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Campus News

UBIT launches new services, stations, spaces

Express stations

Students use express stations in the Lockwood Cybrary to check email, print documents or access software. Photo: Robert Poleszak

By SUE WUETCHER

Published September 26, 2013

UB faculty, staff and students can now easily connect their digital devices, including laptops, iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches, to the university’s secure Wi-Fi network, thanks to work by UB Information Technology staff this past summer.

The new UB Secure WiFiSetup uses a simple configuration wizard to set up devices to automatically connect to the UB Secure Wi-Fi network whenever the devices are on campus.

Employees and students only need to authenticate once using their UBITName and password; the information will be entered automatically from then on. More information is available on the UBIT website.

UB Secure is the recommended choice for connecting to UB’s Wi-Fi campus network. UBITNames and passwords, and all data transmitted from devices to the network are encrypted.

Other recent technology updates that faculty and staff can take advantage of are the new Virtual Conference service, which was launched in May, and an upgrade of the central email Web interface, launched in July.

Baldy Hall Learning Space

One of the new group-collaboration spaces in the third-floor walkway in Baldy Hall. Photo: Ashley Steves

Virtual Conference enables faculty, staff and students to conduct virtual conferences, classes or meetings using the Microsoft tool Lync in conjunction with audio and video hardware.

Lync allows presenters to share their desktops and programs, use a whiteboard and instant-message with participants, among other options.

It is available for Windows and Mac computers, as well as Android, Windows and Apple mobile devices. Visit the UBIT website for more information.

The upgraded central email Web interface affects all faculty, staff and students in the schools of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Dental Medicine and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, as well as faculty and staff from the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences who have not been migrated to central exchange email services. Some UB volunteers also use central email Web interface.

Benefits of the Web interface upgrade include improved interface stability and security, more consistency across modern Web browsers, a cleaner look, the ability to set up autosaving and drafts, message threads and the ability to place replies in the same folder as the message being replied to.

UBIT staff members also were busy over the summer working on projects to help make life easier students:

  • New, large, flat-screen monitors were installed along the colorful walls in the second-floor Cybrary in Lockwood Library, North Campus. The monitors identify exactly which computers are available, which are taken and which are turned off. New “express” stations also were installed, making it easier for students to quickly check their email, print or access UB-licensed software.
  • Public spaces in Baldy Hall on the North Campus and the Biomedical Education Building (BIOED) on the South Campus were remodeled to create new, informal learning spaces. Three group-collaboration spaces were added in the third-floor Baldy walkway, as well as one in the third-floor elevator lobby of the BIOED. Each space offers fixed-floor seating, a desk attached to the wall and a large LCD screen that students can use to display images from their laptops. Additional learning spaces are offered in Knox Hall and the Natural Sciences Complex on the North Campus, and in Diefendorf Hall on the South Campus, with more planned for the future.
  • The UB Libraries opened a media-scape room in the Oscar A. Silverman Library in Capen Hall, North Campus. The room can accommodate up to six laptops on a display screen.