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Computing Facilities for Bioengineering Students (2006 Edition)

by Rob MacLeod and Jeff Weiss

This is an overview of some of the computing facilities available to graduate students in the Bioengineering Department. If you have additional information that might be of interest to others, please send email!

Central Facilities

There are several entities on the campus who provide access to computing for all students and at least one that is more specialized for students in the engineering disciplines. If some services look redundant, they probably are. This may change in the future as a result of more centralized management of user accounts and networking, but for the moment, start with the College of Engineering facilities and then branch out as needs arise.

College of Engineering Computing: the CADE Lab

The College of Engineering runs its own computer facilities and aim to provide all the services available through Academic Computing. Their main function is to provide faculty and students computer resources for instructional purposes. This includes access to our computers, software and storage for professors and students involved in classwork and teaching. They also provide accounts for any student in the college of engineering which will give them access to email, ftp, www, and storage for class projects.

One unique feature of the CADE lab is the variety of operating systems supported, especially various flavors of Unix. Unfortunately, there is no Macintosh support at present!!! Another shortcoming of this facility is the lack of dial up access (see below for more details on this). The CADE lab itself is located in Energy and Mines Classroom Building (EMCB) Room 224.

Links to specific services of interest to most students include:

Office of Information Technology

Here is the mission of the OIT on campus: "The Office of Information Technology is people and mission centered. Our role is to bring the campus together through technology. We are here to serve you. Please don't hesitate to contact us so that we can be of service. " So take them at their word and make use of the following services:

Multimedia Center and Student Computing Labs

The Multimedia center is located in the first floor of the Marriott Library and offers much more than just computing, with its collection of audio visual materials and facilities to view them. They also have rooms for computer education (and are often the hosts for various computer courses) and some open labs in the Marriott Library and the EMCB, Room 130, with is closed now until completion of the Warnock Engineering Building.

There are a huge variety of short courses available at the Marriott Library on topics from tours of the facilities to web web page design. Many library services like renewing books and performing library searches are available via the web so be sure to go visit.

Center for High Performance Computing

For the power users who need large computing and visualization resources, there is also a Center for High Performance Computing (CHPC) on the campus. The CHPC is located in the INSCC Building, a new structure near the Physics and Math Buildings on the lower campus. THey also offer a Getting started guide to using their facilties. Or the CHPC FAQ guide. THe CHCP also offers a series of presentations that outline the center and its resources.

Their hardware resources include:

CHPC also supports a huge range of software for all types of applications from parallel programming to numerical compuations with NAG, LAPACK, PETSc, and the Cray Scientific Library (SCSL)

Help Informaton

Here are some specific links to more information:
o Campus Computer Help Desk
o Campus network information
o Applying for Network connections
o Spencer S Eccles Medical Library
o Marriott Library online databases

Buying Computers/Software

The University Bookstore is a good place to buy Apple Hardware and the best way to get pricing is to go to the Apple Store at There you can see what discounts you enjoy as students of the UofU.

Software in academic versions and pricing is also available at the University Bookstore at excellent prices. The U Office of Software Licensing has numerous software licenses for many technical and mathematical software.

For all other goodies, the open market is your best bet!

Dial Up Access

At present, there are (or soon will be) three options for access the campus network from home.

Department Computing Facilities

The Bioengineering has some computer facilities, but these are all associated with labs and not usually available for general use. These are, however, equipped with addition hardware that make them very useful in the lab for data acquisition and analysis.

In the department we have 20 Intel based computers running Windows NT that are based in one of the integrated labs in MEB. They are equipped with a Computer Boards general purpose interface card (12 bit A/D with some DIO lines). Installed software includes MS Office, Matlab, and Labview, plus NI's C programming package. Speak to Paul Dryden or your faculty advisor about access to these facilities.

A great deal of additional computing resources are available through the faculty of the Department and you will learn more about these options as you progress in your research. So if you need anything specific, ask around!

Some labs of Bioengineering faculty that use a lot of computing include:

Department Links

Last update: Mon Aug 21 08:06:21 2006 by Rob Macleod by Rob MacLeod