Information Technology Rutgers University Information Technology Services Mon, 06 Jul 2020 12:48:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Information Technology 32 32 OIT prepares for July launch of Zoom Mon, 06 Jul 2020 12:47:10 +0000 Read More]]> Looking for another option for web conferencing? Rutgers plans to make Zoom available to the university community starting in July.

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) is currently finalizing the details of Rutgers’ agreement with Zoom to provide the service to students, faculty, and staff. Zoom is expected to be ready for general use by mid-July.

“We’re excited to add Zoom to our options for web conferencing and collaboration,” said Michele Norin, senior vice president and chief information officer. “Members of the Rutgers community have been asking for Zoom, and we’re now looking forward to providing this product and the convenience and features it offers.”

William Lansbury, associate vice president in OIT, said staff members are moving forward on the considerable technical work required to launch Zoom at Rutgers. “We are moving quickly to address security and other important issues as we prepare for the launch,” said Lansbury.

Once Zoom is available, an email announcement will be distributed to the Rutgers community with details on how to activate your account. Also, additional information will be shared with current account holders soon.

At launch, Zoom accounts will be available to Rutgers community members who do not currently have a Zoom accounts.  During the summer, OIT will be working to consolidate the existing licenses and accounts into the new, university-wide Zoom agreement.

For additional updates on Zoom at Rutgers, please visit the Zoom section of the Rutgers IT website. For information on other tools for remote work, please visit the Remote Technology Resources page.

Tell your story through video by picking up skills with LinkedIn Learning Wed, 24 Jun 2020 19:36:38 +0000 Read More]]> Videos are a creative tool in our digital world. They can bring your organization’s messagto life on social media, help make a statement in your presentations, supplement learning in an engaging way, and much more. 

If you’re interested in creating videos but not sure where to start, LinkedIn Learning can help. The service, which is free to members of the Rutgers community, has courses that can teach you about the all-important video editing process, as well as some key tips for getting your footage:  

Essential Training for video editing software 

Understanding editing software is essential to creating any sort of video. LinkedIn Learning provides courses on many video editing applications that would be available to you, including Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, and iMovie. 

If you’re looking into Premiere Pro, note you can also obtain a discount to Adobe software through Rutgers.  

Learning Video Production and Editing 

This course can teach you the tools and techniques to get started creating videos. Learn more about the importance of storytelling through editing, as well as the planning process and other production elements that give you the full picture of what it takes to make a great video. 

Creative Video Editing Techniques 

There are many ways to edit a video. This course can help you find the right elements for your project by giving you an overview on editing techniques like basic editing, continuity editing, complexity editing, and creative transitions. 

Teaching Technical Skills Through Video 

Instructors have had to get creative when coming up with plans for creating lessons in our current remote learning environmentThis course can help add another tool under their belt by exploring video production and element techniques related to teaching. 

Creating Online Video with iPhone 

You don’t need state-of-the-art equipment and editing software to create quality videos. The iPhone in your pocket can do the trick. Learn more about preparing the iPhone for recording, using its different video features, and tools for editing once you have the footage. 

New Amarel resources available soon Tue, 23 Jun 2020 16:51:37 +0000 Read More]]> The Office of Advanced Research Computing (OARC) has begun purchasing its annual hardware, compute nodes, and storage assets for Amarel, a high-performance computer cluster designed to serve the university research community.

Availability of these Amarel Phase IV resources is expected by mid to late summer, 2020.

More computing power

Each of the new compute nodes will include the following:

The price of $7,200 per node includes a four-year warranty. New owners receive 1 complimentary terabyte of storage with their first purchase.

More storage

  • The high-speed storage component of Phase IV will provide an additional four petabytes of storage for the ever-increasing data demands of Rutgers investigators.
  • Storage in this phase of Amarel costs $150 per terabyte.

Why use Amarel?

The Amarel computing cluster — which is named for the former Rutgers professor and artificial intelligence pioneer Saul Amarel — allows Rutgers researchers to access world-class computing power without the need to buy and maintain their own hardware.

