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

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.


December 19, 2014

Mathematica

mathematica
Mathematica is a software package used for communicating scientific ideas in a variety of ways, whether this is visualization of a concept in an intro-level course, or creating a simulation of a new idea related to research. 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.

Campus machines

Follow the directions below to download software from Wolfram and request the appropriate activation key. If you do not have administrator access to your machine, please contact your IT support for assistance.
    1. Create an account (New users only):
      1. Go to user.wolfram.com and click "Create Account"
      2. Fill out form using a @uab.edu email, and click "Create Wolfram ID"
      3. Check your email and click the link to validate your Wolfram ID
    2. Request the download and key:
      1. Fill out this form to request an Activation Key
      2. Click the "Product Summary page" link to access your license
      3. Click "Get Downloads" and select "Download" next to your platform
      4. Run the installer on your machine, and enter Activation Key at prompt

Computer labs

  • Please contact your College IT representatives for specific installation information.
  • UAB College of Arts & Sciences, contact IT at: 205-975-4500, casit@uab.edu, www.uab.edu/casit

Faculty and staff personally-owned machines

Fill out this form to request a home-use license from Wolfram.

Student personally-owned machines

Follow the directions below to download from the Wolfram User Portal.
    1. Create an account (New users only):
      1. Go to user.wolfram.com and click "Create Account"
      2. Fill out form using a @uab.edu email, and click "Create Wolfram ID"
      3. Check your email and click the link to validate your Wolfram ID
    2. Request the download and key:
      1. Fill out this form to request an Activation Key
      2. Click the "Product Summary page" link to access your license
      3. Click "Get Downloads" and select "Download" next to your platform
      4. Run the installer on your machine, and enter Activation Key at prompt
Are you interested in putting Mathematica elsewhere? Please let IT or Troy Schaudt at Wolfram Research know.

The first two tutorials are excellent for new users, and can be assigned to students as homework to learn Mathematica outside of class time. Follow along in Mathematica as you watch this multi-part screencast that teaches you the basics—how to create your first notebook, calculations, visualizations, interactive examples, and more. Provides examples to help you get started with new functionality in Mathematica 10, including machine learning, computational geometry, geographic computation, and device connectivity. Access step-by-step instructions ranging from how to create animations to basic syntax information. Search Wolfram's large collection of materials for example calculations or tutorials in your field of interest.

Mathematica offers an interactive classroom experience that helps students explore and grasp concepts, plus gives faculty the tools they need to easily create supporting course materials, assignments, and presentations.

Resources for Educators

Learn how to make your classroom dynamic with interactive models, explore computation and visualization capabilities in Mathematica that make it useful for teaching practically any subject at any level, and get best-practice suggestions for course integration. Learn how to create a slideshow for class that shows a mixture of graphics, calculations, and nicely formatted text, with live calculations or animations. Download pre-built, open-code examples from a daily-growing collection of interactive visualizations, spanning a remarkable range of topics. Access on-demand and live courses on Mathematica, SystemModeler, and other Wolfram technologies.

Rather than requiring different toolkits for different jobs, Mathematica integrates the world's largest collection of algorithms, high-performance computing capabilities, and a powerful visualization engine in one coherent system, making it ideal for academic research in just about any discipline.

Resources for researchers

Explore Mathematica's high-level and multi-paradigm programming language, support for parallel computing and GPU architectures, built-in functionality for specialized application areas, and multiple publishing and deployment options for sharing your work. Learn how to create programs that take advantage of multicore machines or available clusters. Learn what areas of Mathematica are useful for specific fields.

In general, Mathematica is a high-level complete system, while MatLab is a low-level core with specialist toolboxes. Most engineering colleges at research universities maintain both products, including UAB. Because MatLab has separate toolboxes, each toolbox can only assume the functionality of the basic, core system; Mathematica is an all-in-one software which is interconnected nicely. For example, in Mathematica, purely numeric commands can perform symbolic pre-processing for richer and more accurate results, which is not possible in MatLab because of the design. This overall concept applies to the vast majority of Mathematica’s commands when compared to MatLab. Engineers and other groups on campus value the following functionality, which is unique to Mathematica:
  • Very sophisticated symbolic algorithms for closed-form solutions to problems
  • Much easier to create mouse-driven interfaces to visualize variations in equations or simulations,
  • The highest quality and most accurate graphics engine available for symbolic and numeric graphics,
  • Support for both machine precision and arbitrary precision,
  • Automatic switching between algorithms for best results,
  • Solves any order ODE (rather than only first-order in MatLab),
  • Integration for any n-dimensions (rather than only 3 in MatLab),
  • Wolfram Language included to program in procedural, functional, object-oriented, or rule-based style makes language easier to learn (rather than procedural only in MatLab),
  • Mathematica’s  high-level language requires less code to develop algorithms or ideas than MatLab
  • Text and equation typesetting document interface with slideshow mode (not available in MatLab),
  • Load-on-demand data sets to use in addition to importing a wide variety of types of data
  • IDE based on Eclipse, which researchers more commonly know and work with (rather than MatLab’s home-grown IDE).
  • Import of MatLab data sets supported for high-quality rendering of MatLab results in Mathematica

To learn more about Matlab and access it, click here.

For assistance with using the Mathematica software:
  • College of Arts and Sciences users can contact the CAS IT help desk by phone at 205-975-4500, by e-mail at casit@uab.edu or online at uab.edu/casit
  • School of Engineering users can contact Tommy Foley at 205-934-8477 or by e-mail at tfoley@uab.edu
  • All other schools/departments should contact Tony Schaudt, Wolfram Research Inc., at 800-965-3726, ext. 5588, or by e-mail at troys@wolfram.com

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.

