Duke ITAC - September 14, 2006 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - September 14, 2006 Minutes


Sept. 14, 2006

Pakis Bessias, John Board, Shailesh Chandrasekharan, Ken Hirsch for Dick Danner, Tracy Futhey, Christopher Gelpi, Susan Gerbeth-Jones, Michael Gettes, Michael Goodman, Billy Herndon, Rick Hoyle, Bob Newlin for David Jamieson-Drake, Julian Lombardi, Roger Loyd, Dan Murphy, Kyle Johnson, George Oberlander, Lynne O’Brien, Mike Pickett, Dalene Stangl, Forrest Smith for Molly Tamarkin, Robert Wolpert

Guests:Ginny Cake, Chris Cramer, Kevin Miller, Jen Vizas, OIT

Start time : 4:04


I. Review of Minutes and Announcements:

  • Mike Pickett – The IT@Duke website is up. It’s a bulletin board for IT issues. We’ve had 264 people log on, which means they’re registered users. We’ve had 107 different posts. There are lots of answers there, especially in project management and Web tools. A lot of questions have been posed that no one has stepped up to answer, so I encourage you and your staff to see if there’s anything you could answer.


II. dCal – Duke University Calendar Service Demo & Update, Ginny Cake

    • We rolled out dCal within OIT. We learned we needed to have buy-in from key users, like staff assistants who need to be involved in the planning, understanding what the product can and can’t do. We need to live a day in their shoes and understand how they use it.
    • Have a decision-maker identified so when questions come up you have a person to go to.
    • Documentation and communication is most important. Online help is good but it doesn’t cover everything. Also there needs to be communication about what will happen when and why. It’s best to over-communicate. One message is usually not enough.
    • Identify the resource managers, who can set up conferences, A/V aids, conference rooms, etc. You can set up resources different ways.
    • Understand who carries a small device, how they use it, what services do they have and need. The majority of people in OIT were using Blackberries. This isn’t currently supported within dCal, so we switched people to Windows mobile devices.
  • John Board – We are excited to hear about dCal and how the trial has gone.

    Ginny Cake – Let me first say that lots of people have helped make this happen, including Jen Vizas, who is the project manager, Forrest from A&S, Michael Gettes, Molly Tamarkin. This presentation will include a demo and we will talk about lessons learned, who’s eligible to use dCal, collaboration with A&S, key dates in the university rollout, and future features and integrations to consider and prioritize.

    [Michael Gettes gives dCal demonstration]

    Michael – A number of folks in OIT are using the Oracle connector for Outlook. It lets Outlook be one unified view. The email interface talks to DukeMail and the calendar interface talks to dCal. It has all the things people know and love about Outlook and all the rights and responsibilities therein. Outlook is just one option. Everything you’re seeing in this demonstration is stuff that I can make show up on my mobile phone through synchronization. You can use it with Mac, Linux, Solaris, any device supported through SynchML.

    Ginny – For lessons learned,

    Michael – Palm-based devices do synchronize.

    Ginny – We are still testing to figure out what works. We think this works with 70 to 80 percent of users.

    Ginny – Who can use dCal? Any faculty, staff or student with a valid Duke NetID. Students can keep their accounts for one year after graduation, just like email. The documentation on the Web will state that if you are using a departmental mail system go to your tech support area first for a calendar system. We don’t want people just to jump onto this; we want them to go to their department people.

    Ginny – For collaboration, we have been working with Molly about how to roll this out. We’re also working with Forrest on how to do testing and the feasibility of migrating existing Meeting Maker data. A&S also is providing feedback on documentation. We want to make sure the documentation is something an average end user can use.

    Ginny – The timeline: On Aug. 18 we brought the math department online. They’ve been giving us feedback on documentation and that helps.

    John – Any sense of how many people have switched?

    Ginny – No, we don’t have that.

    Julian Lombardi – I think it’s all of them.

    Ginny – Sept. 22 is the decision point on Meeting Maker data migration. Oct. 4 will begin general availability and as we’re requested, we’ll begin planning for departmental implementations, including providing documentation, and training the trainers. Under future features and integrations to consider and prioritize, we’re still doing discovery work on Duke event calendar integration, getting class schedules and SISS information, Lotus Notes integration, general interoperability with CalDAV. A lot of what we want to spend time today doing is answering your questions and hearing other things that may be good for us to think about.

    Jen Vizas – The department migrations will be team efforts with departments and their staffs

    Kyle Johnson – What are the training options for end users?

    Ginny – We held them in OIT, but they weren’t as well attended as we had hoped. We have a lot of tech-savvy people there, though. But we have training items that departments can use.

    Kyle – I’m concerned about training on a system we don’t know.
    Ginny – We will work with you.

