major initiatives, planning efforts, pilot projects, requests for proposals (RFPs), service launches and licensing agreement negotiations.
- Outage notices posted — A new Web site (www.doit.wisc.edu/outages) provides information about planned and unplanned campus IT service outages
- Satellite Help Desk — A second Help Desk location opens in October at Memorial Union.
- New-student orientation — More than 1,800 incoming students attended one-hour information sessions on computer security and campus IT services.
- Consolidating campus ID cards — The task of replacing the campus’s multitude of ID cards moved ahead with the successful deployment of the OneCard.
- WiscAlerts—launched a program to contact UW cell phone users in case of a campus emergency.
~Ron Kraemer, CIO
See past CIO columns.
- New mainframe computer — The campus invested in a major upgrade of the mainframe computer system on which it relies for payroll and other critical software applications.
- UW Data Center upgrades — The campus installed new chilling systems and consolidated servers to save money and improve security.
- Internet modernization — As its supply of available Internet addresses begins to run low, the campus is responding with an effort to reclaim previously used network (IP) addresses. At the same time, work began on an eventual move to IPv6, a new generation of the Internet protocol.
- Software upgrade — UW-Madison upgraded to the new version 9 of PeopleSoft, the enterprise software that is the foundation of the campus’s Integrated Student Information System (ISIS).