Grad Students Need Dorm Net, GSC SaysBy Aaron Belenky
In a resolution passed unanimously last week, the Graduate Student Council asked the Institute to install network connections in graduate student residences.
Undergraduate students were given free connection to the MIT campus network earlier this year via Resnet, but graduate students were not. But 89 percent of the respondents to a GSC survey last fall wanted connections in graduate residences.
"Just the fact that 25 percent of the residents were willing to spend the time to fill out a paper survey indicates the high demand for the connections," said Mattan Kamon G, GSC housing and community affairs chairman.
GSC President Caryl B. Brown G said that getting graduate students connected to MITnet is "a high priority for the GSC."
There are many benefits of dormitory network connections, according to Jonathan D. Baker G, co-chair of the GSC housing and community affairs committee. "Network connections would make a great improvement in the quality of graduate student life, in the quality of research and in campus safety," he said.
The GSC resolution notes that network connections allow access to the Athena Computing Environment, the Internet, supercomputing facilities, file servers, laboratory networks, and library facilities.
James D. Bruce ScD '60, vice president for Information Systems, has shown considerable interest in developing a program for graduate students parallel to the existing undergraduate Resnet project, Kamon said.
The increased number of connections would not be a substantial burden on Athena servers because most graduate students "do not do their work on Athena dialup servers, but rather on their lab servers," Kamon explained.
The only major issue is funding for the project, Kamon said.
Initial installation costs, while considerable, are not the main concern for IS and the GSC. The year-to-year expenses present the largest current obstacle. According to Kamon, Information Systems "cannot fund it year to year out of their budget and more money must be allocated."
"It's not exactly clear why the drops in Ashdown [House] and Green [Hall] were not done with the undergrads. They have the required 5ESS phone system," Kamon said. However, Tang Hall, Edgerton House, Eastgate, and Westgate, still need to have their phone system upgraded to handle network traffic.