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IT Connect

Information technology tools and resources at the UW

December 14, 2017

E-Resource: Underground and Independent Comics, Comix, and Graphic Novels

Comic strip with "wow" in dialogue bubble

Underground and Independent Comics, Comix, and Graphic Novels — brought to you by the UW Libraries — is a scholarly, primary-source digitized collection of adult comic books and graphic novels. The database includes work by artists revered and others disregarded, and contains interviews, criticism, and journal articles too. Browse by artist, character, subject and more.


December 12, 2017

Get free computer tech support at UW’s student-run Computer Vet

Man helping another man with computer.

Bring your laptop and take advantage of the Computer Vet’s free drop-in service, located at the Technology Help Desk on the 2nd floor of the Odegaard Undergraduate Library. Staffed by experienced UW students, they can help install software funded by the Student Technology Fee, troubleshoot software problems, update operating systems, remove peer-to-peer file sharing programs and clear viruses and malware from infected computers.


December 11, 2017

IT collaborations transform the UW

two people work together in front of a computer

Read how UW-IT is collaborating with partners to advance research on microbes for a cleaner environment, predict flood risk in the Pacific Northwest, and connect health professionals across borders in Africa, and more in a series on UW-IT partnerships. UW-IT collaborates with partners across all three campuses, UW medical centers and global research operations to advance teaching, learning, innovation and discovery. Find out how in UW-IT’s 2017 Year in Partnerships.


December 8, 2017

Faculty: Sign up for Evidence-Based Teaching program and experiment with learning technologies

Instructor in front of classroom of students

Join a community of faculty invested in improving teaching and student learning outcomes using learning technologies and other pedagogical best practices. The Evidence-Based Teaching program provides on-demand support from pedagogy and tech experts and collaboration with peers across disciplines. Faculty participate in online discussion boards and bimonthly meetings, observe peers in their classrooms, and learn what research says about effective teaching, how to experiment with new approaches and how to conduct classroom-based research.


December 7, 2017

No more 24-hour wait to access your online tax forms

paper tax forms with a computer mouse

Employees no longer need to wait 24 hours to access private tax information online. That security delay has been removed because you now access your tax forms when you sign in to Workday using two-factor authentication. This means you can access your W-2 online as soon as it becomes available – two weeks earlier than if you wait for the mail! Opt out of receiving paper tax forms with these simple steps.


December 6, 2017

Learn to catch the phish: Protect your information and University data

Email symbol with a warning not to open over a laptop

Find out how to recognize deceptive emails called phishing. There has been a recent uptick in the number of these scams that try to trick you into providing account names and passwords to gain access to valuable personal and institutional data and resources. Phishing emails often use email links and attachments and try to persuade you to download seemingly benign files that contain various types of malicious software (malware), including ransomware. Keep your personal information and UW data secure.


December 5, 2017

Creation of new tools disabled for select Catalyst Web Tools on Dec. 22

laptop on desk with Catalyst screenshot

Six Catalyst Web tools — Collect It, CommonView, GoPost, QuickPoll, UMail and WebQ Quiz — are on a timeline to retire. Through Dec. 21, instructors can create new Catalyst tools for their winter and spring 2018 quarter classes. After that date, they can access their existing tools, but new tools cannot be created. The retirement stems from the University’s commitment to modernize our technology infrastructure and allocate resources to solutions that best meet demand. Find out about UW-IT’s plan to help users transition from Catalyst to alternative options.


December 4, 2017

Instructors: What will you do when your classes can’t meet?

cars covered in snow

Take the readiness quiz and check out technology recommendations on how to conduct your class and communicate with your students when University operations are affected by outages, severe weather or other disruptions. The technology toolkit covers four areas: putting course materials online, remote access to important resources, established channels of communication with and between your students, and how to conduct class online.


