About Information Technology Services
The pages that follow will outline the full scope of Information Technology Services (ITS) and its seven units: Consulting and Support Services, Academic Services and Emerging Technologies, Administrative Information Services, Security Operations and Services, Digital Library Technologies, Telecommunications and Networking Services, and Teaching and Learning with Technology. Resources designed specifically for individuals as well as broader-scale services for colleges, campuses, and departments are included. You can find more detailed descriptions of ITS units and their services at: http://its.psu.edu/.
Consulting and Support Services (CSS)
Your gateway to technology...
CSS is an ITS unit that serves the entire University community as a single point of contact for ITS resources. One of the principal functions of CSS is to provide Help Desk support to students, staff, and faculty who encounter IT problems. CSS Help Desk staff provide timely phone call, e-mail, and walk-in assistance on a range of topics including software installation, Internet access, and administrative computing. The unit also provides assistance to the numerous students and staff members who use the 54 University Park Student Computing Labs maintained by ITS. For departmental or college-level needs, CSS has a staff of nine Consultants who provide project management for technical changes related to office moves and other similar requests.
To learn more about CSS, see http://css.its.psu.edu/.
Academic Services and Emerging Technologies (ASET)
Customized solutions to meet your technology needs...
ASET, a dynamic ITS unit that provides support for Penn State’s academic and research community, is comprised of three main areas:
Applied Information Technologies
The Applied Information Technologies (AIT) group is charged with the development, deployment and management of a wide range of centralized computing services for Penn State including digital identity account management, e-mail, University Park modems, Web space, Penn State Access Account Storage Space (PASS), the Penn State Portal, Penn State WebMail, and file backup services. Access to these services is managed and overseen by the Digital Credential Services (DCS) group within AIT. DCS works in tandem with the ITS Accounts Services Office to provide the Penn State community with digital identities, in the form of Access Accounts or Friends of Penn State (FPS) Accounts, and a variety of Access Account-related services. In addition, it is responsible for maintaining records of acknowledgement from Penn State Access Account holders that they understand and agree to comply with University and ASET policies.
The Enabling Technologies Group is responsible for the systems administration of UNIX and other systems operated or managed by AIT, including the UNIX Cluster, Web servers for college, course, departmental, and individual use, Penn State WebAccess, the Penn State search engine, the ITS Secure Server, and Windows-based services that need to integrate with Penn State’s digital identity management infrastructure.
This group also provides the Microsoft Windows Active Directory® at Penn State service for use within the entire University community so that academic and administrative units can leverage the existing infrastructure via their respective Windows-based infrastructures, providing for a unified authentication and authorization domain between Windows Active Directory® and the current open standards-based infrastructure.
The purpose of offering Active Directory® services to Penn State academic and administrative units is to provide the University community with maximum flexibility and control over their own Microsoft Active Directory®-based technology infrastructures. ITS offers this service so that Penn State organizations may leverage their respective Windows® infrastructures with Penn State’s core authentication (Kerberos 5) and authorization (LDAP) services for account management. This deployment of Active Directory® is integrated with the current, open standards-based infrastructure ITS uses for centralized digital credential management, with the goal of providing maximum flexibility for all academic and administrative units at the University, Microsoft® dependent or not.
Networking and Advanced Systems designs, installs, and manages the servers that support Penn State’s primary networking facilities, including e-mail services on mail.psu.edu and email.psu.edu, dial-up services, distributed file backup services, e-mail virus and spam filtering, IMAP, POP/KPOP, smtp.psu.edu relay, e-mail forwarding, system administration for www.psu.edu and www.worldcampus.psu.edu, Domain Name Service (DNS), support for ITS Wireless services, and the Virtual Private Network (VPN).
The Software Solutions Group is responsible for the design, development, and administration of database and authentication and authorization solutions. The group provides support for digital identity management, calendaring, Penn State directory services (LDAP), the Penn State Portal, Shibboleth, KerberosV deployment and maintenance, in addition to several other University-wide projects that require authentication and authorization. In addition, this group has assumed the redesign of Penn State WebMail.
To learn more about AIT, visit http://aset.its.psu.edu/ait/.
Emerging Technologies (ET)
Technologies investigates new information technologies with the goal of reducing the time to market for new information services which will help Penn State achieve its goals in teaching, research, and outreach in conjunction with the University’s mission. Current ET investigative areas represent a broad cross-section of IT areas. Some investigations are already in action, while others are on the drawing board or farther out on the horizon. As the territory for emerging technologies continues to develop at an accelerated pace, ET hopes to play a crucial role in helping to identify, prototype and perhaps build those systems that will enable technology to serve the needs of Penn State students, faculty, and staff. To learn more about ET, visit http://et.its.psu.edu/.
More information about ASET is available at http://aset.its.psu.edu/.
Graduate Education and Research Services
The Graduate Education and Research Services (GEaRS) group strives to meet the computing technology needs of scholars in their education and research endeavors at Penn State. The group pursues cutting-edge advances in research computing technology in partnerships with faculty members and in strong technical collaborations with various technology companies and institutions. The GEaRS group is comprised of two services groups, each with its own long history of service to the community of scholars at Penn State. The High Performance Computing group works to empower scholars in their ability to compute and manage data by developing and maintaining several state-of-the-art computational clusters. Staff members provide support and expertise for research using programming languages, numerical libraries, statistical packages, finite element solvers, and specialized software for computational biology, chemistry, fluid mechanics and structural mathematics, materials science, and other disciplines. The Visualization group investigates emerging visual computing technologies and implements several leading-edge solutions in a cost-effective manner to help faculty better integrate such tools in instructional and research programs at Penn State. The group provides facilities and consulting expertise in the areas of scientific, architectural, and artistic visualization digital animation, as well as digital media and hardcopy output. To learn more about GEaRS, visit http://gears.aset.psu.edu/.
