Introduction to CS Resources
by Hanz Makmur, Last modified: Aug 28, 2020
Welcome to the Computer Science Department! As a new member of the department, there are many unfamiliar things that you will need to know. This document will attempt to ease your transition into using the department’s computing resources and will hopefully get you started as soon as possible. Please note that the main website for Computer Science department is https://www.cs.rutgers.edu. You can get all information about the Computer Science Department and its resources. This document is to help you get an idea of what is available.
There are a few things you need to know and get before using any of the department computing facilities. You should familiarize yourself with all available resources and what you need to access them.
1. Getting Access to Resources
This section will show you how to get access to resources. (The next section will tell you what they are.) FYI: Computing resources can easily be accessed from https://resources.cs.rutgers.edu, as well as more up to date information. Please note that this document will only give you the resources you need to get started. When you are more familiar with the department, you will learn about other resources and contacts that can give you more resources. To get access to the department computing resources, you will need an account to do your work, to read or send email, and to access rooms.
A. Computer Accounts
In the Computer Science department, access to some computing resources requires a username and password. Usernames and passwords can be obtained by following procedures that are outlined at: How-To under Account Related.
IMPORTANT: Only people with university NetID can create account on any Rutgers system. If the user do not have a NetID, you will need to sponsor and request a NetID for your guest.
1. Linux/Unix Accounts (eg, faculty, research or student login accounts);
For more details on these accounts, see: Getting Started with Technical Resources at Department of Computer Science.
Note: Graduate students admitted to the department are expected to activate their CS Linux/Unix and University Email accounts themselves as soon as they are admitted to ease communication with the department. Follow the instructions that were sent to you in your acceptance materials.
B. Access to Rooms – Keys and Keycards
Computer Science resources are normally not accessible to the public. Resources are often placed in a semi-private room where access is allowed via a keycard system.
All the department’s public labs and printers require keys or keycard access. Access to the department’s copiers are also managed by a keycard system. The keycard used for the labs and printer rooms is normally a Rutgers Connection ID card. The Rutgers ID card needs to be activated before it can be used to access any resources in the department. Access for students are normally requested by the instructors of the class.
For faculty/staff, see our website to activate your keycard or obtain keys for certain room,
2. Department Resources
The Computer Science Department is located in two buildings, CoRE and Hill Center. In CoRE, the Computer Science department occupies the second, third and fourth floors. Part of Core’s second floor and Core’s fourth floor are shared with the Industrial Engineering and DIMACS departments. In Hill Center, the Computer Science department occupies the second, third and fourth floor. Like CoRE, the department shares part of Hill Center’s second floor and fourth floor with the Math Department as well as other departments.
The main computing resources are hosted in CoRE’s second floor and as a result, all computing support staff offices can be found on CoRE’s second floor.
A. Computer Labs and Instructional Servers
Besides resources available in your office, the CoRE second floor machine room, and other specific research labs, the Computer Science department has specialized computer laboratories that can be accessed by most faculty/staff of the department. These laboratories are for special needs that have arisen through the years. Access to all of our computer labs are restricted by keycard. Excepting for the research labs, if you can access the room, you are allowed to use the resources inside it.
- Instructional servers. The three iLab servers are the core instructional resource. You can connect to them as ilab.cs.rutgers.edu, an alias that connects to one of the three servers in rotation. Each of the servers has 8 Nvidia 1080Ti GPUs. Associated with the servers is the Instructional Hadoop cluster. To use these resources, you will need to activate your CS account and create a CS only Linux password
- Computer Science 110/170 TA Lab – Hill 378 This lab is located in Hill Center Room 378. This lab is for the use of CS110/170 Teaching Assistants only. This is where TAs hold their office hours and do their work. In this room, you can find Windows Desktops. Access to machines in this lab requires your university NetID username and password.
- Instructional Labs at Hill 248, 250 and 254 This is an instructional lab located in Hill Center room 248, 252 and 254. Access to these labs is restricted to students in high level CS classes and may be reserved for special purposes. These labs are used by students to do their work as well as for teaching. These machines run Linux OS. Access and more info for this lab can be obtained from Instructional Lab site. Please check the schedule posted as the room may be reserved for activities.
