FAST TRACK Upgrade of the Fishery Sciences Building Quantitative Computer Lab
The Fishery Sciences Building Quantitative Computer Lab was established with STF funding in 1997 and fully refunded in 2002 and 2007. The School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences provides access, supervision, general assistance, and technical support. The labs serve the needs of undergraduate and graduate students in the southwest campus (Aquatic & Fishery Sciences, Oceanography, Marine Affairs) as well as many other departments (e.g., mathematics, zoology, chemistry, genetics, sociology, political sciences, English, biology) that use the General Assignment Classrooms in the Fishery Sciences Building. We propose to replace the existing 10 STF funded computers and to meet the needs of the student base that use this facility on a daily basis.
The School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences Labs has maintained and managed a Student Technology Fee Computer lab since 1997. We are seeking to replace an aged and antiquated seven year old fleet of lab computers and are asking the committee to fund 10 new higher end computational desktop computer systems. In accordance to Appendix A of the Student Technology Fee Funding Categories, this proposal falls under Category 1 - Computer Labs.
The Fishery Sciences Building Drop-in Computer Labs were established with STF funding in 1997. The labs received AT logic board and memory upgrades from a 1999 STF proposal. In 2002 and in 2007, STF fully funded and replaced all 33 of the computers in the two labs. In 2013, STF funds fully replaced the aging fleet of 21 computers in our “walk in” computer lab. The 7 year old fleet of 10 computers in the Quantitative Lab were left alone.
This proposal seeks to replace the 10, seven year old STF computer systems in the Fishery Sciences Building Quantitative Lab. Staff from the School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences provides access, supervision, assistance, and support.
While the School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences is the lead for this proposal, the students served are frequent users of the quantitative lab: undergraduate and graduate students from the School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences, Forestry, QERM, School of Oceanography, Marine Affairs, along with a wide range of students who have classes in General Assignment Classrooms (e.g., mathematics, zoology, chemistry, genetics, sociology, political sciences, English, biology), in the Fishery Sciences Building. There are four General Assignment Classrooms in the Fishery Sciences Building that, on average, host up to 700 students per any one given day.
This quantitative lab provides general access to computer resources, for a large number of UW students, in a remote portion of campus quite distant from labs of comparable mission in the Odegaard Undergraduate Library, and Mary Gates Hall.
Benefits to Students and the University
This facility exists to serve student needs. It provides a place in this remote part of campus where students can work on higher end computational needs, class assignments, check email, browse internet resources, and make use of computational, simulation, statistical, and GIS hardware and software not available in other drop-in labs. These higher end dedicated processing computers will further meet the extensive modeling and simulation needs requested by the students. This proposal responds to anecdotal comments and surveys from students using the lab. With this proposal we are addressing requests to modernize and replace the existing 10 computers to meet current student needs for higher end computational computers as dedicated modeling and simulation platforms. Those needs include larger energy and heat efficient flat-screen monitors, new computer systems with faster Xeon processors and more faster memory, a modern 64-bit operating system that can address a multi-threading and multi-core computing environment
This proposal continues the partnership between the School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences and the College of The Environment to provide a drop-in lab to this remote portion of campus. The school will continue to provide the licenses for software related to its academic programs, as well as the continued staffing and support necessary to make the facility a useful one for students.
If funded, this upgrade would be completed in the within a 30 days of when the hardware arrives.
Resources Provided by Department
Technical and financial support for this drop-in lab is provided by the School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences. The computer support group is located within the Fishery Sciences Building and is available 8:00-5:00 Monday thru Friday. The group consists of a full-time Senior Computer Specialist and .5 FTE of student assistance.
The School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences is fully committed to the Student Technology Fee computers and has recently replaced the aging tables and chairs in the computing facilities at a cost of $30,000 to the school.
Access Restrictions (if any)
The Quantitative lab is available on a first-come basis to all registered students in the University during normal business hours of 7:30 to 5:30. The Quantitative Lab is secured with locked doors. All SAFS students are given the code and any other UW student may acquire the code by simply asking the SAFS Computing Staff.
Over time, we have accumulated a number of anecdotal comments from students regarding improvements that they would like to see in the drop-in labs. We also conducted a survey of student using the lab and found overwhelming support for faster, more modern computers that allow for dedicated intensive modeling and simulation processing. A few of the student comments include:
-Camille Hair, Student, Aquatic & Fishery Sciences
“The computer FSH-209-047 is the slowest computer I have used since 1998. It took 20 minutes to log in and open Chrome, and once I waited through all of that I couldn't actually go on any websites. I don't know if it has a virus or what. I went on another computer because I couldn't stand how slow it was and this computer worked perfectly fine and fast. I think it's just 47 that is awful. Not sure if there's anything you can do.”
