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August 31, 2016

CAS Department Theme for Undergraduates: Menu Structure

In today’s post, we will be covering menu structures and how to manage them on a department site. Based on the edict sent from the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, resources either need to be on the primary Undergraduate page or within one click of that page. Using the CAS Department Theme, the Undergraduate page and associated subpages can be easily organized within the primary menu and submenu.

In order to reorganize the primary menu and submenu, the content needs to exist already. Since the information generally does not change (daily or weekly), the content should be put on Pages instead of Posts.

For more on Pages and Posts, the primary differences, and when to choose, click here.

Process

  1. Sign-in to your department’s website, then go to Appearance > Menus and select the website’s primary menu to proceed.
  2. To add a new content page, scroll through the list of pages or select the Search tab and type in the name of the page, then click Add to menu to proceed.
  3. The new content page will be on the bottom of the screen (which indicates the end of the menu). Drag and drop the new page into place by click-and-drag. A crosshairs cursor will appear which indicates that the page can be moved by click-and-drag.
  4. In order to have the new content page become a sub-item of a new or existing page, click-and-drag the page to the right until a dotted-line rectangle appears indented below the page(s) above it (see example below):CreatingSubItem
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 until all content is added and in place.
  6. Click Save Menu on the top-right or bottom-right to enable the changes.
  7. You may leave the tab/window once the menu has saved. (Recommended: click on the page name to view the site and the menu changes.)

In our next post, we will look at the process of implementing the CAS Department Theme to your department’s website.

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Posted by Mike Moresi
August 29, 2016

CAS Department Theme for Undergraduates: Landing Page

Today’s post is about the Undergraduate Landing Page for CAS Departments. This page is to be designed as the information hub for undergraduate students seeking the completion of a major or minor within a CAS department, program, or institute.

As per the edict from the office of the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, the Undergraduate page should consist of the following:

The Undergraduate landing page should minimally include the following advising and curriculum information in an easily navigable format–either on the page itself of accessible after at most one further click (emphasis added):

  1. Who the department advisor(s) are, how to contact them and/or make an appointment, and any times they may be available without an appointment. Please distinguish faculty/staff advisors from peer advisors, and indicate who the department’s lead advisor(s) are for fielding general queries.
  2. Instructions for students on how to declare your major/minor
  3. Major/minor degree requirements, including coursework and important policies (e.g., on minimum grades, residency requirements, P/NP restrictions)
  4. Quick reference checklist for major/minor degree requirements
  5. Sample four-year plan/pathway for incoming students (recommended now, required by end of Fall 2016)
  6. Course offerings, including availability, timing, and prerequisites for major required courses, and alternative pathways if they exist. (OK to link to UO catalog for overall list of course offerings.)

We will use the Economics undergraduate page as an example since it already complies with most of these requirements. Most of the content provided on their site is within a page–which, in the WordPress world–typically has information that does not change too frequently, and a menu–which links to other pages (and external links).

The numbers seen on the image correlate with the above list. If the numbers are within parentheses, then the information is currently two clicks from the page:

Econ_UG_LandingPage

In the next post, we will look at how the WordPress menu structure works and how to manage menu links which will help organize the necessary content.

For more information on the CAS Department Theme in action, click here to see the CASIT Design Toolkit website.

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Posted by Mike Moresi
August 26, 2016

CAS Department Theme for Undergraduates: A Series

Recently, the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education issued an email to CAS academic departments with new standards for information on undergraduate education on CAS department websites. This series of posts will go over each piece of the new standards with steps and examples of compliant websites.

The list of standards (as per the email) for undergraduate information is as follows:

  • Each department homepage should have the word Undergraduate in its main menu bar.
  • The Undergraduate landing page should minimally include the following advising and curriculum information in an easily navigable format–either on the page itself of accessible after at most one further click:
    • Who the department advisor(s) are, how to contact them and/or make an appointment, and any times they may be available without an appointment. Please distinguish faculty/staff advisors from peer advisors, and indicate who the department’s lead advisor(s) are for fielding general queries.
    • Instructions for students on how to declare your major/minor
    • Major/minor degree requirements, including coursework and important policies (e.g., on minimum grades, residency requirements, P/NP restrictions)
    • Quick reference checklist for major/minor degree requirements
    • Sample four-year plan/pathway for incoming students (recommended now, required by end of Fall 2016)
    • Course offerings, including availability, timing, and prerequisites for major required courses, and alternative pathways if they exist. (OK to link to UO catalog for overall list of course offerings.)
  • Each department should adopt the CAS Elemental design (recommended now, required by end of 2016-17 academic year.

