No annual report


Proposal ID 2015-015
Submitted January 13, 2015
Owner rlhugo
Department Language Learning Center
Category Remote Computing
Funding Status Partially Funded
Metric Score 4.19


  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Paul Aoki
  • Director
  • (206) 543-0536
  • Denny Hall, Room 108 Box 353140 Seattle, WA 98195
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Sherri Huber
  • Office Manager
  • (206) 543-0536
  • Denny Hall, Room 108 Box 353140 Seattle, WA 98195
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Michael Shapiro
  • Interdivisional Dean Humanities
  • 206-221-8552
  • (CMU): 071



Program Coordinator Note: This proposal is to last for five years

Demand for streaming media is at an all time high and continues to increase. Language students in particular are in need of high quality, well organized, resources that can support their language learning efforts. This proposal seeks to expand the offerings and improve the accessibility of language resources for students at the Language Learning Center.

Proposal 2013-061 resulted in a thorough exploration of cloud-based, mobile friendly streaming media options and a successful pilot using the Wowza media system hosted on a server in the Amazon Web Service (AWS) cloud. Since the time the last proposal was offered new options for cloud based server hosting have come to the foreground. After a recent reevaluation of these options it has become clear that the Standard Hosted Server cloud services offered by UWIT will not only meet student’s needs for streaming media, but it is considerably less costly than other more well-known services (e.g., AWS, Azure)

Currently, the LLC maintains its own physical server boxes for these purposes and they are beginning to break, crash and become too slow to handle the student access loads. Physical servers are no longer feasible for a few reasons: First, it is more difficult to provide stable, load-balanced media delivery. Second, cloud services are more affordable than physical servers with the historical failure rate of 3-5 years. Third, the Language Learning Center will be moving to Condon while Denny Hall is being remodeled. Server facilities are limited in Condon Hall and after the remodel, Denny Hall will no longer have a dedicated server room for the LLC. In order to continue using physical servers, the LLC would have to pay additional fees to have them housed in the UW Tower, which improves the savings for using the cloud vs. physical servers even more.

Therefore, instead of pursuing replacement hardware, which would be more costly (roughly $13,000), we seek to migrate to the more robust and budget conscious option of leveraging cloud computing via UW IT’s Standard Hosted Server.

Utilizing the Wowza streaming system in the cloud allows us to migrate our media from the Quicktime format. With this change, students not only will have improved quality and speed of delivery, but they can access the media on mobile devices as well. The LLC’s tech staff has also developed a brand new media database and delivery system that will allow us to provide even better organization and delivery of media. Many of the languages the UW offers currently lack sufficient authentic language materials on the web. However, even if a language has a large amount of related media online, it is rarely organized or prepared in a way that can efficiently meet the needs of language learners at various stages of the learning process. The LLC provides the service of curating these materials for students.

We have successfully conducted the pilot, which uncovered even more
demand for this service than expected from various departments and their students.

We are open to utilizing other cloud services, but according to our research the UW Tower service is now the most cost effective option that can support the software we require.

Category Justification

The servers are used to support software and media that is accessed remotely by students.


Foreign language study is increasingly necessary in our more globalized and cosmopolitan world. Students, recognizing this trend, study in increasing numbers, not only the international languages such as Chinese, French, and Spanish, but also less common languages including Persian, Swahili, English as a Second Language, and Tagalog. Additionally the LLC labs are often used by ESL students. These labs are some of the few, if not the only, facilities on campus where these languages are fully supported. Finally, students in the UW’s College of Arts and Sciences are required to take at least one full year of foreign language study, meaning that approximately 15,000 students are currently enrolled in one of the 50 foreign languages taught on campus. The LLC provides these students with the modern multimedia and multilingual computing resources needed for language study in a constantly digitizing world. Today, with the right technology, students can listen and interact with foreign language audio and video in larger groups as well as communicate with native speakers from around the globe. The Language Learning Center provides students with the tools and technologies that enable them to master one or more languages during their time as students at the UW. Research has shown that an interactive multimedia experience has a positive effect on how well and efficiently students learn foreign languages.

Benefits to Students and the University

As demand increases from students, this proposal will help move our streaming media out from under the currently lagging server hardware and limited software. Students will be able to access the media at a faster, more reliable rate and on mobile devices.

Departmental Endorsements

I endorse this very important STF proposal. Founded in the late 1940s, the Language Learning Center is one of the earliest technology centers at the UW. It has provided students access to language and culture beyond the written text in the form of audio and video in the earlier days and full digital multimedia with access to language, culture, people, and countries 24/7/365. As a university with international reputation on the Pacific Rim, this STF will continue to provide students with access to the world through writing systems other than English along with the highest quality audio and video resources to extend students' interests and language maintenance and self-study.
Paul Aoki, Director, Language Learning Center
I fully endorse the LLC's proposal to utilize with new web technology. Faster and more reliable systems would be great for students.
Thank you for your consideration.
Sherri Huber, Office Manager, Language Learning Center
The following individuals directly oversee the implementation of any new equipment, and wholeheartedly support this proposal:
Bob Majors, Senior Computer Specialist, Language Learning Center
Larry Lesage, Labs Coordinator, Language Learning Center

Prof. Emily Bender, Computational Linguistics
Prof. Katarzyna Dziwirek, Chair of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Prof. Krystyna Untersteiner Slavic Languages and Literatures, Lecturer
Chair UW Polish Studies Endowment Committee
Hedwige Meyer
Department of French and Italian Studies, Language Coordinator
Department of French and Italian Studies, Lecturer

Klaus Brandle
Associate Professor of Germanics

Installation Timeline

The installation and setup would begin immediately. The server is already set up and running but needs the STF funding before we can make it fully available.

Resources Provided by Department

The LLC will provide all of the server/software installation and maintenance labor as well as any media creation and migration labor.

Access Restrictions (if any)

All UW Students, unless there are specific copyright restrictions to certain content, will be able to access the system.

Student Endorsements

I am frustrated by not having easy access to language files on my mobile device.
rik koncel-kedziorski
Linguistics, Graduate Student

Maria Burgess
Linguistics, Graduate Student

Nathan Loggins
Linguistics, Graduate Student

Rachael Tatman
Linguistics, Graduate Student

Amie De Jong
Linguistics, Graduate Student

Kellianne Bennett
Linguistics, Graduate Student

Reliable and high quality streaming media is important resource for language instructors and students
Anatoliy Klots
Slavic Languages and Literatures, Graduate Student

Joel Strom
Department of French and Italian Studies, Graduate Student

Wendy Kempsell Jacinto
Linguistics, Graduate Student

Jan Wanot
Language Student

Having mobile friendly, high quality media is vital step for language learning on this campus.
Russell Hugo
Linguistics, Graduate Student

Tess Sesniak
Language Student


Group Funded Item Unit price Quantity Subtotal

Yearly Server Cost

$4,800.00 3 $14,400.00

Maximum Config (5CPU) + (32GB RAM) + (800GB HDD)


This will provide secure, stable and fast access for students to the media resources.

Total requested: $24,000.00

Total funded: $14,400.00


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