Thursday October 13, 2005

Unwired!

The University of Dayton ranks among the top 20 wireless campuses in the nation, according to a new survey.

The University of Dayton ranks among the top 20 wireless campuses in the nation, according to Intel's newly released annual "Most Unwired College Campuses" survey.

UD has moved up to 16 on the list of the top 50 campuses with the greatest wireless Internet accessibility. Last year, UD ranked 28.

University of Dayton students can go wireless just about anywhere they live, eat, study -- or do laundry. The University of Dayton this summer upgraded all houses in the neighborhoods surrounding campus by adding high-speed network equipment and 350 wireless access points that doubled wireless connections.

In all, UD has more than 700 wireless access points throughout campus, including 240 in academic buildings and green spaces and more than 450 in residential areas. In the past seven months, wireless Internet traffic has increased 24 percent on campus, according to UD statistics.

"The University of Dayton continues to focus on expanding and strengthening our wireless network as we partner with colleagues across campus to build and sustain a truly integrated learning and living environment," said Tom Skill, associate provost and CIO. "While moving up in the national rankings is very nice to see, we draw our greatest satisfaction from the successes of our students who continue to challenge us to do better so that they can do more."

Using notebook computers, students are managing six student-run businesses on campus and connecting with researchers around the world as well as accessing course material and e-mailing their professors for help. Supporting the wireless network underground are more than 1,300 miles of network wiring -- enough to cover the distance between Dayton and Santa Fe, N.M.

"This helps them prepare for a technology-rich world, and, frankly, it's fun. Like other professors, I intentionally create moments of discovery in the classroom since this prepares students for a lifetime of curiosity and learning," said David Wright, associate professor of biology and director of curriculum innovation and e-learning.

"The act of discovering something new, such as seeing what DNA molecules actually look like in three dimensions on the computer screen, is inspirational," he said. "I can also ask students to delve into the Human Genome Project. This is new biology and uncharted territory. By connecting to the Internet in the classroom, students can actually see our genetic makeup."

Intel's survey findings are based on the percentage of each college campus that is covered by wireless technology, the number of undergraduate students and the computer to student ratio for each school. The study examined schools with enrollment more than 1,000. Data was gathered through university interviews, review of public documents and additional industry sources; the "America's Most Connected Campuses" ranking conducted by the Princeton Review and published in Forbes; and an online survey that schools completed between May 1 and Sept. 1, 2005, which was executed by the Center for Digital Education and Intel. For more information, click here [http://www.intel.com/personal/wireless/unwiredcampuses.htm].

This is not the first recognition the University of Dayton has received for integrating technology into the learning and living experience. In 2003, the Princeton Review named UD one of the most technologically savvy universities in the nation, ranking UD 24th on its list of the top 25 "Most Connected Campuses."

Contact Tom Skill at (937) 229-3511 or skill@udayton.edu or David Wright at (937) 229-4604 or david.wright@notes.udayton.edu.