Duke ITAC - January 29, 2015 Minutes

I. Announcements

We are excited about Google’s recent gigabit fiber announcement.  AT&T and Frontier will also be gigabit competitors in the local market.  In order to get the best service for our community, if you know of any use cases for high-bandwidth connections, please highlight and promote them as best you can.  

Last week a denial of service attack was used to overload the Duke website.  As a result and after mitigation, we migrated target of that attack (www.duke.edu) to Amazon and we have not seen any recurrence.

II. Agenda Items

4:10- 4:35 – Special Guest, Robert Califf, (15 minute presentation, 10 minute discussion)

What it is:   Robert Califf, MD is the vice chancellor of clinical and translational research at Duke University School of Medicine and a global leader in cardiovascular medicine, clinical and translational research and medical economics. Earlier this week it was announced that he had been named the next FDA Deputy Commissioner.

Why it’s relevant:  Researchers at Duke, in collaboration with Stanford and Google [x], are planning a comprehensive initiative to understand the molecular markers that are key to health and the changes in those biomarkers that may lead to disease.

Google Baseline Consortium:  Duke Medicine, Google and Stanford School of Medicine.  Data set will be behind a firewall and will be available to any researcher in the world.  Pilot study is currently underway.  5 year project, but meant to be perpetual.  National federation of efforts to do away with small pockets of data available only to a limited set of investigators.

While Apple is developing consumer devices, Google is developing medical devices.  Regulations for these kinds of devices are still developing.  Public trust is a big issue. 

Questions and Comments:

Do you foresee any limitations in the existing Duke infrastructure?  In terms of regulatory compliance, we are probably going overboard.  The public is willing to trade their information as long as it’s transparent in how and why that data is being used.  Security vs. compliance – they aren’t the same thing.

Are the people at NCBI involved?  It appears, that to some degree, yes.

Trainees and students are expected to be offered opportunities to be Google Fellows.

How will this be translated to clinical care?  Will there still be a need for clinical trials?  This will not replace the need for clinical trials, but it will perhaps allow for more targeted research.

4:35- 4:50 – Distributed Antenna System (DAS), Bob Johnson, John Andreala (10 minute presentation, 5 minute discussion)

What it is:  Duke’s cellular phone users will see improved coverage throughout all areas of campus by the end of March as a result of the completion of the Distributed Antenna System (DAS) project.

Why it’s relevant: The DAS broadcasts cellular signals more directly to campus buildings and cover a much larger area than in-building hardware. We will provide an update on the status of this project, including the remaining schedule and what cellular users can expect in the coming weeks. 

This project was started a little over a year ago.  3 major carriers (AT&T, Verizon and Sprint) have committed to help extend cellular coverage across campus.  We will hit 50% coverage across campus once North Hospital building has been completed.  Still a lot in progress.

Some problems encountered along the way.  IDAS (indoor DAS) is tied into carrier network so they need to be sensitive to interference.  There has been a lot of interference from light ballasts across the campus, so we’ve had to repair around 52 light ballasts, especially Allen.

This is the first implementation in this type of model (neutral host).  Since it has been successful, the carriers are thinking about doing it across the country.

Residence halls are now fully complete.  No phone lines in those buildings anymore, so safety was an issue.  All other remaining buildings (e.g. research, Sanford) between now and first quarter of 2015.

Project has been moving along well.  As building is updated, fliers have been left on the doors.  It started out a little choppy because only Verizon was ready to go, but all carriers should be caught up within three weeks. 

Started choppy day one due to permitting, carriers, etc.  Verizon first; Sprint just "lit up" this week.  Carriers are on board; great because we aren't paying for it.  Others are looking to use this model across the country. 

The old radio system (used by police department) has been out of support for a long time.  Currently about 300 radios remaining in service were moved to the state radio system, but this is not available for non-emergency use.  Push to talk phones and Wi-Fi phones will be able to be used instead of the current 2-way radios and pagers.

If there's anything that has a critical impact on your mission, let Bob know as things can be moved around if necessary. 