    George Oberlander – Do you find that you can still effectively schedule meetings since you can decide who sees what about your meetings.

    Ginny – Yes. Within a department it will depend on what the ebb and flow is.
    Jen – One nice thing is you can put in ten different people and look at their calendars side-by-side if they let you.

    Julian – You can see what time is blocked. What I find useful about it is when you look at the meeting details you can see who agreed to put it into their calendar so you can see who has agreed to come to the program.

    Kyle – Does dCal have the ability to auto pick a time everyone can meet?

    A – Yes.

    Robert Wolpert – To what extend does this and other calendars apply to calendaring standards?

    Michael – When we talk about what’s going on with standards, Duke is participating in calendaring and scheduling consortium that has been a key driver in developing calendaring standards. Oracle has been one of key drivers of the calendaring standards. Last year Oracle announced support for CalDAV in their products around this time this year and we’re supposed to be seeing something come out, but we don’t know what that is yet.
    Shailesh – How many people at Duke will this help? Is there a lack of communication that causes people to come up with a common solution? I use Evolution and it would be nice to know what extra features this has.

    Ginny – I think what will happen is, people who are interested will use it first. Then we’ll do something more proactive. We’ll go in and say it’s available and here’s who’s using it, here’s the track record.

    Shailesh – Do you expect the students will like this?

    Ginny – I think it depends on how we work with Student Affairs. If we could get the tie-in to SISS and the calendar, I think they will see it as an advantage.

    Shailesh – Do you have a sense of what percentage would make this a success?

    Tracy Futhey – The way I look at the calendar is the way I looked at email several years ago. It wasn’t a solid service, but many now have come to view it as an infrastructure commodity. I can do it myself, but if I can get it somewhere else it’s easier. So it’s not so much a number that would be a success. It’s just an evolution of what’s been piecemealed over campus but getting more centralized. It’s a cultural change that will take time. Everything I can see in the industry, we need to have a centralized service or we’re going to be broken up in little pieces.

    Robert – The departments that run their own email are fully integrated into the system. If people don’t use calendar, if they’re using something with CalDAV, would that be useful.

    Tracy – Yes. If we only had 1,000 people on system but it’s the hub that lets everyone else communicate, that would be good.

    Susan Gerbeth-Jones – If the Nicholas School wanted people to see only Nicholas School calendars, how does that happen?

    Michael – You can set it up so can do that. If someone tried to schedule a meeting with someone whose schedule they aren’t allowed to access, in the worst case, people would get notification that someone tried to schedule something.

    Susan – How did you set up your resources?

    Michael – One at a time. Right now the directory is a base of information. Future releases will do things that one would consider more basic.

III. Introduction to Tim Lenoir and Update on ISIS

Tim Lenoir – I was invited to give an update on ISIS. I am pleased to be here at Duke. I’ve been here a couple of years now and I’m finally starting to meet people. I moved here from Stanford and I’m finding that Duke is an amazing place, a site of entrepreneurial activity of a sort I hadn’t experienced, even at Stanford.
About ISIS, I am the chair, but I don’t have a department, so I decided to rename myself the collaboratory [begins slideshow]. Everyone in my department has their own projects. I have secondary placements in art, art history, computer science, among other departments.

Two directions that I, as a researcher, work in: 1 – the field of science studies. I’m a historian of contemporary technologies, biosciences, robotics and their use in science. I just completed a book.
The other area I work in is critical studies in new media. There will probably be two new developments in new media at Duke. First is interdisciplinary appointments. Duke may get some funding. We already have an offer out to someone from the University of Chicago for a literature program and ISIS appointment. He wants to be affiliated with both. If that doesn’t work out there are other strategies being discussed. We’re not thinking in terms of departments, but in a broad collaborative effort. So we’re also looking for someone who works in art/computer science/engineering. The mark that we can make in this area is to do things like that – take advantage of Rachael Brady’s DIVE. There are various people out there – Simon Penny at UC Irvine has appointments in engineering and art. But the idea is to get buy-in from a variety of different units and look broadly.

Another thing I’m engaged in is, when I came to Duke I was already quite interested in video games, researching them and the culture of simulation. Since I’ve been here I’ve launched a couple of new courses in that area. I’ve been meeting people in the Triangle. This is a fabulous place for game development – Red Storm, Virtual Heroes, which builds modules for the Army and also collaborates with people from Duke. These are people using gaming for serious games. A number of us have gotten together from Triangle universities and game companies to form an organization to lobby the governor for money to support research projects for games. Money would be used for grants to support research.

