This page contains information about ongoing initiatives in information technology at the University of Southern California.
Communications Convergence (Network Upgrade)
This project will upgrade the data and voice networks university-wide and enable the extension of IP-based applications to wireless devices. This work will provide increased bandwidth and bring the network infrastructure to a level that will allow the university to achieve a competitive edge in the development and adoption of new learning and research technologies.
The data network infrastructure upgrade--to be carried out over the next seven to ten years--targets buildings across all university campuses. We will standardize routers and switches to the latest industry standards. We will upgrade existing category 3 Ethernet station cabling and interconnect most buildings with single-mode fiber. We will improve the ability of the wireless network to handle high-capacity usage by converting wireless access points to new technology--from thick clients to controller-based, thin clients.
The voice network infrastructure will be upgraded to voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) to increase telephone functionality. To improve user mobility, the initiative will also increase the ability of users to access Web-based applications from mobile devices.
The customer service initiative aims to replace the existing telecom management and billing system with a new communications management system, as well as implement new customer relationship management (CRM) software. The new system will improve the monitoring of charges and enable customers to better monitor the status of orders.
Systems Authentication and Access
The systems authentication and access management initiative aims to streamline online procedures related to protecting and managing personal identity information across university networks, provisioning accounts to university members and affiliates, and enabling account holders to have online and offline access to services. USC is working with EDUCAUSE, the Internet2's National Science Foundation Middleware Initiative, and the InCommon Federation to develop and implement directory, single sign-on, and middleware architecture standards and software, such as EduPerson, EduCourse, and Shibboleth.
Help coordinate and support USC academic units in launching new distance-learning graduate degrees and certificates.
Emergency Preparedness for Instructors
Implement a multi-pronged approach to supporting instruction in case of an emergency situation in which the university needs to suspend classes for a period of time.
Identify and pilot new and emerging technologies that advance teaching, learning, and research. This includes e-portfolios, mobile technologies, and collaboration tools and processes.
Blackboard-Learning Management System Upgrade and Enhancement Project
Enhance USC's Blackboard platform to meet the needs of a large, diverse user community and to provide additional functionality and support to encourage use of the system's sophisticated features. Initiate a campus-wide discussion on a next generation learning management system.
USC's Web Presence
Upgrade and redesign USC's web presence, including the USC homepage, the top levels of the main USC website, and the MyUSC portal.
Initiate the first phase of the ITS website redesign, which includes user documentation and security information, navigation, content, and support documents.
Lead the upgrade and redesign of USC's general-assignment classrooms, auditoria, computing centers, and instructional labs. This calls for ongoing assessment and strategic improvements to address new ways of teaching.
Mobile Websites and Applications
Launch and expand the mobile.usc.edu website to aggregate USC's mobile content and mobile applications. Develop applications, standards and programming techniques for facilitating innovative use of mobile technologies to benefit the USC community.
USC SHOAH FOUNDATION INSTITUTE
Online Access for Educational Organizations
The USC Shoah Foundation Institute's Visual History Archive of Holocaust survivors and witnesses contains nearly 52,000 video testimonies, spanning 56 countries and 32 languages. The videos represent 105,000 hours of footage and currently occupy 135 terabytes of storage on servers managed by ITS department. Institutions connected to Internet2, or an equivalent network in the country in which they are located, may collaborate with the USC Shoah Foundation Institute to access the entire Visual History Archive. More information about accessing the archive can be found on the USC Shoah Foundation website.
The USC Shoah Foundation Institute has turned to new digital technologies to preserve the 105,000 hours of video-taped testimonies in the archive in a high-quality digital format. The project to convert the original analog copies to digital ones will create an 8-petabyte archive of video, which will be maintained in perpetuity by the USC ITS department.
Rwandan Genocide Survivors
The USC Shoah Foundation Institute is partnering with IBUKA, a non-profit in Rwanda, to start a new collection of testimonies by survivors of the Rwandan genocide. The project will result in an initial collection of 15,000 interviews, produced over a three-year period with the use of cameras capable of creating 80-GB files. It will add 3 petabytes of video data to the archives managed by ITS. For more information please see the USC Shoah Foundation website.
The USC Shoah Foundation Institute will add new user interfaces and tools to help educators, scholars and students use the digital library of 52,000 Holocaust survivor and witness testimonies, as well as the Rwandan genocide survivor interviews.