Questions and Comments: 

Bob will find a place to make the spreadsheet available online for people to review.  If a building is not on this list, it’s on a separate femtocell list since that technology will be applied to those buildings. 

4:50- 5:15 – Maker Technologies & Innovation Studio, Julian Lombardi, Evan Levine, Michael Faber (15 minute presentation, 10 minute discussion)

What it is:  An update on OIT Co-Lab's Innovation Studio and Duke's broader exploration of computer aided design, 3D printing, and more.

Why it’s relevant:  Accessible technologies, decreasing costs, and rising interest among students for innovative Do-It-Yourself projects have made the implementation of Maker Technologies at Duke a priority. Historically limited to Engineering programs with commercial equipment, today our students across a wide range of disciplines are creating things previously unimaginable. 

Maker technologies include 3D printing but goes way beyond that:  digital fabrication, rapid prototyping, printing, cutting, modeling, soldering and so on.  Not new to Duke; engineering has been doing this for a long time.  What is new is increased accessibility, cheaper cost, consumer-grade/entry level but not low quality.  We're working to make this something anyone can use at a reasonable price.  Started with 3D printers in MPS lab; highly used; 3D printing challenges in Co-Lab; lots of interest (approximately 25 entries this last go around).  A full-blown Makerspace at Duke is probably a larger effort.  Wanted to stand this up quickly, learn technologies, and figure out what would be necessary for a larger-scale operation.  Took existing space in Telcom building and spent a little money on the equipment itself and very little on the room/space itself.  The space is now running with card access set up. 

Tried to maximize space (400 sq feet) while leaving some open workspaces.  

Station 1 equipment:  3 MakerBots from the MPS (FDM-type printers), stereolithography printer (10x resolution as compared to FDM printers), 2 Printrbots which are about $600 each, and a vinyl cutter. Working on an e-print like service which would allow students to queue up jobs to send to the Printrbots.  

Station 2 equipment:  Desktop ShopBot (24x18 CNC router)

Station 3 equipment:  30 watt CO2 laser cutter.  Material can be cut or etched.

Station 4 equipment:  Rolling cart of random goodies:  Arduinos, Raspberry Pi, soldering irons, etc.

Project FreeSpace, born at Hack Duke event last semester.  Students were monitoring occupation rates for a study room; a phone app could allow one to schedule rooms or find times of likely inactivity.  This is a perfect example of the kind of project we want to see in this space.  Initial estimate: $90 per device per room.  Expecting proof-of-concept of 5 done by end of semester.  If you have study rooms and you want to try this out let Michael know. 

Questions and Comments:

3D printing is free for students at this point.  How are we going to handle money in the future with other projects?  Co-Lab is handling some of this already through grants.  Keeping stock, some of which can be flashed back to original state.  Students may want to bring their own materials for certain projects (like wood for the ShopBot). 

Any update on the Pratt makerspace in Gross Hall? Upcoming meeting about this.  Hoping that some of the things this new space has introduced can be shared with Pratt; this will be a learning process for everyone (e.g. are students able to operate the equipment independently?)  Gross Hall space may end up being more of a larger space with more control over who can use the space (project groups).

Who has access to this space?  Open question at the moment.  Still trying to figure model.  Student workers will work there, scheduling opening hours when workers are there.  Figuring out what can be autonomous and what requires oversight.  Taking baby steps, figuring out as we go.  It’s intended for general use and is DukeCard controlled, so if you would like access to try it out, talk to Evan or Michael. 

Location is Telcom 118. 

5:15 - 5:30 – The Edge Tour, Tim McGeary, Brittany Woffold (15 Minutes)

What it is:   The Edge is the new space in Bostock Library designed to promote student research and team learning. This space will meet the increasing needs by students and faculty for interdisciplinary, team-based, data-driven and digitally reliant research.


Why it’s relevant:  The walls are filled with innovated data visualization, such as maps showing the history of science fiction from Plato’s The Republic to Star Wars, and graphs following the increase in research papers on autism. The staff at the Edge will assist students and research teams in finding the right tools to use to explore data and present research. Today you will see up close this exciting new space that has already proven to be immediately popular by students.