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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The Campaign for UAB has reached its halfCampUAB Tag 4c-700way mark less than a year after its launch – and fundraisers will soon have a new tool to help reach their ultimate goal, thanks to UAB IT employees.

The Advancement Performance tool will help fundraisers with detailed reports about donors and potential donors, said Marylyn Crane, senior director of advancement information services and analytics for the University’s Advancement Services.

For the past year, UAB IT employees from the Enterprise Applications and Solutions department have been verifying the data in the Advancement Performance tool from vendor Ellucian to make sure the data is accurate for the use in fundraising.

“The main benefit to Advancement Performance is our ability to put data in the hands of our leadership, advancement staff and development officers,” Crane said. “Our goal is for them to be more accurately and actively guided through the decision-making process for our initiatives, key measures and fundraising efforts.”

UAB IT already runs data reports on a regular basis for the Advancement Services team, but the new tool will give fundraisers the opportunity to create their own reports. But creating and verifying the database has been a detailed, painstaking process for the UAB IT team, said Ramsey Scott, assistant director of administrative computing services and leader of the technical team responsible for this project.

In fact, UAB IT employee Ryan Teel created a validation tool – a Web application – that Ellucian will include in its next version of the software, Scott said.

“We have been validating the data for the better part of a year,” Scott said, making sure that the data for Advancement Performance matches what is already in the Banner system.

The new tool will go live in August.

“We want our data to tell a story so we can reach the right people for the right reasons during our current campaign and into the future,” Crane said.

“This project is an example of how UAB IT partners with units across campus to support the mission of the university,” said Phillip Borden, assistant vice president of information technology. “Our employees are proud of the role they play in important strategic initiatives such as The Campaign for UAB.”




Published in Announcements
A strong password, changed at regular intervals, is one of the best ways to safeguard your information – and everyone else’s.

That’s why UAB requires employees to change their BlazerID passwords every 90 days, and students every 180 days.

Changing passwords often – and making sure they are both strong and secure – will help keep hackers out of your data and out of UAB’s systems.

Beginning Aug. 1, UAB IT will send the first reminder that you need to change your BlazerID password 15 days before the expiration date, a change from the previous 30-day advance notice. Reminders are also e-mailed one week before expiration, as well as sent at three days, two days and one day prior to expiration.

Password expiration notices tell you the exact date your password will expire so you can keep track of when you need to change it.

Remember: E-mailed password change notices from UAB IT will NOT include clickable links, due to ongoing phishing attempts. All updates to your BlazerID password should be managed through BlazerID Central.
Benevolent Fund award winners pose with plaques.UAB IT has been honored with the 2014 Best Overall Campaign Award from the UAB Benevolent Fund, recognizing the department’s achievement in exceeding its financial goal. 

David Yother, who directed the campaign with former UAB IT employee Lauren Ritchie, was on hand at the 2014 Campaign Celebration July 15 to receive a plaque recognizing the department.

“IT was honored to be selected for the Best Overall Campaign Award,” said Yother, director of enterprise technology services for UAB IT. “We could not have done this without the efforts and financial contributions from IT employees. This shows that we can always count on IT employees to get involved and step up when there is a need.”

UAB IT exceeded its goal by 125 percent in 2014, and also increased its percentage of continuous givers.

Identifying a specific goal and communicating it to all employees helped the department exceed its expectations, said Yother, who also thanked Ritchie for her work on the campaign.

Overall, the UAB Benevolent Fund raised more than $1.91 million in pledges this year. Those funds support programs that offer health care screenings, safe harbor for victims of domestic violence, meals for the hungry, medical research and assistance for UAB employees in times of need.

Other award winners included Viva Health, for Campaign Consistency; Callahan Eye Hospital, for Campaign Growth; UAB Human Resources, for Most Innovative Campaign; Critical Care Transport, for UAB Hospital Outstanding Campaign; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, for School of Medicine Outstanding Campaign; and the School of Nursing and School of Engineering for the UAB Dean’s Award.

UAB IT is also planning to recruit a team to help with construction of the UAB Habitat house, set for construction this fall.
Published in Announcements

Warning: Several units at UAB have received harassing calls from telephone scammers, known as “cyber extortionists.” This is a known issue documented by the FBI and AT&T.

If you receive persistent calls from one of these scammers, it will probably be under the pretense of “payday loan collections.” The scammer may know a lot of information about your identity, including your work number, which they actually obtained from a third party. They will attempt to harass you into making a payment to them just to leave you alone. Otherwise, they will continue to call and harass you at work.

UAB IT and HSIS recommend this activity be reported to the following numbers: AskIT at 996-5555 or HSIS Helpdesk at 934-8888, depending on which group supports the affected phone. To help fix the problem, we also recommend directing the calls to a phone number where they can be screened before sending the call to the department or unit. If necessary, the phone number under attack can be blocked from outside callers.

This allows normal internal operations to continue, until the scammer understands they are wasting their time, and they move on.

 

 

 

UAB IT has announced a new enterprise licensing agreement with Adobe that covers Adobe Creative Cloud and Acrobat Pro effective June 2014.  This agreement makes the Creative Cloud products available to University faculty and staff which had not been included in previous UAB agreements with Adobe.  Creative Cloud includes products such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat, Dreamweaver, and others.  Separate subscriptions for just Acrobat Pro will also be available. Ordering will be through AskIT going forward, not CDWG as in the past.  The agreement also includes improved home-use rights for faculty/staff.  Students will continue to be able to purchase Adobe products under the Student Agreement UAB already has in place.  For more information on pricing and ordering see the Adobe page here.
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