Requesting Software for College of Engineering Courses




Overview

CAEN is available to assist College of Engineering faculty interested in exploring how software can be integrated into courses. CAEN staff members are available to work with faculty to research various software sources, find solutions that address course needs, and oversee software installation and implementation into the CAEN Lab Software Environment (CLSE).

CAEN encourages professors and instructors to submit requests for software as early as possible. Submitting requests prior to set deadlines ensures that requested software will be available in time for the start of the following term.

Final negotiations for software terms and conditions from the vendor should be done in consultation with CAEN in order to obtain the most favorable terms for the College of Engineering.

Software Submission Deadlines

CAEN has established the following deadlines for requests to install new software in the CAEN Lab Software Environment. These deadlines should be considered when developing a course plan around a software package that CAEN does not already provide.

Courses Term: Software Request Deadline:
Fall May 15
Winter October 15
Spring/Summer March 1

If the version of software you would like to run in a given term is not available before the deadline, you must still advise CAEN of your requirements prior to the respective date so CAEN staff can plan accordingly. In some cases, an earlier version of software may need to be installed as an alternative.

Reasons for the Deadlines

Adding or upgrading software in the CLSE requires significant effort from CAEN. In order for CAEN to plan adequately for this effort, CAEN staff must know, with substantial lead-time, which software applications are required for Engineering courses. Early notice is especially important for new software or updates of existing applications that are to be used in large enrollment or critical courses.

The platforms on which CAEN deploys the CLSE (Microsoft Windows and Red Hat Linux) present additional challenges. In many cases, installing an application on a server or on hundreds of computers is vastly more complicated than installing on a single computer. Also, while a given software package may be installed and will work for one course, it might not work for other courses because other modules may be required that have not been tested or deployed.

Whenever a given software application is changed, including adding new plug-ins and modules, CAEN staff must also re-test all previously installed software to ensure they still operate as expected. Testing is important because the installation of one application could modify files or settings shared by multiple software applications, causing unforeseen negative consequences. Very few changes can be made during the Fall or Winter terms because it is important to maintain a stable environment while classes are in session.

Submit an Instructional Software Request

Faculty and course instructors interested in submitting software for distribution in CAEN computer labs must fill out CAEN's Course Software request form. All course software must be provided in a usable state. The course instructor bears responsibility for testing the software, ensuring that it functions properly in the CAEN Lab Software Environment and is licensed for course use.