mathematicaUAB students, faculty and staff now have access to Mathematica, a desktop and cloud-based software system based on symbolic mathematics.

Mathematica is available for free to UAB faculty, staff and students, thanks to funding from the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering.

To learn more about the product and how to download Mathematica, click here.

Customers have used Mathematica for everything from engineering and math to art and architecture. Mathematica 10 software, which is available for Windows, Mac and Linux, includes these featured areas:

• Mathematical structures

• Geometric computation

• Differential equation solving

• Machine learning

• Structured and semantic data

• Core language enhancements

• Geographic computation

• Time-related computation

• Random process analysis

• Visualization and graphics

• Image processing

• Engineering computation

• Software engineering

• External connectivity

Instructional Technology will be hosting Open Lab at the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) on Monday, Jan. 5, through Friday, Jan. 16, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  During this time, faculty and staff will receive assistance on Canvas, Respondus, iclickers, GoToTraining, GoToMeeting, etc. No appointment is needed.

Bring any files you need to work with on a thumb drive and come visit us at the CTL, located in the Education Building, directly across from Sterne Library, in Suite 240. Open Lab will be in room 240A.

For more information, please contact Katara Davis at 934-0410 or kdavis1@uab.edu.
An email sent to several UAB accounts purporting to be from Lister Hill Library, with the subject line, “Library Account,” appears to be a phishing attempt designed to steal personal information.

UAB IT is taking steps to prevent the further dissemination of e-mails from this particular sender, but remind UAB employees remain vigilant about potential phishing scams.
library phish


To report suspected spam to AskIT, please follow the instructions 
here

Follow these additional tips to avoid being a victim:

• Do NOT click links in messages that ask you to log in. Type a trusted Web address in your browser or Google for the Web site if you don’t know the address.

• Never type personal, sensitive information (such as passwords or account numbers) on Web sites without verifying the Web site’s authenticity and security — look for an “https” in the address bar.

• Verify the address. Malicious Web sites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the address may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (.com vs. .edu).

• Misspellings and grammatical errors can be a dead giveaway in phishing emails and subject lines.

• If you are unsure whether a request is legitimate, contact the company directly. Do NOT use contact information provided in the request. 

• Don’t open attachments. They may contain viruses or malware that can infect your computer.

• Protect your password. Information security and IT officials at both the university and UAB Hospital will never ask users for passwords or any other sensitive information.

• Report suspicious activity. If you have any questions or you receive a suspicious email that you want to report, university employees and students can call the AskIT Help Desk at 205-996-5555.  Hospital employees can call the HSIS Help Desk at 205-934-8888.


AskIT will have special hours during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

  • Monday, Dec. 22, and Tuesday, Dec. 23: AskIT will close at 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 24: AskIT will close at 5 p.m.
  • Thursday, Dec. 25, and Friday, Dec. 26: AskIT will be closed.
  • Saturday, Dec. 27: AskIT will be open from noon to 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 28: AskIT will be open from 1 to 5 p.m.
  • Monday, Dec. 29, and Tuesday, Dec. 30: AskIT will close at 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 31: AskIT will close at 5 p.m.
  • Thursday, Jan. 1, and Friday, Jan. 2: AskIT will be closed.

Regular hours will resume Saturday, Jan. 3, with AskIT open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Phishing attempts threaten not only employees' personal information but also University resources, according to the latest issue of the IT Risk Bulletin.

The December issue of the bulletin, a joint effort of the of UAB, the University of Alabama, UAB Health System and the University of Alabama-Huntsville, provides tips on avoiding getting "phished."

• If you get an email, instant message or phone call in which you are asked for financial or personal information, do not reply or click links within the message.

• Never provide sensitive personal or financial information through email.

• Do not click links in potentially fraudulent email. A link that looks like it points to a valid Web site could be forged or cause your computer to download malware.

For more tips and to see past issues of the bulletin, click here.
UAB IT Provides Critical Guidance to Campus on Appropriate Versions of Internet Explorer, Mac OS, and Java to Mitigate Risks of Exploitation; updates Java recommendation to 1.7.0_72


Windows Systems:


• On Windows 7 Install IE 10 and Java 1.7.0_72

UAB IT has updated the minimum recommendations for versions of Internet Explorer and Java as UAB systems have improved functionality to support newer browsers and the currently secure version of Java. Internet Explorer 10 and Java 1.7.0_72 are recommended for installation on Windows 7/8. UAB IT also recommends using a separate browser with JAVA disabled for Internet use.  Use IE on campus with Java enabled and your choice of Firefox or Chrome for Internet browsing with JAVA disabled (for information on disabling Java click here).

