Associate Dean for Computing
W.J. Wilson, BE, MSc (Saskatchewan), PhD (Cambridge)
The Engineering Computing Department provides general-access and special-purpose computing resources for the Faculty of Engineering, for undergraduates, graduates, and faculty members involved in both teaching and research. It employs a variety of hardware platforms, operating systems, software packages, and delivery environments ranging throughout Engineering.
Term-use accounts are provided for all registered students on both our WATSTAR and UNIX systems, and specialty accounts may be set up for specific projects extending beyond one term.
Our WATSTAR system is a DOS-based network which provides access to popular software packages (e.g. Windows, Word, Excel, Corel DRAW) along with centralized storage and backup of user files. Distributed printing facilities allow users to obtain a "hard copy" of what they are working on, and our Output Centre provides best-quality output at a nominal charge.
There are five general-access WATSTAR labs, and most departments within Engineering provide departmental labs for undergraduate use.
Off-campus users can access a limited number of WATSTAR machines using a modem to connect to the University Terminal Server.
Undergraduate students can create an account on one of our UNIX machines, NOVICE, which allows them the opportunity to acquire or improve the UNIX skills many employers seek.
In addition to the open Watstar labs, we provide two rooms of X-terminals, which can communicate with any other on-campus UNIX machines.
Two engineering workstation labs are available for specific course and project work. A total of 35 full-colour UNIX workstations enables undergraduate users to explore new software packages for symbolic computation, computer-aided design, visual image processing, and mathematical simulation.
In conjunction with the Department of Computing Services, we operate a consulting office to provide users with answers to their questions on supported operating systems and software. The service, available during core university operating hours, can be addressed by mail, telephone, or in person. The centre also develops and teaches special-interest courses for groups of users with specific computing needs.
The Engineering Education Research Centre (EERC) was established to improve the quality of undergraduate education, particularly through the use of appropriate information technology. The Centre co-ordinates a variety of special projects, as well as creating and managing new educational computing facilities.
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