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April 2008

I   High Performance Cluster Computing Anticipated at Johns Hopkins Shared computing clusters will facilitate Homewood faculty eScience research

II   2008 Technology Fellowship Project Showcase - May 6, 2008 Check out the great instructional resources that have been developed this year

III   JScholarship Promotes Access to Research Successfully (and securely) increase exposure of your work

IV   Online Homework Submission Facilitates Learning Discover how programs like WebAssign can help you in the classroom

V   Sheridan Libraries Blog Offers News, Tips, and Tricks Subscribe to the blog to receive the latest information about library resources

VI   CER Requests Faculty Feedback Fill out the survey to help the CER serve you better


I   High Performance Cluster Computing Anticipated at Johns Hopkins

Generic Computer Cluster Researchers involved with cutting edge computations and manipulation of vast databases are increasingly turning to clusters of computers that attack problems in parallel. These clusters are complex to manage and require rooms with concentrated power and cooling. To address growing demand, a new Homewood High Performance Cluster is being proposed. Individual investigators will purchase compute and database nodes that will be integrated into a large, shared facility. Initial plans include more than a thousand processor cores and a petabyte of storage, the largest database at the university. There is room for expansion over the coming year once the initial machines are set up. The HPC will allow for more efficient use of computer cycles, system administration support, and physical plant resources; it will foster multi-disciplinary collaborations; and it will improve Hopkins' competitiveness in attracting new faculty and funding opportunities. Management of the HPC will be overseen by six faculty members, three from the WSE and three from KSAS, with oversight from the Institute for Data-Intensive eScience. To find out more about HPC or to express your interest in participating in the future, please contact Mark Robbins at mr@jhu.edu. Details of the initiative will be posted on the website of the Academic Computing Advisory Committee as they emerge.

II   2008 Technology Fellowship Project Showcase - May 6, 2008

2008 Tech Fellows Showcase Banner The 2008 Technology Fellowship Project Showcase will be held on Tuesday, May 6th, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Q-Level of the MSE Library. The event is an electronic poster session where faculty-student teams will demonstrate projects they have developed together to enhance undergraduate instruction. This year's projects include: Mapping Museums, Human Anatomy, Illustrating Transport Phenomena and Digital Adventures in the History of Music. Resources were developed for many disciplines, including History of Science, Functional Anatomy & Evolution, Sociology, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Music Theory, German and Romance Languages, Biology, and Musicology. All faculty who attend will receive a free 1GB mini-flash drive with information about the Technology Fellowship Program to take home with them. Students are also welcome to attend and they will receive gift certificates to Café Q. Information on the program and descriptions of current and past projects are available online. Stop by and take a look at the great instructional resources that have been developed this year! For more information contact Cheryl Wagner at cwagner@jhu.edu or 410-516-7181.

III   JScholarship promotes access to research

JScholarship Logo Banner Looking for a way to increase the visibility of your research and teaching? Interested in finding safe, long-term archive for your research publications? JScholarship may be for you. The Hopkins Libraries launched this new institutional repository service on February 1, 2008. JScholarship is designed to gather, distribute, and preserve digital materials related to the Johns Hopkins research and instruction. Faculty can deposit their scholarly materials such as preprints, postprints, technical reports, and datasets in any digital format they choose. This includes both unpublished scholarship, and in many cases, published research - the libraries are working with many publishers who give permission for posting articles in JScholarship that are headed for publication in their paper journals. Making research openly available on the Web can increase the exposure of your work through indexing in Google and other popular search engines. JScholarship provides full-text searching for many types of materials; in addition, your digital content will be preserved with permanent, unbreakable URLs. Please visit http://jscholarship.library.jhu.edu/ to learn more about what JScholarship can do to publicize your research. No login is necessary to view most deposited materials. Contact David Reynolds at davidr@jhu.edu for more information.

IV   Online homework submission facilitates learning

WebAssign Logo More and more faculty members are using Web-based, subject-specific homework services to facilitate student homework submissions. Students work through and submit homework assignments entirely online. Immediately after students submit their answers, the program returns a grade with correct and incorrect responses noted. At the discretion of the professor, students can rework incorrect items and resubmit their answers for credit. Faculty can also embed their own questions. Physics Professor Bruce Barnett, recipient of the 2006 Excellence in Teaching Award, has been using one such resource, WebAssign, since fall 2003 for General Physics for Physical Science Majors I and II. The benefit of WebAssign, as Dr. Barnett points out, is that students obtain immediate feedback on their work, rather than having to wait a week or two for homework to be graded and returned. In addition, students have the chance to work the problem until they get it right, rather simply receiving partial credit for incomplete answers. WebAssign gives students multiple opportunities to consider elements of the problems they answered incorrectly and to submit alternative responses. "I like the fact that I can choose problems from many different text books . . . or write my own questions and post them all on the Web," says Dr. Barnett. The CER can help faculty to explore web-based, homework submission programs. If you are already using such a program, please send a note describing your experience to cerweb@jhu.edu so the CER can help other faculty identify programs already used at Johns Hopkins and develop a 'best practices' archive of information.

V   Sheridan Libraries Blog Offers News, Tips, and Tricks

Keep up with breaking news, research tips, and featured resources from the libraries by reading the Sheridan Libraries Blog. The blog is written by more than twenty librarians and professionals at the Sheridan Libraries. Daily posts keep you up-to-date with events, exhibits, databases, film and media collections, science and engineering research topics, publishing news, special collections highlights, staff picks, and more. Here's a sample of recent blog post: how to retain your rights as an author when publishing, attaching files to your RefWorks citations, and best places to look for election information and campaign finance data. All of our posts welcome comments, and you can leave suggestions for the library in the online suggestion box. Subscribe to or bookmark the blog and ensure you benefit regularly from the expertise of the Sheridan Libraries staff. Visit the Sheridan Libraries Blog at http://blogs.library.jhu.edu/wordpress/ or subscribe now by email or in a reader at http://blogs.library.jhu.edu/wordpress/?page_id=37

The Sheridan Libraries Blog


VI   CER Requests Faculty Feedback

Each summer, CER staff members review Center activities to better address faculty instructional needs. Faculty feedback and suggestions provide an invaluable basis for discussion during this activity. Please take three to five minutes to contribute your comments by completing a brief survey (only 7 questions!), which can be found at the link below. We would like to hear from all faculty members, regardless of whether they have accessed CER services or resources in the past. We are interested in all comments - positive or negative - and any suggestions for new services. Thanks in advance! Take The Survey CER Survey Screenshot