ITS Research and Instructional Support
Manager: Peter Marshall <email@example.com>
To support and enhance the role and use of information technology in
research and instruction at the University. To provide responsive support
in the use of research and instructional application software.
ITS Research and Instructional Support is focused on building and
enhancing a computing- and information-rich environment that supports
Western's faculty and graduate students in their primary research and
teaching roles. This group provides the focus for the research and
instructional community on campus but works closely and cooperatively with
all of the other ITS groups as well as with external groups to deliver
an effective, efficient and high-quality service.
Services and Functions
- Plan, acquire and provide support for central research-oriented
computing applications and services including those running on
- central high performance computers (Cray, Maspar, nCube),
- specialized high-end graphics systems (SGI) and
- desktop workstations primarily used for research.
Note that, in general, the Central Systems Group will have
primary responsibility for the Operating Systems for the
centrally maintained, production research
systems (the first two categories above). We recognize that
we'll have less influence on the desk-top.
- End-user support for programming languages;
general OS support for VAX/VMS (in short term) and Unix support;
and general research application support in the following areas:
- numerical software,
- statistical software,
- visualization software and
- other special purpose systems like BIOSYM, GCG, and
specialized links to central high-performance services
(like the Cray).
Note that, in general, this group doesn't support the
mass-use applications like E-mail (on which many
researchers do rely) but concentrates on the more specialized
- Provide coordination between campus researchers in the shared
use of information technology primarily though an involvement in
the writing and vetting of grant proposals that include a
information technology component.
- Enable and facilitate joint collaborative research initiatives
between researchers both on- and off-campus.
- Coordinate the use of information technology in classroom
instruction. This includes
- physical facilities (like classroom computers and network
- facilities for the virtual classroom (like
computer-based communications and information distribution
applications applications specifically applied to
- planing, documenting, and providing training on
information technology enabled course delivery methods, in
conjunction with faculty/instructors and
- the identification and acquisition of specialized
- Plan, design and manage campus-wide and, under contract,
faculty-sponsored instructional labs -- for example, the
Faculty of Science PC-lab.
- In conjunction with faculty/instructors, plan, document, and
provide training on the use of instructional software in the labs.
- Liaise with other campus groups (like the Educational
Development Office and the proposed new Faculty of
Communications and Open Learning) charged with using information
technology for instruction and studying its use.
- Keep track of instructors with experience and expertise in
using IT for teaching in order to facilitate its spread.
- Provide examination scoring aid support -- Markex and on-line follow-on
- Process Faculty evaluations.
Central Web Support:
While it is expected that ITS Research and Instructional Support will
use and encourage the use of the Web as a tool to support its primary
mission it also takes on the larger task of coordinating, in
conjunction with the evolving University Web governance structure, the
campus Web service. This responsibility is seen as a one or two year
temporary situation that recognizes the existing expertise and the
need for continuity during the formative phases of the campus Web.
The primary function of the UWO Webmasters has been defined in the
pending SCITS-sponsored Policy for the World Wide Web at the
University of Western Ontario as (formatting added for clarity):
The UWO Webmasters are the individuals appointed by Information
Technology Services (ITS)
- to maintain the WWW and related software on
the computer that serves the UWO home page,
- to facilitate communication among the designated official UWO
Information Providers and
- to disseminate related information (such as campus-wide WWW policies,
the UWO Web Information Provider Agreement, and the Guide for
UWO Web Information Providers).
Intergroup and Intragroup Processes
Since the Research and Instructional group concentrates primarily on
the applications layers above the operating system we need to
cultivate a close and cooperative working relationship with the
Systems group for operating systems support. We recognize that the
line is a very blurry one and in many situations some systems and some
applications work will be done by members of both groups. The goal
is to cooperatively work toward situations where by standardizing we
can both increase the level of service to our customers while reducing
the cost to support them.
Because this group will often be in a position of being the primary
contact for the support of a researcher's system, one of the roles
will be to coordinate support for that system and that user from the
many other groups within ITS, from Hardware Services to User
Support. In general Hardware Support will be responsible for hardware
and wiring, the Systems group for operating systems and User Services
for general consulting for mass-use applications.
Due to the wide scope of the Web, close cooperation with most ITS
groups will be required for effective Web support as we develop our
own Web-enabled services. There will also be a growing relationship
with the Central Software and Applications Group as campus-wide Web
support moves to that group over the next few years.
- handles many front-line questions
- training and documentation coordination
- handling drop-offs and pick-ups of Markex jobs
Central Systems Group
- installation, testing of software
- co-ordinate resource allocation for visualization
- work with the NOC for Network Liaison for IP name and number
- network security considerations of lab (NOC)
Facilities Management Group
- initial server setup and on-going systems maintenance for labs and
individual researcher's workstations
- completes processing of the Markex jobs
- responsible for scanning mark-sense forms (exams and faculty
- keep central systems operational
- account maintenance on all central systems
Hardware Services and Telecommunications
- handle hardware configuration of any classrooms which are to be
computer and network equipped
- perform wiring, network access, connections etc.
Campus Computer Store
- site licenses and distribution of software
Peter Marshall <firstname.lastname@example.org>
$Revision: 2.1 $ $Date: 1996/05/08 22:25:49 $UTC $Author: peter $