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December 2011

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December 20, 2011

New Issue of Connect Magazine Now Available!

The latest edition of the ITS magazine, Connect: Information Technology at NYU, is now available. This issue highlights the monumental task of transferring every NYU E-mail and Calendar account to Google Apps for Education. It also features useful tips on data privacy and security; NYU's new Spatial Data Repository, which greatly facilitates the scholarly use of location-based data; campus-wide improvements to NYURoam, the University's wireless network; and exciting success stories about NYU Stern garnering an innovation award and national media attention for their iPad course pack project, and an NYU professor using NYU's high performance computing resources to conduct research that earned him the Nobel Prize in Economics.

To read the full issue, visit

We hope you enjoy this issue of Connect. As always, we welcome any comments, questions, or feedback you may have, as well as ideas for future issues:

December 15, 2011

Connect-Direct, December 2011

Volume 20, No. 2
Connect-Direct is a publication of NYU's Information Technology Services (ITS), offering computer-related news, security alerts, and other information of interest to people who use IT at NYU. Thank you for reading Connect-Direct!


Preparing for the Winter Break & Winter Session


LMS Project: Moving from Blackboard to Sakai
On November 14, 2011, NYU announced the plan to replace the Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS) with Sakai. The transition will take place over the next two years, with a targeted completion date of September 2013. Detailed planning for the transition to Sakai is now underway. The planning process will be overseen by the Teaching Technology Committee and will include broad consultation with the University community. For more information, and updates as the project progresses, see

Fastest NYU HPC Cluster Coming Soon to NYU Abu Dhabi
The NYU Abu Dhabi Institute and the NYUAD Technology Group in partnership with ITS are pleased to announce plans for the fastest high performance computing (HPC) cluster at NYU to date. This cluster, known as Bu Tinah after a private natural reserve in the waters of Abu Dhabi, will be housed in Abu Dhabi and is expected to be available by Spring 2012. It will be a Hewlett Packard 512-node, 6,144-core cluster with a theoretical peak performance of 89 Teraflops, more than 26 Terabytes of memory, and 600 Terabytes of storage. The cluster will provide an exciting new resource to NYU Abu Dhabi Institute-funded researchers working on projects with high computational needs. For more information about this project as it progresses, send e-mail to

Spring 2012 ITS & NYU Libraries Training Sessions
ITS and the NYU Libraries offer a variety of free training sessions that can help you take advantage of technology and Library resources in support of your research and coursework.

ITS training sessions ( will be available in-person and via iLearn during the Spring semester, and are currently scheduled to cover topics such as:

  • Blackboard: Getting Started
  • Blackboard: Grade Center
  • Consultation and Special Training
  • Collaboration Tools at NYU
  • Digital Studio Tour
  • NYURoam Wireless Workshops
  • NYU Calendar
  • NYU Docs
  • NYU E-mail and Google Groups
  • NYU Google Apps for Education
  • NYU Sites
  • NYU Wikis
  • Turnitin – NYU's Plagiarism Detective Tool

For Libraries classes, visit; these include Data Service tutorials presented in collaboration with ITS and covering topics in statistical software, mapping/GIS software, research design and publishing, the NYU Survey Service (Qualtrics), as well as data collection and accessing the Spatial Data Repository.


Turn Off Your Computer & Other Devices While Away
In preparation for the holidays, ITS would like to remind you to turn off your computer while you are away from the University. Turning off your computer is an important step for several reasons:

  • If a new security patch comes out and you've forgotten to activate your automatic security updates features, your computer will not be compromised while you are away.
  • If there is an existing security vulnerability that your computer is already susceptible to, it will not get infected or broken into over the break. Keep in mind, however, that it is important to update your computer's security features as soon as you return from the break!
  • It will help save energy and help make you a good University citizen! For even greater power savings, turn off the monitor, printer, speakers, and other peripherals, and unplug the computer or turn off the power strip it is connected to.

If you need to leave your computer turned on to work remotely while the University is closed, you can take these steps to save energy:

  • Turn off your monitor and printer and any peripherals (your computer's speakers, for example) that you will not be using.
  • For additional computer energy savings recommendations, check the NYU Facilities & Construction Management website at

And remember that the Policy on Responsible Use of NYU Computers and Data applies whether you're working in your office or working from home; please take a few minutes to reacquaint yourself with it.

Set Your Voice Mail & E-mail Vacation Messages
ITS recommends that individuals and departments update their voice mail greetings to reflect their status during the Winter Break. We suggest that you explain that the University is closed, including the dates, and whether or not you will call in to retrieve messages during the holiday. You can also set up an e-mail "vacation responder" via the Settings menu at the top right of the NYU E-mail screen to alert those who contact you as to your status during the holiday period. For directions on changing your voice mail greeting and setting an automatic e-mail notification, see

Update Your Address to Ensure Receipt of Your W-2
If you are an NYU faculty or staff member or student employee, the University will soon be mailing your 2011 Form W-2 to you. Check the address on your paycheck or Payment Image (available via the Payment Image Viewing channel on the Work tab in NYUHome), and if necessary update your address by no later than January 6, 2012 to ensure timely receipt of your W-2.

You can easily update your address using ePASS. To do so, log into NYUHome using your NYU NetID and password, click the Work tab, and click Login in the ePASS Employee Self-Service channel. Enter your NetID and password if prompted, then click the ePASS: Employee Self Service link. Next, click Home Information in the left navigation menu, and make your changes. Your new information will be updated in the Human Resources/Payroll database within two days.

ITS' Winter Break & Winter Session Hours of Operation
The IT Service Desk's walk-in location at 10 Astor Place is currently closed for renovations and will remain unavailable until mid-January. IT Service Desk staff will, however, continue to answer calls to 212-998-3333 and e-mail to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the Winter Break and Winter Session. For more information about the IT Service Desk, see, or search the Ask ITS knowledgebase for additional help with ITS-supported services:

The ITS Academic Technology Centers, CoLabs, Digital Studio, Data Service Studio, Advanced Media Studio, and most ITS offices will follow modified schedules of coverage during NYU's Winter Break and Winter Session, and will be closed on Monday, January 16 for Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. See and for full details.

Additional information about schedules, University contact information, connecting from off-campus, instructions on how to make a year-end gift to NYU, and details on preparing your voice mail and e-mail for the Winter Break and Winter Session are also available at

ITS wishes you and yours a happy and restful Winter Break!