The architectural approach followed by OARC assures the continuity of each new phase with earlier Amarel phases, but it also allows new phases to take advantage of increased core counts, improved energy efficiency, and reduced cost per unit of compute. OARC coordinates with the Office of Information Technology’s data-center staff on power and other environmental requirements for each new Amarel phase or expansion of the current phase.

Why buy Amarel?

While general-access Amarel use is free to the entire Rutgers community, owners have the highest priority and are guaranteed access commensurate with their investment. Owner allocations are designed to feel as close to a locally maintained and managed system as possible, but unused cycles are available to the general pool. Free access is available on a first-come, first-served basis to the Rutgers community, utilizing general pooled resources under an open-access policy. Non-owner jobs can be preempted immediately by higher priority jobs.


Use Microsoft’s collaboration tools more effectively with the help of LinkedIn Learning Fri, 19 Jun 2020 08:30:04 +0000 Read More]]> Remote work has brought an increased need for an effective virtual workspace. Microsoft Teams and Microsoft SharePoint Online have helped fill that void at Rutgers — making collaboration simple. But it pays to know how to use the platforms 

Courses from LinkedIn Learning can get you up to speed with these Microsoft tools. Log in with your NetID and get started: 

Microsoft Teams Essential Training 

Teams brings your group together in a common workspace. But to get the most out of the platform, it helps to know the ins and outs of it. Learn more about the core features to have conversations, schedule video conferences, share files, and more on Teams. 

Teams Quick Tips 

Once you know the basics of the platform, tips and tricks can help you navigate tasks you want to get done on Microsoft Teams. See how to customize notifications, learn about available shortcuts, or get advice on effective tools for meetings with the “Quick Tips” course. 

SharePoint Online Essential Training: The Basics 

SharePoint allows its users to work together to share content. Especially when you’re away from the office, having one place to create, save, share, and sync files in real time comes in handy. This training will get you started in SharePoint Online. 

SharePoint Quick Tips 

Did you know that you can set up alerts, personalize your view within your group, or integrate other services in Office 365 with SharePoint? Learn more about the many features you can use to get a better feel for the platform. 

Microsoft Collaboration: SharePoint, Teams, and Groups 

The goal of these platforms is seamless collaboration. This course will illustrate how your group can work together with Microsoft’s tools. You will also see how the tools integrate with each other to give you a Microsoft Office hub for getting work done virtually. 

Maintain your appointment calendar with ease using Microsoft Bookings Mon, 01 Jun 2020 13:19:03 +0000 Read More]]> Scheduling and tracking day-to-day appointments can be a complicated process to begin with. Now in our current remote situation, that process has become even more challenging. 

Microsoft Bookings could help with some of these issues, especially for Rutgers departments or units providing services on an appointment basis. With Bookings, you can list available times, and then others can sign up for those time slots. 

As part of your Rutgers Connect Office 365 license, the application assists with booking appointments and maintaining your calendar. 

The IT team at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicineunder the leadership of Erin Bauzykexecutive director of ITstarted using Bookings when the remote work period began. The application has helped her team, which previously worked on call whenever needed, organize virtual help at a time when faculty and staff have been asked to quickly transition. 

It’s allowing us to continue to provide that personalized service to our end users without physically being present,” Erin said. “I’ve gotten so many emails from faculty expressing gratitude. They reach out for help, and we’ve been able to set them up with a one-on-one with somebody quickly.” 

Erin’team has broken down its support services into individual categories, such as help with VPN or online proctoring, to make the scheduling process easier. Bookings can be managed by a staff member who receives and manages appointment requests, or by users scheduling their own appointments. Rutgers School of Dental Medicine has chosen to have a staff member manage the requests as a way of easing into the process. 

Beyond its own personal use, the IT team at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine has set up Bookings to assist academic departments and faculty in scheduling competency exams. Students self-select time slots, providing an effective way to set up the one-on-one exams. 