- CAVE (Collaborative Academic Versatile Environment) at Hill 252 The CAVE is located on the second floor of the Hill Center Annex in Room 252. Part of the Computer Science Instructional Labs, CAVE was designed to allow students to create their own atmosphere for collaboration and group projects. CAVE is a staffed facility and is open for all students. Please check the schedule posted as the room may be reserved for activities.
B. Computing Hardware & Software
All our systems are configured in a similar fashion and should all have the same software installed. For detailed information about what hardware/software we use, please see the Summary of Computer Systems page.
In general, we try to install the most popular software on our computer systems. However, we don’t necessarily support them all due to the numerous number of software out there. If you need a specific software that is not installed, send an email to email@example.com and we will try to see if we can install them on our system. You may also install them yourself if administrative access is not needed. For a list of supported software maintained by LCSR for Unix/Linux OS, see Major Software Collections.
C. Free and Licensed Software
The Computer Science Department has a subscription service with DreamSpark/Imagine Premium that makes available a collection of Microsoft development software for academic purposes at no charge to CS faculty, staff, and declared CS majors only. For more details, see: MS Academic Software. Alternatively, Rutgers also has a collection of licensed and free software, including free Windows 10 licenses that can be accessed by Rutgers Faculty/Staff and Students. For more details, see: http://software.rutgers.edu.
The University also has a local repository of many Linux mirrors. Please look at the local mirror before downloading them from outside resources.
D. Printing/Scanning Facilities
The Computer Science department has many centralized printers available for its community to use. Amongst them are HP LaserJet 9000 Series (a double-sided high output printer), Color Laser Printers, and an HP DesignJet Poster printer, capable of printing 36 inches wide and unlimited length output. These printers are distributed in Core and Hill center. For more info on these printers, drivers and printing tips see: https://printserver.cs.rutgers.edu
Notes about printing posters: The poster printer is a unique printer that most people are not familiar with. Please spend the time to learn how to print to your poster so you will not waste paper, ink and your time. Depending on your poster size, it may take between 30-60 minutes to print a single Poster. Please do not expect to be able to print to this printer the day you need your poster. Do not ask or expect LCSR or CS Staff to print your poster for you. See Printing Posters on Windows page to learn about printing your poster.
All of these printers are available from our faculty/research/graduate/undergraduate Linux/Unix machines. If you are using your own personal computer (through our wireless network) with Windows, MacOSX, and/or LinuxOS, you will need to setup your own drivers, please see How To under the printing section to obtain them.
We also have copying and scanning facilities in Hill 381. The printer, known as Hill3, is also known as CS department copier and scanner. This device can scan any single or double-sided document into PDF format at a very high speed and email it to you. For help on this, see instructions posted in the room posted near the copier. Access to the copier function can be obtained from the main office at Hill 301.
E. Wired and Wireless Networking
Rutgers has a general public WiFi system called RUWireless available in most buildings on all campuses. These system is accessible by anyone who has a NetID and password. The University WiFi network also supports eduroam, which allows guests from other eduroam member universities to access the Rutgers WiFi network. See http://ruwireless.rutgers.edu for more details.
Among the other resources in the Computer Science department is networking infrastructure. Computer Science offices are equipped with the latest networking technology that allows all faculty/staff/students to take advantage of technology available in our buildings. All CS offices are wired for CS desktops only. Laptop and mobile devices must connect to wireless network and do not get wired connection.
Besides the wired networking infrastructure, the department also provides Research Wireless Networking in Hill Center, CoRE, and CBIM buildings called CS-Research. The system was created in-house by the LCSR computing staff in 2001. For more information, see: Research Wireless Networking page. If you have any networking questions or a help request, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
F. Reserving Rooms or Equipment
At the Computer Science department, there are a few rooms that are very popular and there are some equipment faculty/staff and graduate students can borrow to supplement a lecture, presentation or other need. Because of their popularity these resources have to be reserved before they can be used. The list of resources changes as the need arises. The popular rooms are classified in 3 groups, Conference Rooms, Computer labs and Classrooms. The popular equipment normally includes projectors, digital cameras, camcorders and microcomputers.
