It used to be that colleges provided small computer labs in their dorms. We happily used these for several purposes: conferencing time (office hours) for computer based courses, emailing and messaging, doing course related research, and taking online math courses. (To be clear, we don't encourage taking online courses during MathPath. They dilute one's attention to the mathematics one is learning with us. However, we allow online courses if they are scheduled exclusively during free time.)
In recent years most colleges have eliminated these labs, because almost all students bring their own personal computing devices. MathPath, however, strongly discourages our young students from bringing their own computers, because they can be a distraction, especially if used privately in one's room, and they are easily lost, damaged or stolen. As a result of these developments, conferencing time for computer-based courses has become a hassle and the other good uses of computers have been curtailed.
In the end-of-camp parent survey this past summer, we asked parents what they thought of the idea of our providing our own lab in the dorm, and simultaneously making our policy about bringing computers stricter - you can't bring one at all unless there is a medical need. The overwhelming majority of parents supported this plan. Therefore we priced it out this fall. We determined that all the programs we wish to use in computer based courses can now be run off the web, allowing us to use much less expensive network computers (Chrome boxes). We have priced out the cost of creating an initial lab of 16 computers, and support items to charge them efficiently and transport them safely, and it all comes to about $10,000. We plan to have it ready for summer 2018,
We welcome donations designated to help fund this computer lab.
A generous parent has now come forward and put up $1000 to match donations of up to $250 for the lab. It would be great if others came forward and put up more money for this matching fund. If this opportunity interests you please email Prof Maurer.
Last updated November 24, 2017
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