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Winning wireless

Published August 23, 2004; Category: COMPUTING

Dartmouth's network strategies recognized

Dartmouth's wireless computing initiatives were recently recognized by Educause, a nonprofit association dedicated to advancing higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. Dartmouth won Educause's 2004 Award for Excellence in Networking: Innovation in Network Technology, Services, and Management. The award acknowledged Dartmouth's efforts to create a 100-percent wireless computing network environment on campus that supports teaching, learning, research and daily life on the campus.

The Network Services team
The Network Services team that built and maintains the wireless network includes, from front to back and from left to right: Charlie Clark, James Baker, Charlie Wilber, Kathy Marlar, Barbara McDonnell, Laurie Pollard, David Bourque, Robert Beach, Brad Noblet, Bob Johnson and Jason Jeffords. (photo by Jay Collier)

"It's a great honor to be recognized by Educause, an organization that knows the value and the challenges behind our wireless computer networking program," says Larry Levine, the Director of Dartmouth Computing Services. "We are very proud of our wireless computing program, which is successful because of a variety of collaborations with colleagues around campus."

The Educause award celebrated Dartmouth's program to provide a comprehensive wireless overlay to the existing wired infrastructure. The project involved deploying wireless access points in all campus buildings and major auxiliary operations, which consequently supplied many outdoor locations with wireless service. The resulting network environment allows for convenient indoor and outdoor Internet accessibility, spontaneous and continuous communications with friends and colleagues, and numerous opportunities for study-group gatherings.

"We are very proud of our wireless computing program, which is successful because of a variety of collaborations with colleagues around campus."

- Larry Levine

"The wireless network has quickly become woven into the fabric of our community," says David Kotz, Computer Science Professor and Executive Director of Dartmouth's Institute for Security Technology Studies, who also contributed to the award submission. "It's in constant use. No one thinks about it anymore; it's just there."

According to Levine, the network was envisioned in part as a test bed, intended to support innovative new projects and ideas, in addition to extending the computer network to every corner of the campus. The wireless network has helped launch new activities, from classroom and teaching enhancements to research initiatives to corporate partnerships.

Levine credited the vision and the support of the administration, the faculty, the alumni and the staff of Peter Kiewit Computing Services to make the wireless campus a success.

The award honors strategic and creative networking programs that improve the quality of campus network services through new or enhanced network architectures, infrastructures or practices. The selection committee wrote, "Dartmouth's wireless initiative reflects planning that is in tune with overall university priorities, exemplary responsiveness to the user community, and interesting and unconventional thinking throughout the deployment that has generated excitement and experimentation across the various campus constituencies."

Dartmouth will be honored at the Educause Annual Conference in mid-October in Denver, Colo.


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Last Updated: 12/17/08