Bookings integrates with your Rutgers Connect account to automatically sync appointments to your calendar as soon as they are booked. It also allows you to make changes directly from the confirmation email or calendar in Outlook. 

While that feature comes in handyErin noted the added importance of keeping your calendar up to date to be able to manage available times for appointments and make the integration effective. 

Sabir Ahmedithe acting senior director of Information Technology at the New Brunswick Office of the Chancellor IT Services (NB-ITS)felt that being able to offer specific times for users to select was a major plus of using Bookings when his team has used the platform. 

A lot of time is spent asking our end users when they are available. You don’t want to end up playing phone tag when they need help,” Sabir said.  

To get started with Bookings at Rutgers, contact your department or unit IT support to create your Bookings calendar. You can learn more about using Microsoft Bookings at the Rutgers IT website or on Microsoft’s support site. 

IT staff member creates comic strips about life under coronavirus Wed, 20 May 2020 14:08:22 +0000 Student interest group strives for tech advances at NJMS Mon, 11 May 2020 19:10:21 +0000 Behind the scenes look on how working and learning remotely are made possible by Rutgers Mon, 04 May 2020 12:49:18 +0000 Read More]]> For the past several weeks, many have had to adapt to a new way of working and learning due to COVID-19. Web developers Paul Gogliormella, John Reda, and Richard Whittaker from Rutgers Institutional Planning & Operations (IP&O) recently started a podcast, “IP&O From Home,” to shed light on the challenges that can come with working and learning remotely.

Frank Reda, associate vice president in the Office of Information Technology (OIT) at Rutgers, was a special guest on the podcast to discuss Rutgers IT’s efforts preparing the Rutgers community for remote work, teaching, and learning.

Here’s an edited excerpt from the podcast, with the full video also available below.

How has OIT assisted the university in preparing for remote instruction and supporting the remote workforce?
We prepared the university for this many years ago. The OIT Telecommunications Division built a network that can support the type of activities that we are seeing today. Over the years, we have implemented additional network capacity, and the OIT Enterprise Application Services Division has implemented a number of applications that live in the cloud, including Microsoft Teams and Webex, which allow people to collaborate and work with one another remotely.

More recently, our Senior Vice President and CIO, Michele Norin, was a member of the Emergency Operations Center that was created at Rutgers to help us prepare responses to this pandemic. In less than ten days, we took Rutgers from a brick-and-mortar institution to an almost entirely remote institution. That was a significant change in how we work. The way we did that was through involving our IT Leadership Council, led by Michele.  The ITLC consists of IT professionals from all across the university. Moving the entire university to remote has been a team effort.

What was the volume of Help Desk support inquiries when everyone moved to remote?
We expected the worst and planned for it just in case. We had a lot of eyes watching the support channels and making sure that people were well taken care of. In the end, we did a lot of work ahead of time to avoid a rush of people requiring support.

Luckily, in the past, people have worked from home. They know how to read email at home and have had IT resources readily available to them. They were able to navigate the technology better than we anticipated. Kudos to the Rutgers community for doing such a great job at navigating these changes. Our Help Desks did answer different types of questions than when people were on campus, but the process worked out fairly well and it was nothing that we couldn’t handle.

From all of the questions you received recently at the Help Desk, what were the most frequently asked questions?
The most frequently asked questions were about the following topics:

  • Video conferencing, specifically Webex and Microsoft Teams
  • NetIDs, which is your network credential(s) to access Rutgers systems
  • Virtual Private Network and Remote Desktop and how users can get access to information on their work computer in order to do their job

Has OIT been involved in anything COVID-19-related for the community outside of Rutgers?
Yes, we were. Rutgers has a mission to serve the state of New Jersey and all of its members. Our mission goes beyond just helping the Rutgers community. When Governor Murphy made the executive order to shut down libraries and computer labs on campus, we found ourselves with over 1,000 computers on the New Brunswick campus sitting idle in the computer labs.

