Requesting Software for Michigan Engineering Courses


CAEN is available to assist Michigan Engineering faculty interested in exploring how software can be integrated into courses. CAEN staff 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).

Faculty and course instructors are encouraged 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 Michigan Engineering.

Software Submission Deadlines

CAEN has established the following deadlines for requests to install new software in the CLSE. These deadlines should be considered when developing a course plan around a software package that is not already available:

Courses Term:Software Request Deadline:
FallMay 15
WinterOctober 15
Spring/SummerMarch 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 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 staff. In order to plan adequately for this effort, we must know, with substantial lead-time, which software applications are required for each Michigan Engineering course. 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 Enterprise Linux) present their own 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 work for one course, it might not work for other courses due to additional modules that may be required, or have not previously been tested.

Whenever a given software application is changed, including adding new plug-ins or modules, CAEN staff must also re-test any 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 other applications, causing unforeseen negative consequences. Very few changes can be made during the middle of the Fall or Winter terms, because it is important to maintain a stable, working environment for students 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 our Course Software request form.

All requested software must be provided in a stable, operational state. The course instructor(s) will bear responsibility for testing the software, ensuring that it functions properly in the CAEN Lab Software Environment, and is licensed appropriately for instructional use at the University.