Labs and Equipment
• Computer science specialized labs. Research labs are maintained in East Annex to work with both undergraduate and graduate students, depending on project needs, by several computer science professors: Turner (Maine Software Agents & Artificial Intelligence Lab [MaineSAIL]), Dickens (High Performance Computing Lab), Fastook (Ice Sheet Modeling Lab), Chawathe (Databases Lab), and Sepideh Ghanavati (Cyber Security Lab). In addition, the student Cyber Security team is provided with a room in the East Annex to support their needs.
• Additional SCIS specialized labs: Other professors in the School teach one or more required or elective CS courses and their labs are also often used by CS students. Among these professors with specialized computing labs include Nittel (Geosensor Lab, Rm 321 Boardman), Hahmann (Spatial Knowledge and Artificial Intelligence Lab, Rm 236A Boardman), Audry/Senécal (Art + Artificial Agents Lab [A3], East Annex), and Ranasinghe (Multisensory Interactive Media Lab, Rm 237 Boardman). Further, some CS undergraduate students work in the Virtual Environment and Multimodal Interaction Lab (VEMI), which is located in Carnegie Hall and is supported by SCIS professor Nicholas Giudice. Typically, equipment in specialized research labs is initially supplied through start-up funds and then maintained through external research grants.
• SCIS common use labs. The labs in Room 138, Rooms 127/129, and Room 137 in Boardman Hall are used for both research and educational purposes. They are not typically scheduled for classes. Rather, these are labs where all Computer Science and New Media students may come with their laptop computers to work on individual and group class projects, obtain tutoring help, check out equipment, do informal exam reviews with others, use labs as study halls, and similar activities. Students may use the labs anytime they have access to them, including evenings and weekends.
Lab Room 138 (The General Computing Lab) has (a) five group-work tables with two iMacs and a large external monitor in each bank of tables; and (b) one group of three Windows 10 computers. It also has whiteboards and an overhead projector for group work. It is staffed 20 hours per week by selected undergraduate senior computer science students (i.e., lab monitors/learning assistants) who help with general training on equipment as well as tutor on computing and math problems when course teaching assistants (TAs) are unavail- able. Several computer science TAs have office hours next door in Room 138A. Room 138 Computer Science Tutoring Schedule for Fall 2019 (to be posted when available)
Lab Rooms 127 (Focus Ring Lab) and 129 (Still Water Lab) are adjoining rooms that have (a) ten iMac stations for photo, audio, and video editing/production; and (b) one or more virtual reality (VR) production workstations. The rooms are staffed 20 hours per week by selected under- graduate senior New Media students (i.e., lab monitors/learning assistants) who help with general training on equipment and software and who check-out and check-in equipment to students enrolled in NMD classes. Two adjunct professors are located in Room 131 next door who also help and check out equipment.
Room 137 (the student break room) has free coffee, water, hot chocolate, a microwave, a refrigerator, etc. It serves also as a group work room. It has whiteboards as well as a large external monitor for mirroring laptops as needed. This room also has lockers containing Arduino kits, mini-drones, robots, and similar items that may be checked out from the Room 138 Lab Monitors. Occasional instructor-led and student- led help or review sessions are scheduled in this room over the other available rooms if possible. For larger groups, Room 138 may be similarly scheduled.
Detailed descriptions of services, equipment, and software available through the common use labs and how to use the equipment is found in the SCIS Common Use Labs in Boardman Hall Lab Manual.
Other School-related labs. Computer science students are highly encouraged to purchase a laptop prior to their second semester in the program that meets minimum specifications outlined by the faculty (see Appendix A of the SCIS Common Use Labs in Boardman Hall Lab Manual.) Consequently, SCIS general-purpose computing labs tend to support the sharing of laptop screens on large lab monitors rather than supplying large numbers of computers in the labs. However, both the School and the University supply computer labs to meet specialized software needs and for those students not required by their programs to obtain laptops. CS faculty teach service courses to meet the needs of other programs on campus in Room 106 Neville Hall, which contains 24 Windows machines.
Campus-wide computing labs. There are two primary public clusters maintained by the the University of Maine IT department. One is located in the Memorial Student Union (about 25 computers), and one is located in Fogler Library (about 50 machines). Any software used by any course may, upon request, be made available in these clusters, including compilers, office suites, and database software. Both Windows machines and Macintoshes are available. A Collaborative Media Lab (12 Macs) is also located in the library and available to anyone. It provides access to a wide variety of New Media technologies.
Hackerspace, a work space/lab geared toward computing and electronic “makers”, is located in the student union and available for anyone to use. There are two other maker spaces on campus available for use, often for a nominal fee. One consists of rooms and equipment in the Innovative Media Research and Commercialization Center (IMRC), which also includes state-of-the-art audio and video studios and other media equipment that CS students also have access to.
Further computing research facilities: Computer science researchers have access to substantial additional computing facilities, including a 648 processor green supercomputer, a 72 processor green supercomputer, five mobile robots, and a teaching/research cybersecurity lab. Also available is access to the University’s computing resources as well as to various supercomputer centers. Access is also available to the Gulf of Maine Observing System which includes an autonomous underwater vehicle and several autonomous boats. The University is an Internet 2 site and has significant high-speed Internet access. Buildings are wired for high-speed Ethernet, and wireless access is available over much of the campus.