Information Technology Management students will benefit from new equipment and renovations in the Accenture ITM Lab at the Mendoza College of Business.
The lab, which serves as a classroom for teaching networking and computer security issues, was expanded to accommodate up to 24 students. It is also a resource for ITM students in their other course work. This fall, it will have more computers, including personal computers with multitouch-screen capability, iMacs, and group collaborative ability with large-screen displays. Windows 7, the latest Windows operating system, will be installed when it becomes available in October 2009. The consulting firm Accenture donates funds to support the lab.
The innovations will support students’ work, especially with collaborative projects, said Robert Easley, assistant department chairman in the department of management.
Among improvements is increased network capability. Along the perimeter of the classroom, assistant professor John D’Arcy can set up four networks, each with five personal computers and a server. In his Information Security classes, for example, the students set up a network in order to perform security tests. This is conducted in isolation from the Internet and the university computer system to avoid any network vulnerability. When the class is complete, the computers are rebooted and reconnected to the Internet.
For each of the local area networks, the server has a 42-inch screen. This allows students to look over from their PCs and easily see what impact their work has on the server.
The large-screen computers can be used in group work. For example, one group of students can run a presentation on a large screen, or the professor can take over all the large screens. The new capability will be useful to students for group projects such as programming and spreadsheet analysis, Easley said.
The lab improvements will support more students’ work, “and help students develop applications for the iPhone and other multitouch applications,” Easley said.