September 27, 2004

Issue No. 66

Table of Contents

Highlights and Features

Grokker at Stanford
CourseWork-Fall 2004
File-Sharing Myths
File-Sharing Resources
IT Open House October 28
Tech Help for Faculty
Essential SU Software
Desktop Computer Security
Security Self-Help Tool
Wireless Access-SU Visitors
SULAIR Home Page Update
SU Course Support Web Site copy

Library Resources

SULAIR Image Collections
SKIL Tutorial Enhanced
Scholars Workshops for Fall
Social Science Data
Literary Studies Database
New Lane Library Web Site
Firing Line TV Program
ArcGIS 9 Available
SSRC Past Events Online
BIOSIS Changes
HighWire Press-New Journals
EuroNews Web Site

Computing News

Accessible Web Pages
AFS Disk Quota Increased
Online Lecture Assessment
Teaching with Technology
Resources for SU Webmasters
ATS Program-New Projects
ATL Project Showcase
Spam Deletion Tool
ITSS Training Services
Training Registration
HelpSU Streamlined
New Webmail Is Here
Printing in Sweet Hall
Sweet Hall Consulting
Mac OS X Migration
PeopleSoft System Upgraded
Bookstore Computer Store
Courselets for SU Community
Sundial Calendar Changes
TeamSpace in Meyer Library
Meyer Classrooms
Meyer Tech Desk Update
Technology Help on Web

Academic Technology Specialist Program: New Projects

The mission of the Academic Technology Specialist program is to assist schools, academic departments and research centers within the University in exploring applications of information technology in the pursuit of teaching and research excellence. This article highlights the work of the two newest additions to the ATS program, Nicole Coleman of the Stanford Humanities Center and Clay Hamilton of the School of Earth Sciences. They discuss projects and initiatives that are taking place in their respective areas.

Stanford Humanities Center
Nicole Coleman, Academic Technology Specialist

Web Site: One of the first projects for Nicole in her new role as ATS was to update the Stanford Humanities Center (SHC) web site to promote the programs supported by the Center including fellowships, workshops, and public lectures. She decided to update the appearance, keeping it more in line with the style guidelines developed by Web Communications <>. (See also, "Resources for Stanford Webmasters in this issue.) Other goals included more description of what happens at the Center through images and profiles. Archived video recordings of the Presidential Lecture Series are now available via the web site (hosted by ITSS Streaming Media Services).

The SHC staff was trained to use Macromedia Contribute so that they can update pages as needed. This method of distributed authorship has not been without problems, but the advantages of involving the staff in directly generating content for the web site has had benefits beyond this project. The current site is The previous site design is viewable at

Sundial Migration: Because the summer is extremely busy at the Humanities Center, Nicole decided to get started on the Center's migration to Stanford's Sundial calendar system in June. The Oracle calendar system, though not ideal, has been a great improvement overall. One of the features that has been particularly helpful to the Center's workflow is the ability to list their rooms as resources so that others on campus can review availability. Room reservations are still managed by the SHC administrator.

Instant Messaging: Sometimes the simplest tools can be the most effective. In December, the SHC staff began using iChat over Rendezvous, an online message system, as a way to keep in touch. Staff members would update their status with messages such as "in copy room", "at lunch", "in a meeting", and "unavailable unless urgent" to give others more up-to-date and more complete status than possible with a traditional In/Out board. The SHC staff eventually migrated to an open source AIM-based client that they could use when outside their local network.

SHC Analog to Digital Lab: Nicole has been busy this summer planning the first stage of the Center's analog to digital conversion lab that will be inaugurated this Fall. The lab will be used by workshops coordinators and fellows to convert their materials into digital formats, primarily for delivery via the Web. This project is part of the foundational infrastructure to support the Stanford Humanities Research Network project.

Upgrade Multimedia Rooms: Upgrades for two of the presentation rooms in the Humanities Center are underway in preparation for the 2004-2005 fellows, workshops and events. The interest in their recorded lectures has been so great, that they are outfitting their primary presentation space (Levinthal Hall) with lighting, staging and digital recording equipment so that they can make better use of their own facilities to capture lectures. The Watt Common room, used for private presentations will also be updated.

School of Earth Sciences
Clay Hamilton, Academic Technology Specialist

As alluded to earlier in this article, one vision of the Academic Technology Specialist program is for each Specialist to serve as an expert contact in supporting and promoting the integration of technology into existing education, research, and outreach structures. This article introduces the work of Clay Hamilton, the School of Earth Science's ATS, and how he tries to achieve this vision.

Course Support: Most of the Earth Science faculty is satisfied with their present methods of teaching. They are often not satisfied, however, with the traditional modes of classroom operation, whether that be using a "generic" textbook (since nothing specific is available) or with students working on projects that only professors will see. To address these frustrations, Clay is helping professors post web-based e-books that can specifically address a subject, link to a variety of resources, or interface with interactive exercises that help illustrate key concepts.

In addition, he is refining a system created by the former Earth Science ATS, Charley Weiland, that allows students to upload class projects to a website. Clay is updating this system with a wizard that helps students get their information into the correct format and with a review module that will allow a professor to sign off on a project before it is posted to the web.

Research Support: An ongoing need in Earth Sciences is for computing support. The School has two computing facilities, which are under Clay's management. One is a teaching cluster of 20 computers and the other is a graduate computing resource with 8 computers, scanners, a digitizing table for GIS applications, and 2 large format plotters.

Clay has begun a formal outreach process through the Earth Science Graduate Student Advisory Committee. In addition, he will participate in the new student orientation for Fall Quarter. It is his hope that through outreach both facilities will become much more efficient, whether they are being used for a class or for graduate computing. He is currently upgrading the computer systems and rebuilding existing systems for improved performance.

School Support: The School of Earth Sciences has recently reevaluated and revised its strategic plan. Part of this revision calls for more outreach within the university as well as to the rest of the world (through the WWW). Clay is helping to enrich these revisions by assisting several outreach projects.

Clay is also working on a database project to store the School's various media - images, papers, streaming videos - into a central location that faculty can easily browse.