Main PC Studio Laboratory
The main PC Studio Lab is used for instruction of a number of computer-oriented courses, and generally for student work in support of these and other courses in the curriculum. During open lab times there is generally at least one student Lab Assistant (a paid position) available to assist students with computer issues as they arise. The lab has seating and computers for 60 students and one instructor. Every computer is identical in hardware and software, the former consisting of a Dell T1700 Workstation (Intel Xeon processor, quad-core at 3.5 GHz, 8 GB RAM and 1 TB hard drive), an Nvidia Quadro K600W dedicated graphics card with 1 GB RAM, and a 24” widescreen monitor. The lab also has an HP 4000 monochrome laser printer and an HP 4700 color laser printer, and each student has a semester quota of 500 free prints from any of the department’s printers (color counts as two pages). Two overhead projectors are available for instructional purposes, with a document camera and remote-assist software for classroom management. Whiteboards are also present for more “traditional” instruction if desired. Instructors have use of a sound system with speakers and microphone.
Major equipment: Hardware has been listed above, and software generally consists of all those titles that are either specifically taught in courses in the curriculum, or generally used by the students in support of their class work. The “standard” installation on all lab computers includes the complete Microsoft Office suite, Matlab (and multiple toolboxes), LabVIEW (and multiple modules), Ansys (including Fluent), Comsol, PTC Creo, SolidWorks, Working Model, Visual Studio, and a host of other basic utilities. In addition, every user has access to an Applications Catalog whereby software can be installed on a single-machine basis without requiring an administrative login. The Catalog currently lists some 210 titles, including: Adobe Creative Cloud, all of the Autodesk products (AutoCAD, Inventor, etc.), Eclipse, Minitab, RStudio, and a host of titles related to password management and host intrusion protection. Students, faculty and staff have access to and are allowed to use whatever browser they prefer, from Firefox to Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Microsoft Edge, etc.