Mac Systems:

• Install OSX 10.9 and Java 1.7.0_72

UAB IT has updated the minimum recommendations for versions of Mac Operating systems and Java as UAB systems have improved functionality that are compatible with the current version of Java. The recommended operating systems for use on Campus are Apple OSX 10.7x and 10.8x. While Apple OSX 10.6x is still supported by Apple, vendors are no longer testing against it for compatibility. Apple operating systems will not run any version lower than Java 1.7.0_51.

UAB IT also recommends using two different browsers — one for surfing the Web and one just for accessing UAB systems. For Internet Web browsing, use one of the following: Firefox Safari, or Chrome, with Java disabled (for information on disabling Java click here). For working with just UAB systems, choose a different browser and enable Java to work in it. If you run into compatibility issues with the local browser and UAB IT systems, use the IT terminal servers to access UAB resources via RDP client (for information on using IT terminal servers on Mac click here).

For more information, contact AskIT (www.uab.edu/askit).

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Thanks to generous donations from employees and students across campus, UAB's 21st annual Toy Drive filled a small moving truck with toys and games destined for children in need this Christmas.

UAB IT, which organizes the Toy Drive, estimates that 1,500 toys were collected for the Toys for Tots effort this year.

"We are appreciative of all of the building coordinators across campus for helping us get the word out, and to the UAB Police Department and our own IT employees for their efforts to collect the toys," said Eric Thompson, coordinator of the Toy Drive. "Thanks to these donations — which made up the largest Toys for Tots collection in our area so far this year — hundreds of children will have a merry Christmas."

For the first time this year, Santa Claus and his elf greeted visitors at the entrance of the Administration Building, collecting last-minute toys on Friday, Dec. 5.

More photos of the event can be found here.


A new version of Firefox may impact UAB campus users trying to access certain administrative systems through that browser.

The Firefox 34.0.5 update disables SSLv3 by default.

Users who have updated Firefox this week may receive an error message if they try to access one of UAB’s administrative systems, such as Oracle or eLAS, on Firefox.
FireFox screencapture
Users can simply choose a different browser to access those systems. 

Other web browsers may issue similar updates in coming weeks, but UAB IT is working quickly to resolve the compatability and security issues.
“Your paycheck has been compromised.” That’s the kind of subject line you’ll see in a phishing email that’s trying to trick you into revealing personal information — like your BlazerID and password.

But if you fall for it, your paycheck — and all of your other personal information — truly could be compromised.

UAB has been under attack from scam artists and phishing e-mails. Dozens of individuals have fallen victim to the attacks and have had their e-mail accounts compromised and used for malicious purposes.

Users whose accounts are compromised will have their passwords revoked. The recommended method to reset them is through BlazerID self-service, particularly during the holidays when AskIT will have limited hours. AskIT will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 27, and Friday, Nov. 28, and will reopen at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Scam e-mails typically increase around the holidays, so take steps now to be able to recover your password by registering for BlazerID self-service.

Be extremely cautious about any e-mail message that claims to be from UAB, and NEVER provide your password in response to an e-mail communication.

Follow these additional tips to avoid being a victim:

• Do NOT click links in messages that ask you to log in. Type a trusted Web address in your browser or Google for the Web site if you don’t know the address.

• Never type personal, sensitive information (such as passwords or account numbers) on Web sites without verifying the Web site’s authenticity and security — look for an “https” in the address bar.

• Verify the address. Malicious Web sites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the address may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (.com vs. .edu).

• Misspellings and grammatical errors can be a dead giveaway in phishing emails and subject lines.

• If you are unsure whether a request is legitimate, contact the company directly. Do NOT use contact information provided in the request.

• Don’t open attachments. They may contain viruses or malware that can infect your computer.

• Protect your password. Information security and IT officials at both the university and UAB Hospital will never ask users for passwords or any other sensitive information.

• Report suspicious activity. If you have any questions or you receive a suspicious email that you want to report, university employees and students can call the AskIT Help Desk at 205-996-5555.  Hospital employees can call the HSIS Help Desk at 205-934-8888.



The jolly old elf himself will help collect toys for UAB’s annual Toy Drive during a “Drive-Through Santa” event on Friday, Dec. 5.

drivethrough santaThe UAB Toy Drive is ongoing now, with boxes distributed in 30 locations throughout campus to collect new, unwrapped toys. The UAB Toy Drive will end on Dec. 5.

Anyone with last-minute gifts will be able to drop them off at the entrance to the Administration Building, located at 701 20th St. South. Santa Claus and his helpers will be there between 7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Dec. 5 to receive the gifts. 

“This is the first time that the UAB Toy Drive has featured a ‘Drive-Through Santa,’” said Eric Thompson, chairman of this year’s committee. “We’re doing everything we can to make it convenient for UAB faculty, staff and students to support the UAB Toy Drive.”

This is the 21st year that UAB has participated in Toys for Tots, which provides Christmas gifts for children in need throughout the greater Birmingham area.