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IS&T Starts to Ask, ‘Whither Athena?’

By Keith J. Winstein

SENIOR EDITOR

The student advisory committee to Information Services and Technology will begin to discuss the future of student computing today.

“It’s an opening of a larger student discussion that we hope will continue for several more weeks, if not months,” said Phillip D. Long, who represents MIT’s Academic Computing group on the committee, formally known as the IS&T Student Technology Advisory Board.

“The discussion tomorrow is to get the students around the table,” he said, “to begin the conversation in terms of what the student interests are in terms of aspects of Athena that are important.”

More and more students are using their own computers instead of going to Athena clusters, Long said. “We want to embrace student-owned machines and enable them to be as useful and productive as what we know as Athena today.”

Some other issues the group will discuss, according to Long:

¶ “What are the things that we need to be very attentive to, in preserving services that are currently delivered through this all-in-one environment known as Athena?”

¶ “What are the attributes of Athena that are absolutely critical to ensure are continued in whatever future form it takes?”

The committee has a Web page at http://web.mit.edu/istab. Interested community members should feel free to contact anybody on the committee, Long said.