November 30, 2017

Students discover the power of scientific supercomputing to advance their research

Laurel Marsh with simulation of wind turbine on computer screen using Hyak

UW doctoral students Laurel Marsh and Whitney Thomas are discovering the advantage that a supercomputer like Hyak can bring to their research.

They are among 13 students enrolled in Pramod Gupta’s scientific supercomputing course, Astronomy 598, designed to introduce graduate students to Hyak, the UW’s on-site shared cluster supercomputer, supported by UW Information Technology (UW-IT).

Colorful cryo-electron microscopy image of human infecting coronavirus

Hyak was used by Lexi Walls, a PhD candidate in the Department of Biochemistry, to determine the structure of the spike protein of a human coronavirus pictured here. Photo: Lexi Walls and Melody Campbell.

“While supercomputing was once reserved for a few branches of science such as physics and astronomy, that is no longer the case,” said Gupta, a research scientist with the UW Department of Astronomy. “It’s common everywhere.”

Gupta has taught the course for the past three years, and he recently presented a talk on the course at the international Supercomputing 2017 conference held in Denver in November.

Students in his course come from a variety of backgrounds, ranging from fields in the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering, the College of the Environment and the School of Medicine.

Laurel Marsh, a PhD student the Department of Mechanical Engineering, is using Hyak to investigate the speed of the water flow in front of and behind a submerged turbine, the kind that could be used to capture tidal energy in the ocean or rivers for renewal energy. Only, to take advantage of this source of energy, researchers need to understand the fluid mechanics of the water flow.

Laurel Marsh with simulation of water flow on Hyak

Laurel Marsh, PhD student, Department of Mechanical Engineering

She depends on Hyak to build and validate a computer model of water flow around the turbine. The model is a three-dimensional mesh grid made up of six million cells. Hyak runs through thousands of iterations as the model simulates a rotating turbine and how the turbine extracts energy from the water flow. Hyak speeds through these calculations, attaining a level of precision that would otherwise be impossible said Marsh.

Whitney Thomas, a PhD student in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, is studying the potential for plasma – a gaseous state of matter composed of charged particles that interact strongly with electromagnetic fields – to harness microwaves for a variety of uses, including wireless communication and radar cloaking. She is using Hyak to simulate the behavior of a plasma photonic crystal application that can control microwave frequencies. Hyak runs computer algorithms developed in the UW’s Computational Plasma Dynamics Lab, which does not have an individual allocation on Hyak. Because these computationally intense algorithms depend on parallel supercomputers, Thomas gets access to Hyak through the student-led High Performance Computing Club.

Whitney Thomas with computer model on Hyak

Whitney Thomas, PhD student, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Any student — undergraduate or graduate — can gain access to the Hyak supercomputer by joining the High Performance Computing Club. The Student Technology Fee has awarded nearly $800,000 in funding to the club for access to Hyak and storage space on lolo, a shared central file system for research archives.

“Using a supercomputer for scientific computing is very different from using a desktop or laptop,” said Gupta, “and there is a learning curve for using Hyak.”

“There are a lot of Harry Potter-like spells that you need to know so that you can tell the supercomputer what to do,” he said.

Students in the course learn how to use the supercomputer effectively. They learn how to request nodes through the scheduler, and how to do parallel computing by dividing their scientific computation so that all of the supercomputer’s processors are used.

“After the course, the students can use Hyak to enable and speed up their research and make new discoveries while they are at UW,” Gupta said. “Moreover, since Hyak is very similar to the largest supercomputers in the world, the students can also use these skills after they graduate from UW.”


November 29, 2017

Submit application for free UW video captioning

Bergstrom and West: Calling B.S. in the Age of Big Data talking about why they captioned their lectures

You can apply to have your UW video captioned by UW-IT’s Accessible Technology Services for no charge, making it more accessible to everyone. Eligible videos must be widely available and used multiple times. More than 450 videos from UW departments and units have already been captioned for free, totaling over 140 hours. To learn more about why captioning is important, watch the video, Making Videos Accessible.


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