All posts by Megan O'Neil


3 Universities Earn Accolades for Tech Innovation

Boundary-pushing projects involving mobile computing and in-memory analytics have landed three universities on the 2014 CIO 100 list, which recognizes organizations that leverage information technology in innovative ways.

Georgetown University, Lynn University, and the University of Kentucky were the higher-education institutions among the awardees, made public this week by IDG Enterprise, a media company that produces publications including CIO and Computerworld magazines.

Georgetown was recogn…


10 Times the Computing Capacity, at Only Twice the Electricity

Staff members put the finishing touches on Deepthought2, a new supercomputer at the U. of Maryland.

Staff members put the finishing touches on Deepthought2, a new supercomputer at the U. of Maryland. (Photo courtesy of U. of Maryland)

The University of Maryland at College Park has a new Ferrari of a supercomputer, and it’s students who are taking it for a test drive.

Some 60 students enrolled in the university’s high-performance-computing boot camp, now in its second of two weeks, are the first to make use of Deepthought2, the newest supercomputer in higher education. The $4.2-million machine …


For $125, 2 Students Build Official App for SUNY-Albany

Shivam Parikh (left), one of two students who developed the U. at Albany's mobile app, worked with Brian Smith, a web developer for the university. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

Shivam Parikh (left), one of two students who developed the U. at Albany’s mobile app, worked with Brian Smith, a web developer for the university. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

Two computer-science majors who received bachelor-of-science degrees this past weekend from the State University of New York at Albany are giving their alma mater a gift fit for the digital age.

Shivam Parikh and Matthew Gilliland spent their final undergraduate semester building the university’s first official mobile applicat…


QuickWire: Lawsuit Is Filed in Arizona Data-Breach Case

A lawsuit has been filed against the Maricopa County Community College District, in Arizona, over a data breach that exposed the personal information of 2.4 million people dating back three decades.

The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, alleges that college officials failed to protect personal information by not mitigating a data breach in 2011, which then gave way to a more significant breach in 2013. The suit, which seeks $2,500 in damages for each potential plaintiff, was first report…


Labor Board to Review Use of Employer Email for Union Activity

The National Labor Relations Board is reviewing a federal law that permits private employers to bar workers from using company email accounts for union activities.

Any change could have significant implications for adjunct faculty members and others in terms of their right to use private colleges’ electronic communications systems for actions like discussing the terms and conditions of employment and whether they want to unionize, said William A. Herbert, executive director of the National Cente…


With $500,000, 2 Students Hope to Make Bitcoin MIT’s Currency

Starting in the fall, undergraduates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will each receive $100 in Bitcoin—seed money meant to jump-start a campus digital-currency economy that can be engaged with and studied by students and faculty members alike.

The project is being spearheaded by Jeremy Rubin, a sophomore studying computer science and electrical engineering, and Dan Elitzer, an M.B.A. student and the founder of the MIT Bitcoin Club. Together they have raised $500,000 from MIT alumni …


Dartmouth Pops the Champagne as Basic Programming Language Turns 50

Basic, the programming language that revolutionized computing by making it accessible to people beyond the worlds of science and engineering, turns 50 this week, and it’s getting a birthday party.

Basic—an acronym for “Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code”—was developed at Dartmouth College by two mathematicians, John G. Kemeny, who was later Dartmouth’s president, and Thomas E. Kurtz, along with a team of undergraduates. It was done in tandem with the creation of a time-sharing sys…


The ‘Heartbleed’ Bug and How Internet Users Can Protect Themselves

Security professionals working in higher education are updating servers, reissuing certificates used to guarantee secure Internet transactions, and encouraging students and faculty and staff members to take a break from the commercial Internet following the discovery of a programming flaw in a widely used Internet tool.

Dubbed “Heartbleed,” the Internet-security breakdown cuts across industries and has raised anew questions about the vulnerability of proprietary data and personal information sh…


QuickWire: Contractor Says He Hacked Maryland Network to Expose Flaws

A former employee of a University of Maryland contractor has told The Baltimore Sun that he breached the university’s network in an effort to highlight cybersecurity flaws that he said were being ignored.

The employee, David Helkowski, was with a company hired to work on a university website when, he said, he noticed and reported security flaws. When no action was taken to correct them, he said, he took administrators’ information, including President Wallace D. Loh’s Social Security and cellpho…