The CASIT Blog will feature a short series of articles breaking down each of these new standards in the coming days.

CASIT’s Training Services is also providing one-on-one training sessions for site administrators on a first-come, first-serve basis by appointment. If you are interested in scheduling one of these sessions, send an email to cas-training@ithelp.uoregon.edu

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Posted by Mike Moresi
August 17, 2016

Check out the Vicis Zero1, the new Oregon Ducks football helmet


For those in the Eugene area that live or commute near the University along Franklin Boulevard near the intersection with East 11th Avenue have seen a billboard with a football helmet without any insignia have seen the new helmet being used for the Oregon Ducks football team starting this fall.

The Seattle-based startup, Vicis (pronounced VIE-seez), has been developing the Zero1 helmet upon the approaches used in developing automobile bumpers and crumple zones over the last three years. The structure is composed of a pliable outer shell that is supported by a series of compressible columns that help to deflect the force of any contact around the head. The inner padding is comprised of a fitted memory foam liner that distributes pressure evenly around the player’s head. The chinstrap is similar to a standard helmet but two of the straps will fasten on the helmet’s interior as to redirect energy flowing through the jaw.

The Oregon Ducks and the Washington Huskies are the only two teams wearing the helmets this year throughout the NCAA.

For more information, check out the video above or the Vicis website.

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Posted by Mike Moresi
July 20, 2016

This plane could cross the Atlantic in 3.5 hours. Why did it fail?


(From Vox.com article of the same name by Phil Edwards)

You might remember the Concorde, the supersonic plane that came to symbolize technological optimism and extreme luxury. Though it always had critics and a high ticket price, it delivered on the promise of supersonic transport, giving riders trans-Atlantic flights in under four hours.

And then in 2003, the Concorde landed for good. What went wrong?

The video above examines the tangled mess that doomed the Concorde. The reason for Concorde’s demise isn’t simple. It happened due to a range of factors, from high price to manufacturing concerns to environmental worries. In concert, all of these negatives turned a technological breakthrough into a business nonstarter.

But even if the Concorde failed, it looked beautiful doing so. The video shows the masterful engineering that made the Concorde work, from its breakthrough wing to its whimsical — yet highly functional — “droop snoot.”

Smithsonian curator Bob Van der Linden, who also rode on the plane, told me the journey was both extraordinary and surprisingly ordinary, because the engineers strove to make Concorde as comfortable as any passenger flight.

And that’s the enticing paradox of this late, great plane: It could be both an engineering masterpiece and a business failure at the same time. That may be what makes it so alluring, as well. We know planes like the Concorde can change flight; we just have to figure out how to make it sustainable.

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Posted by Mike Moresi
July 13, 2016

The assembly code from Apollo 11 is now on GitHub

Margaret Hamilton, director of software engineering on Apollo 11, next to the printout of the code.

Margaret Hamilton, director of software engineering on Apollo 11, next to the printout of the code.

As found on Quartz.com via Slashdot.org, “the code that took America to the moon was just published to GitHub, and it’s like a 1960s time capsule.” The Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) code has been available since 2003 after the first upload was made from scanned images. The poor state of the printouts left holes within the entire code when uploaded by MIT and efforts made by tech researcher, Ron Burkey. Burkey pieced together what he thought the holes could be based upon his engineering background (and later confirmed his patches were correct.)

For more on this topic plus a AGC simulator, check out this article from Quartz.com

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Posted by Mike Moresi
June 10, 2016

Massive New Monument discovered near Petra

Aerial Footage of new Petra monument

An overhead image of the monument photographed from a drone, and a detail overlay of the surface features in which the image is rotated 90 degrees clockwise. PHOTOGRAPH BY I. LABIANCA (LEFT) AND PHOTOGRAPH BY I. LABIANCA; GRAPHICS BY J. BLANZY (RIGHT)

(from Kristen Romey – National Geographic)

An enormous monument has been hiding in plain sight at the World Heritage site of Petra, according to a study recently published in theBulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research.

Archaeologists Sarah Parcak, a National Geographic fellow, and Christopher Tuttle, executive director of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, used high-resolution satellite imagery followed by aerial drone photography and ground surveys to locate and document the structure.

They report that the monument is roughly as long as an Olympic-size swimming pool and twice as wide. It sits only about half a mile (800 meters) south of the center of the ancient city.