The equipment is available for faculty/staff and graduate students to use on a first come first serve basis, but the rooms have stricter reservation and usage rules. For more information on Room & Equipment reservation, see: reserve-rooms-equipment
G. Hardware, Network and Maintenance Activities
Maintaining the resources in the Computer Science department requires a lot of work. Some of this work involves checking daily activities. Some involve long term log recording to see how resources are used or behaving under a certain situation. All of these activities are recorded for any users to see and are available at https://report.cs.rutgers.edu. We also post to @RutgersLCSR Twitter account all other important issues that we like our users to know. Twitter is especially important when we have networking issues preventing you to access resources inside RUNet.
3. Computing Help
Getting help is one of the most important things you need to do when you encounter a problem with your computer or the department’s computing resources. The LCSR computing staff are here to help you with any of your computing problems: if you notice a problem with any of our resources, you should report it right away so that other users will not have to deal with the same problem.
Below you will find a few ways that you can obtain help or report problems.
A. General Support
Rutgers University Office of Information Technology (OIT) has a central Helpdesk. They are the official Computing helpdesk and deal with university computing resources such as RUWireless, NetID, eMail, Password, VPN, Site-licensed software, and Centralized university resources such as Sakai, myRutgers, Degree Navigator, etc.
The Computer Science department also has its own helpdesk located in Core 235 which is available before/after work hours. (See floor map at http://core.rutgers.edu/floor.html?CoRE235.) The CS helpdesk deals with CS specific resources such as Printing, CS-Research wireless, and CS Computing related resources such as office networking and Lab/Grad/Faculty/Research. During work hours, you can consult all LCSR Staff at Core 2nd floor.
Generally, all problems or questions regarding any of the department computing resources can be reported by sending email to email@example.com. This is the central place where issues with department computing resources should be reported.
The operator office is located in Core 235. Since the operator office is located in a locked hallway during off hours and operator could be performing disk backup, print runs or other duties, to visit or talk the operator on duty, please call ahead at 848-445-2443. Please note that sometimes you will get no answer because the operator could be performing printer checks (a print-run) where the on duty operator goes to all printer locations and checks all the printers for papers, toner or ink supplies. The operator should return from these duties shortly.
B. Research Support
Supporting research is one of the most important services that LCSR support staff provides. There are many research groups in the Computer Science department that depend on the department’s robust infrastructure as well as well-maintained resources. LCSR staff work with all kinds of research requirements. Sometimes researchers prefer to manage their own resources while at the same time take advantages of department resources. For these researchers, LCSR support staff provides special accommodations while at the same time maintain the security and integrity of department resources.
Researchers also have special needs to complete their research but are not interested in the details of machine specifications, equipment costs etc. For such needs, LCSR support staff is the appropriate expertise they can consult with.
C. Self-Support via Computing How To’s
Many users prefer to learn to solve problems themselves. They like to try it themselves and only if they are still having problems, would they contact the support staff. For these types of self-motivated people, self-support how-to can provide quick and easy instructions on how to do things themselves. Many of these online documentations are specific to Computer Science resources and they get updated as the need arises. For detailed lists of these self-support materials, see: How To
D. Instructional Support
In the Computer Science department, instructional support is provided to faculty/staff and students in different categories. Instructional support for faculty/staff is normally in the form of software installation, support for class needs, and lab access for students.
Faculty/Staff are expected to provide software requirements to the instructional support staff 4-6 weeks prior to the start of semester to give ample time for installation, testing, and documentation of the required software. Access to the instructional labs should be requested by instructors in the first week of the semester to in order to avoid access delays to the department computing resources.
Instructional support to students is normally provided in the form of account creation, resource utilization, how-to’s, and other computing needs. Specific groups of users use different groups of computing resources and its resources are unique in its software and security requirements. The LCSR Support staff does not provide support for Class specific assignment. Students should contact Instructor and Teaching Assistant of his/her class for help with assignments.
4. University Computing Resources
Rutgers University has many computing resources outside the Computer Science department. Example of such resources are VPN service, WebEx meeting/conferencing system, Linked-In Learning (was Lynda), a collection of site licensed software, Canvas, DocuSign. Qualtrics survey software and more.
Detailed information on these resources are documented by Rutgers Office of Information Technology