The kind of work I do with regard to the economics of science and technology, Duke is a fabulous place to do it. We’re developing basically data mining and visualization tools for the economics of science and technology. These projects – one is at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at UC Santa Barbara. Another Duke faculty member, Gary Gereffi, is in that society and we’ve launched a collaboration here. The main focus is in looking at growing nanotechnology fields, bionanotechnology, nanomanufacturing and spintronics.

I ’ve been working with Gary at the Center on Globalization, Governance and Competitiveness. We’re looking at comparing U.S. developments with nanotechnology developments in China. He’s doing quantitative surveys. We do qualitative data. We use Google Earth to show where people are and what kinds of technology they’re using. That’s the kind of thing we’re providing Gary with that project.

North Carolina has a nanotechnology center at N.C. State. This area is the number five area in nanotechnology in research universities. We’re looking at funding possibilities and where the governor’s ideas fit, at innovation and industrial growth in North Carolina.

Another thing, Duke and UNC are doing a RENCI-supported project. They had this mandate that there should be some humanities project involved. Tracy convened a meeting. We sat around the table and found out that one of things people needed to be able to use was high-end computing.

Now we have this project, the All-Patents Initiative Collaboration. It’s a project with Hewlett Packard. They have provided us with software and we use the computing cluster here and we’ve got a sample set of the first 100 years of patents and we’re ready to go with the next years to convince people that this is a great project. We’re interested in developing tools that will let people do this that would be interesting to all kinds of social scientists.

About ISIS, we’re in a period of transition. There’s a new director, Victoria Szabo, a Ph.D. in English but one of the first generation of persons who got into the academic technology specialist fields. She was the first academic technology specialist hired at Stanford.

The ISIS 100 intro course has 37 students, which is great. We launched a focus program for freshmen called Game-2-Know that focuses on game theory in various forms. There are capstone projects that are part of the certificate – the interactive campus map on duke.edu came out of capstone project. Seven people did an amazing job of building a really useful tool. Last year’s project was an eFlyer. This year it’s Digital Durham, an attempt to reach out to community in some way. We want to do a project that involves members of the community and to do something about Durham.

We also have a new graduate certificate program. There’s only one student in it now, but we’re hoping to ramp that up.

We’ve also have taken advantage of Duke’s fondness for iPods. We hosted the first international conference on podcasting last fall. Three hundred people from all over the world came and all that was sent out about it was a Web posting. It was so successful we will do it again in mid-February. That will happen here and at Monash University in Australia.

Richard Lucic and another ISIS affiliate have gotten so famous for their iPod use that they get flown all over the world to talk about how they use podcasting in classes.

The students in the game course, which is an iPod course, are required to create podcasts. One student each week has to find something interesting about a game we’re studying and produce a nine-minute podcast about it. We’re really having a blast with the iPods.

Those are the directions ISIS is moving in. We’re really trying to make this a growing and vibrant program and it looks like it will be moving in the direction of new media.

John Board – Have you encountered anywhere where Duke’s infrastructure has inhibited what you’ve been trying to do?

Tim – We use a lot of video. We basically use a lot of video and put it behind walls where people can’t get it. We developed a video annotation tool that lets you annotate a video in real time frame-by-frame. You can use this for any fixed video. Some people are using the tool as a source for making political comments about, say, what George W. Bush is talking about. I’ve encountered a little problem about putting up all this video. It seemed to me that bandwidth and server space were more available at Stanford. But after talking to people it seems like they were able to open the floodgates and make it available.

John Board – How big is the Focus program?

Tim – 19 students.

John – I wanted to hear a little bit more about Digital Durham. What kind of projects do you see coming out of that?

Tim – It’s a project in formation right now. The idea we initially had was we started working with a scholar who has done some work on the history of Durham. She really wanted to add some digital information to that. In the course of working that up it became clear that there’s all kinds of resources here at Duke for finding out how Durham became an industrial city in the South. Perkins Library has maps from 1870s. The idea came up of creating some kind of GIS project that would link the history of specific sites to what went on there. At first I was excited about doing a project around Hayti, but the politics became immense and I decided to back away and do something that didn’t touch on so many people’s interests. I was interested in seeing ISIS get involved in a project like Learning to Make a Difference, research that involves reaching out into the community that is more than just tutoring students but creating resources that other residents can use. Hopefully the ISIS capstone students will get jazzed by that.

Forrest Smith – The researcher did get a grant and it’s up. (http://digitaldurham.duke.edu)

Tim – She’s had a number of milestones in that project. I admire her for sticking with it.

John – ISIS is in an unusual place in the university hierarchy and we wanted to make sure that just because you don’t report through the normal chains, you’re not being kept from the resources you need.