-Amy Green, Student, Aquatic & Fishery Sciences
“I absolutely support funding for the SAFS computer labs. My own personal computer is outdated and slow, so I often use the computer labs for homework, projects, and research. These newer computers would offer speed, programs that I may not personally own, and the opportunity to collaborate with other students while each having a computer to work on. As outdated computers and technology are less and less useful, there is a need to replace these 10 computers. Thank you!.”
-David McGowan, Student, Aquatic & Fishery Sciences
“I support your Student Technology Fee grant application to replace 10 computers and monitors in the FSH 209 lab. This computer lab is a valuable resource to SAFS graduate students, but whose value is diminishing due to a lack of modern computers that can provide the computing power needed to run complex models. Long waits for model outputs are not uncommon due to reliance upon 7-year old machines.”
-Kelli Johnson, Felipe Hurtado-Ferro, Lee Qi, Caitlin Allen, Kotaro Ono, Chantel Wetzel, Students, Aquatic & Fishery Sciences
“We are writing to ask for your support of the request from the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (SAFS) for new computers. As graduate students in SAFS we rely on computers on a daily basis. More importantly we rely on computing speed to run complex non-linear models, where some times we are running models on multiple computers while trying to meet tight deadlines. The request by SAFS for ten new computers to replace outdated machines will help fulfill this need.
Last summer every member of our lab and a few members of other labs in SAFS were in the graduate student computer lab running models prior to attending an internationally attended fisheries conference in Boston, MA. Utilizing the computing power in the lab was vital to completing our analyses in time for the conference and for their subsequent publication. Furthermore, the ability to work together in a single location as a group helped increased our learning and facilitated collaboration which continues today.
By upgrading the outdated computers in the SAFS computing lab it will enable increased collaboration between members of the SAFS community and facilitate the respect of SAFS graduates in the greater fisheries community by enhancing our ability to produce publications.
We think this request for new computers is important and will benefit the SAFS community at large. Thank you for your support.
Marine Population Assessment and Managing Group.”
Peter Kuriyama-, Student, Aquatic & Fishery Sciences
“I fully support new STF funding for the two SAFS computing labs. My research focus is mostly quantitative and I rely on the lab computers to run models that are very, very difficult to run on outdated machines.”
Allison McCoy-, Student, Aquatic & Fishery Sciences
“I am a master’s student in the School for Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. The computer labs in our building have been particularly helpful for me when working with my peers. I frequently use the lab to work on projects and homework assignments with other students. The large monitors are super helpful for working back and forth between two programs, which is very common, and for looking at what my peers are doing on their screen. Of course the computing power of the machines is also very important. Many people in our program run very large and sophisticated models that take hours (10-20 sometimes), sometimes people even run these on multiple machines at the same time. With a powerful enough computer, I can even use a machine to do other work while it is running the modeling software in the background. Please consider helping our program update our older computers and monitors!.”
Louisa Harding-, Student, Aquatic & Fishery Sciences
“When I began my graduate program at SAFS in Autumn 2009, my personal computer was a dinosaur - a 7 year-old iBook that couldn't connect to the internet wirelessly. As a result, I used the graduate student computer lab for all of my computing needs for the first few months of graduate school. It was an invaluable resource for me. However, the computers we have now, are the same computers we had when I began my degree and they are becoming dinosaurs themselves. As the software is updated, the machines get clunkier and clunkier. Currently, it takes so long for the computers to log in, that I can barely stand to use them. Having designated computers for graduate students to use may not be a "sexy" technology request, but it truly ensures that we are able to do our work and succeed.”
Michael Clawson-, Student, Aquatic & Fishery Sciences
“I would like to express my support for the STF funding proposal to purchase 10 computers and associated equipment for the fishery sciences building computer Lab (room 209). This lab is regularly used by a large number of students, and is one of the only labs available in this portion of campus. Students use this lab for individual and group homework alike. The departments in this part of campus serve students, both undergraduate and graduate with computing needs that go above and beyond general internet browsing and word processing. These students need up to date, powerful machines to support not only an advanced technical education, but both graduate and undergraduate research aspirations. Thank you for the consideration of this proposal.”
These Dell Precision T3610 computers would be equipped with an Intel Xeon E5-1607 v2 3.0GHz Quad-Core processor, 16GB of DDR3 1866MHZ RAM, 256GB SSD HD, 1 TB SATA secondary HD, 512MB FirePro 2270 DVI video card, media card reader, Windows 8 Pro, Gigabit NI, USB Keyboard, USB 6-button laser mouse, 24” wide screen flat panel display, and 3 year on-site warranty.Justification
This Dell Precision T3610 computer system is consistent with student recommendations for a modern processor computer suitably equipped for current student usage. This make and model of Dell is also consistent with the other 21 Student Tech Fee funded computers in the existing computer labs.
State Sales Tax on UW purchased computer systems.Justification
This is the state sales tax on purchased computer items and we are asking the committee to fund the tax.
Total requested: $26,008.23
Total funded: $26,008.23
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