One of our staff members learned of an effort, Folding@Home, that lends compute power for analyzing data on medical issues. When your computer is sitting idle and you’re not using it, Folding@Home participants can use your compute power to so they can run calculations on different types of data. OIT received approval to donate the processing time of the 1,000 computers in the lab to Folding@Home. Also, the Office of Advanced Research Computing had some additional cycles in their supercomputing center that they were able to donate as well. Currently, Folding@Home participants are using these resources for the fight against COVID-19. We are thrilled to be a part of that.

EdTech: Connecting college campuses through cloud computing Thu, 30 Apr 2020 13:00:24 +0000 DIY method brings Wi-Fi to Rutgers Athletic Center Tue, 28 Apr 2020 15:51:21 +0000 Microsoft Teams creates effective collaboration space for group work Wed, 22 Apr 2020 15:18:53 +0000 Read More]]> Inside the Microsoft Office suite of services is a tool capable of bringing your group together digitally in a common workspace. Microsoft Teams combines conversations, meetings, storage, files, application integration and notes into a single place for open and seamless collaboration. 

Especially in this time of remote working and learning, Teams can provide your group with the resources to get tasks done. 

Now available to Rutgers students, staff, and faculty with self-created teams feature that allows you to launch your own group on the platformMicrosoft Teams brings a new realm to what you can do within your department, organization, or project group. 

Teams advances past previous collaboration tools available to the Rutgers community like Sakai’s Project Sites with a slew of features that make the experience easy and customizable for each of your group’s goals. It also gives you access to collaborate through Office 365 applications including OneNote, SharePoint, and OneDrive. 

These features are all available without the need for separate accounts to create or join a teamYou just log in with your Rutgers NetID credentials. 

The possibilities of what you can do with Teams are endless, but review some common uses that can get you started with the service: 

Organizational Management: Managing, administering, and collaborating within a department or unit can be made easy through Teams. You can track discussions in message threads across various channels, schedule meetings or training sessions in the team’s calendar, organize files in the team’s OneDrive component, and more, all in one place. Restrictions can be implemented and configured by a team’s owner that can be beneficial for submitting documents, viewing private files, or chatting in private spaces. 

Chatting and Video Conferencing: Teams allows you to host remote virtual meetings within your team or between users individually. You can screen share, join conference calls, or hold a video conference for team members to join. They can be scheduled ahead of time or made on the spot. A great thing about Teams meetings is that they can be recorded and saved to Microsoft Stream as an option for others to view later or reference. This can be used for orientations, training sessions, interviews, and more. 

Student Project Sites: Individual or group work efforts are made easier with Teams. Students can make their own Teams with either their ScarletMail or Rutgers Connect accounts. External users can also be added to these self-created teams. Creating a team provides students with the ability to virtually meet and work with group members, store all files/documents related to a project in one space, work together on updating a document, mark due dates on calendars, and more. 

Research Sites: Teams can act as a repository for research-related activities. Each team has its own files component with unlimited HIPAAcompliant storage and an associated email address. Sharing and reviewing research files is made convenient — you can email the group a document that can be viewed (and saved) in the team space. You can reference files in a discussion thread within Teams while editing the files in real-time. External collaborators can also be included or restricted to certain files, channels, and discussions. 

Cooperative Project Sites: If a department has a number of projects that need managing, Microsoft Teams is a great tool for the job. Whether your project relates to software development, lab work, hiring, promotion tracking, or committee organization, having a number of Office 365 products in one space can help tasks run smoothly. With SharePoint, OneDrive, OneNote, Flow, and other integrations at your disposal, you can work on and manage your projects in a simple and easy application that has everything in one place. 

Coronavirus speeds use of telemedicine at Rutgers Wed, 22 Apr 2020 13:05:59 +0000 Rutgers’ empty computer labs put to use testing possible COVID–19 treatments Wed, 15 Apr 2020 14:09:16 +0000 How to stay cyber secure during tax season Wed, 15 Apr 2020 13:21:21 +0000 Read More]]> While the federal income tax deadline for filing and payments has been extended automatically this year to July 15, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still tax season, which means now more than ever, it is essential to protect your personal information, especially as you retrieve and fill out online forms. While identity theft and internet scams can occur at any point, the amount of sensitive information being shared online increases during times like this allowing cybercriminals to access your stuff.