Administrative Information Services (AIS)
Technology with a human touch...
Ask anyone who works at Penn State about the tools they use in their job, and you will likely hear them mention a system or service provided by Administrative Information Services. AIS is the central resource for supporting administrative information systems, and serves as the ITS unit that provides the foundation for automating business practices at the University. Each day, the more than 140-member staff works on technical solutions to Penn State’s business challenges. This work includes implementing payment processing technologies for student bills; managing eLion server operations; working with developers on new student, faculty, and staff Web applications; operating the Integrated Business Information System (IBIS), the Integrated Student Information System (ISIS), and the Alumni and Development Information System (ADIS); implementing new software in the Enterprise Information System (EIS); and managing the Data Warehouse. These are just a few of the services provided by AIS and the list is constantly evolving. The central location for information on these systems and services is the AIS Web site at http://ais.its.psu.edu/.
Security Operations and Services (SOS)
Ensuring a safe computing environment...
Within ITS, Security Operations and Services (SOS) has the important task of addressing Penn State’s system-wide information technology security issues.
As the use of electronic information becomes more complex, SOS staff are continually examining and implementing ways to protect the Penn State community against viruses, worms, hackers, and other electronic dangers. If you have questions or concerns, contact Security Operations and Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 863-9533.
Digital Library Technologies (DLT)
"The true university of these days is a collection of books." Carlyle, 1841
DLT’s role is to provide the means to access Penn State’s collection of books, as well as the ever-burgeoning digital information resources, now commonplace, that were unheard of only a few years ago. This is accomplished through LIAS (Library Information Access System), which provides the gateway through which Penn State scholars enter the “information universe.” Traditionally, academic libraries comprised the center of the scholarly universe, and a library’s size and its collections essentially determined what a scholar could access and use. Today’s academic library is a vastly different place: its walls and collections continue to house a rich treasure of information, but it is now the scholar who is at the center of the information universe, and the scholar’s library is virtual. To learn more about DLT, please see http://www.dlt. its.psu.edu/.
Telecommunications and Networking Services (TNS)
Building Penn State's IT superhighway...
For information technology to be useful, IT resources need to be accessible, and students, staff, and faculty need to be able to readily share information. Satisfying those needs is the mission of the Telecommunications and Networking Services (TNS) unit of ITS. TNS enables the interconnection of information technology resources by providing design, installation, operation, and maintenance services to address telecommunications and networking needs, such as high-speed networking, Internet, telephone, voice mail, paging, cable TV, and videoconferencing. TNS manages network connections that serve offices, research For facilities, classrooms, labs, and other locations throughout the University and provides support for network services within Penn State’s traditional residence halls. More information about TNS is available at http://tns.its.psu.edu/.
Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT)
If you have questions, we have the answers...
As technology becomes an increasingly essential part of the classroom experience, faculty members need IT resources and tools they can depend on to help them effectively enhance instruction. TLT is a unit within ITS where instructors can find training and tools that enable them to take full advantage of educational technology. Each year, TLT instructional designers, multimedia specialists, and programmers work with faculty on various projects designed to increase the effectiveness of teaching by integrating IT tools and learning modules into Penn State course curricula. TLT also supports Penn State’s Course Management System, ANGEL, a software application that enables instructors to manage course materials, communication, quizzing, teamwork, and collection and grading of assignments from a single online location. Software development, tutorials, consultation, equipment, expertise, and personal instruction are some of the other ways that TLT supports Penn State faculty. TLT facilitates faculty use of Turnitin, a plagiarism detection and prevention tool, detailed at http://tlt.its.psu.edu/turnitin/.
TLT offers faculty, staff, and students convenient technology training through a variety of channels, such as seminars, tutorials, symposia and other special events, and individual consultation on creating digital audio and video. Seminar topics include graphics, multimedia, desktop publishing, e-mail, Web design, statistical packages, high-performance computing, visualization, and more.
For individuals who need quick access to Penn State computers and equipment, there are over fifty student computing labs maintained by TLT at the University Park campus, many accessible twenty-four hours a day. Each lab offers an assortment of cutting-edge software and hardware, as well as access to CD burners, scanners, and color printers. TLT labs are also equipped with assistive technology for students with disabilities, making it possible for lab users to enlarge text in documents, print pages in Braille, and have assignments read out loud. Technology classrooms, maintained by the unit, additionally feature computers and Internet connections, projectors, audio, and videoconferencing capabilities. For information about the software and hardware in each lab, see http://clc.its.psu.edu/.
TLT also undertakes special projects to enhance teaching and learning through technology. TLT facilitates pilots of communication technologies such as desktop videoconferencing and blogging in partnership with the Penn State community. Through the Faculty Engagement Initiative, faculty can submit a proposal to explore the educational potential of technologies such as virtual worlds and podcasting with the assistance of TLT staff. TLT helps faculty develop, manage, and distribute educational podcasts, as described at http://podcasts.psu.edu/.
To learn more about TLT, see http://tlt.its.psu.edu/.
This page is part of Your Guide to Information Technology @ Penn State.