The caravan city of Petra, in what is today southern Jordan, served as the capital of the Arab tribe known as the Nabataeans from its likely founding in the mid-second century B.C. The site was essentially abandoned at the end of the Byzantine period in the seventh century A.D.

Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit its iconic buildings, hewn from the local red sandstone, each year.

The entire Petra Archaeological Park covers about 102 square miles (264 square kilometers), but the city’s center encompasses an area of only 2.3 square miles (6 square kilometers).

As evidenced by the latest discovery, while the hinterlands north and south of Petra’s ancient city center have been well surveyed since explorerJohann Burckhardt arrived in 1812, new discoveries continue to be made around its urban core.

For more, check out the article at National Geographic’s website.

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Posted by Mike Moresi
May 13, 2016

The Sumo Matchup Centuries In The Making

Hakuho, the yokozuna

Hakuhō, largely considered the best sumo wrestler in the modern era, pictured here with the traditional yokozuna rope during dohyo-iri (the ring-entering ceremony) – Photo by Tim Foley.

FiveThirtyEight has released a new data visualization in tandem with an article on an upcoming sumo wrestling match which has been billed as one for the ages. While sumo has been around for roughly one thousand years, statistics on professional matches have been kept since 1684. The results of nearly every major tournament have been compiled dating back to 1761.

While this seems like an unusual story to cover on a blog like this, it is a good example of statistical analysis that is used commonly within the digital humanities realm in finding an answer to “who could be the greatest sumo wrestler of all time?”

If you’re curious to know more, check out the full data visualization at this link.

For the associated article on the long-awaited match and a brief summary on some of the legendary wrestlers, click here.

Tim Foley’s in-depth article on the world of sumo, click here.

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Posted by Mike Moresi
May 4, 2016

CASIT Web Services completed projects Winter 2016

Here is the list of projects completed over Winter:

Sites moved to CAS design toolkit:

Drupal Projects:

  • PCS Forms Additions: added new workflow elements to existing PCS forms.
  • Physics GTF Evaluations: created online GTF evaluation form for Physics department. It was based on a version we created for Political Science.
  • Biology Graduate Database Upgrade: upgraded platform from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7.

Other Projects:

  • CASIT has been using JIRA the last many months and we have reviewed and tested Service Desk and plugins like Tempo timesheets. We hope to create service desk projects and provide solutions for CASIT to help them manage day to day operations.
  • Faculty Reviews is a module of the CAS Personnel application we created. The module allows CAS Dean’s Office and department personnel to lookup performance review dates for tenure track and non-tenure track faculty.
  • Material Science Institute new site developed by Feynman Group was migrated and setup on our web servers.
  • Psychology Development Database is now maintained and supported by us. Over Winter we spent a lot of time troubleshooting performance issues and providing custom reports.
  • Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics relaunched with a new theme. We helped configure and setup the theme and plugins on the new site to achieve the new look.

You can see more information about those sites on our portfolio: http://casitwebservices.uoregon.edu/.

Big thank you to everyone in the web team.

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Posted by Daniel Mundra

Gravitational-wave detection earns LIGO the Breakthrough Prize

LIGO detector at Hanford, Washington

The LIGO detector site at Hanford, Washington. Each arm of the detector is 2.5 miles long (Photo credit: LIGO)

GeekWire.com is reporting that the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and associated researchers earned a Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics of $3 million.

Breakthrough Prizes were founded by several billionaires in the technology sector like Google’s Sergey Brin, Facebook’s MArk Zuckerburg and Russian investor Yuri Milner. These prizes have been given out to researchers in life sciences, physics, and mathematics. Prizes are awarded at any time and although it is relatively new compared to the Nobel Prize, it does offer more money up front.

Eight researchers and students in the Department of Physics at the University of Oregon were named in the article due to their part in the LIGO research team and will receive a portion of the prize:

  • James Brau, Knight Professor of Natural Science and Director of the Center for High Energy Physics
  • Raymond Frey, Department Head
  • Robert Schofield, Research Assistant Professor
  • Dipongkar Talukder, Research Associate
  • Sudarshan Karki, Graduate Student
  • Jordan Palamos, Graduate Student
  • Vincent Roma, Graduate Student
  • Paul Schale, Graduate Student

Congratulations to the team in general and the researchers in particular!

For more on the article from GeekWire, check out this link.

For the research paper Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger that won the prize, click this link.

Comments closed
Posted by Mike Moresi
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