According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s Semiannual Report to Congress, over 2.4 million Americans were victims of scams in 2018, most commonly by phone and email. Although the digital age has made it virtually impossible to avoid the presence of personal information online, there are many ways to protect yourself from cybercrime. Following these tips can help keep your information safe during tax season.

Create unique, strong passwords.
To prevent hackers from accessing your personal accounts, update your password so that it is long, difficult to guess, and includes letters, numbers and symbols, especially for any financial sites such as online banking accounts. It’s important to change your passwords regularly and only use secure methods of storing your passwords.

Enable multi-factor authentication.
Using multi-factor authentication for your personal accounts increases account security. With multi-factor authentication, you’re required to provide another form of identification, such as a passcode provided by email or text, to verify your identity. This is beneficial not only for financial accounts, but for social media, email or any accounts containing personal information. You can start by signing up for two-step login with Duo, a two-factor authentication platform, to protect your Rutgers accounts.

Keep your social security number safe.
Since the IRS uses social security numbers to identify taxpayers, keep your card home in a safe place and never share your number via email or phone.

Be protected with antivirus software.
Using antivirus software blocks hackers from accessing your information. To better protect your devices, check out the antivirus software options offered to Rutgers faculty, staff and students for both university-owned and personal equipment.

Be aware of phishing.
Phishing is the fraudulent practice of attempting to obtain someone’s personal information by appearing as a legitimate source through online communication. Most companies, especially accounting firms, won’t ask you to supply personal or financial information through an unfamiliar form.

How to report tax scams and fraudulent schemes.

IRS: It is important to note that the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers via text message, email or social media channels to request financial and/or personal information. To report suspected scams, visit the IRS website to review established reporting protocols. You can also reach out to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.

University: It is important to learn how different departments will interact with you relative to your personal or financial information. For example, you will not be asked to provide your Social Security Number via email to get assistance from Human Resources or Payroll. Also, W2 form requests are managed via the University portal – myRutgers Portal.  When in doubt, verify!

Report suspected scams to, as well as to your manager or Dean.

Below is an example of an actual phishing scam received by university staff members in the past.

Phishing email example during tax season

Improve your writing skills with LinkedIn Learning Mon, 13 Apr 2020 18:34:19 +0000 Read More]]> Writing is an essential skill in the professional world, but it doesn’t always come naturally. Fortunately, LinkedIn Learning is a valuable resource with free writing tutorials for Rutgers students, faculty, and staff. Whether you are looking to improve your grammar, learn how to write in a specific style or master the basics, LinkedIn Learning has a variety of tutorials to help.

Below are some course examples that will help you develop your writing skills for success in a number of different scenarios.

Writing Formal Business Letters and Emails
Learning how to write an email in a professional context is a great place to start for those who are new to business writing. Whether you’re working on a communication to colleagues or inquiring about a potential job, email writing is a fundamental skill that everyone should feel comfortable with.

Tips for Better Business Writing
Want to advance your communication skills and improve your writing in a business-related profession? This course can help you present information in a clear and concise way that is professional and specific to a business audience.

Editing and Proofreading Made Simple
Even if you are an experienced writer, spelling and grammar mistakes can discredit your ideas. In the Editing and Proofreading Made Simple course, you will learn how to avoid common mistakes to ensure your writing reaches its full potential and makes an impact on your audience.

Writing a Cover Letter
Knowing how to stand out to an employer is crucial when it comes to landing a job, and cover letters can make or break your application. In this course, career strategist Jenny Foss explores the essential elements of a solid cover letter.

Learning to Write for the Web
In today’s increasingly digital world, the internet is saturated with content. Because of this, there are certain practices to keep in mind when trying to capture the attention of a digital audience. This course offers various techniques for writing on the web, including front loading-content, keeping content up to date, and avoiding jargon.