IV. IT Security Update – Chris Cramer

Chris Cramer – It’s been an interesting start of the semester. We’ve had a fair number of complaints about alleged copyright violations. On the tech security front it’s been fairly quiet. We did not have a giant outbreak of a worm for the students in the dorms. We did have an interesting experience. Microsoft a month ago announced several vulnerabilities, and said Windows 2000 machines were vulnerable. Fifteen to 20 computers were affected. Also, Godzilla was compromised. It was a local compromise. Someone had their admissions information taken and we have investigated and found out no passwords were obtained. Has SSHD been replaced? No. And no one has linked in a different library for encryption.

John – What are we doing for student machines when they’re connected for the first time?

Chris – We are doing an auto scan. I didn’t hear of a problem. Most must have XP and they have the right patches and service packs.

John – With the Kerio corporate transition, what is Duke’s official recommendation in relation to firewalls.

Chris – Kerio is reasonable for Windows XP. What’s built into 2000 doesn’t affect students or desktops.

Chris – Another thing we ought to be or will be taking up when Debbie Deyulia comes back is MacAfee’s site license, which expires in July. We’ll have to decide if we want to look into other services?

Kevin Miller – From NetReg, Chris sends us the regular updates on what to scan for so we are able to scan for what’s needed. Our only concern is the number of patches. I think we’re now scanning for double the number we were doing last year.

Chris – We have to consider how much is reasonable time. Is it 15 seconds per patch – yes or no?

Robert Wolpert – So many new viruses change quickly.

Chris – We can broadly classify malicious software into a number of different categories. Email viruses, worms. My sense right now is that with the automated systems, we’re probably fairly reasonable on the email updates and those are the ones that morph most quickly. I don’t see a crisis looming on that front.

George Oberlander – Internal audits are gearing up right now, they’re going to do audits on credit card processing.

Chris – IA has been divided into campus audit, health system audit function, and there’s a whole group that’s IT audit. Mark Phillips is starting to gear up for the 2006-07 audit program. It’ll look into Duke’s payment card industry, primarily treasury and cash management services, access control and a number of different things. I believe that when they do the credit card they’ll select a handful of departments and do a spot check.

Tracy Futhey – The next issue of Working@Duke has an article about how we’ve been trying to move ahead with eliminating SSNs, etc. It’s really helping to try to raise the awareness that even if it’s data on your machine, we really need to take care and understand which data are more important and which do we need to worry more about.

Chris – This gets the word out better. We’ve hit limits at departmental level and need to be conveying things to broader audience.

V. Wireless Network Project Update – Kevin Miller

Kevin Miller – I’ll give just a quick update on the expansion project. The goal is around 900 access points in East and West campus academic areas. Today, 580 are online and operating. We’ve had to deploy a few more than we had planned, so that’s not quiet two-thirds. But that’s still a very sizable number. We’ve spent the summer working on that. We will continue for the next few months on the next access points and the budget looks like we’ll get to about 1,000 access points. In terms of wireless use, the peak is around 2,100 simultaneous users on the wireless network, which is about what we saw last year. So we haven’t seen a dramatic rise. Since Aug 1, we’ve seen 11,000 wireless machines use the network. 

Michael Gettes – If we put up so many more access points and the usage hasn’t risen, is it because people don’t know about them?

Kevin – We are planning to do some marketing. We’re still looking at new system, the peak accesses are 400 to 500. About 25 percent of usage is on new access points and the rest on the older points.

Robert Wolpert – Our building’s coverage is spotty and we’ve not been contacted to ask how our service is doing.

Kevin – What would be logical is to do some kind of survey to see if everyone is getting the service they want.

Robert – I would like to see somewhere on a website where people can report problems.

Kevin – You can do that off the wireless page on the OIT website.

Tracy Futhey – So the overall footprint is all of the administration and academic buildings on East and West campus, and the residence halls will remain with hotspot coverage. So basically except for residence halls and athletic facilities, if you’re in a building on West and East you should have coverage.

Robert – You should reach out to people who think their coverage has had some problems.

Kevin – We will. We have had some issues. Help@OIT is the standard place to address problems.

Shailesh Chandrasekharan – It would be good to have Web page that shows where coverage is.

Kevin – We have one.

Chris Gelpi – I’m in the political science department and coverage is extremely spotty in our department. It’s a source of some significant frustration to lots of people in our department, so information on when is it coming, what can we expect, would be useful for people.

Kevin – We’ve received several questions similar to yours that have forcefully stated that wireless is required. There’s more focus than usual. We’ve reached tipping point. We had a place in the gardens that didn’t work properly and we heard about it quickly. We also have had construction in the area and we’re trying not to pull cable where it’s going to get ripped out next week.

Kevin – We’ll get the Web pages up to date.

George Oberlander – As you’ve increased coverage, have rogue access points caused a problem?

Kevin – We’ve seen a tremendous number of rogues, but it thinks our old network is a rogue network.

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