Computer Labs Aid Instruction

You might think, in these days of ubiquitous laptops and wireless Internet, that the traditional instructional computer lab has had its day, but labs remain an essential resource for instruction at UCI.

Distributed through 9 rooms in six buildings, NACS manages over 300 computers dedicated to instructional use. NACS continuously invests in the lab computers to keep them current, and systems in any of our labs have a consistent, predictable configuration.

All lab computers have an array of academic and productivity software, and all labs have printing facilities (most through NACS’s Payprint system, and Gateway Study Center computers through the Library.)

Instructional labs fill two principal roles: allocation to faculty while teaching regularly scheduled courses, and “drop in” use. Some labs are always available for drop-in use, and all labs are available for drop-in use when not being used for a course.

Faculty interested in having a computing lab allocated to a course may make their request online.

In addition to course use and drop-in use, some of our computers are available at night as a computational resource. From 10pm to 7am, systems in the MST and SST buildings reconfigure themselves as a computational cluster. If you’re interested in access to this cluster, please contact NACS.

Instructional labs:

Request a lab for your course:

Drop-in labs:

Printing in Labs

For the last few years, NACS has managed a pay-for-printing service in its instructional computing labs in an effort to balance printing needs with the inevitable costs of providing that capability. This service has been so successful (we estimate more than half a million pages will be printed this year) that departments which manage other labs have asked for NACS’ assistance in setting up similar services.

Today, “PayPrint” is available in labs managed by NACS, Information and Computer Science (ICS), Social Sciences, Humanities and the Division of Undergraduate Education’s Instructional Technology Center. There are a total of 20 stations to which users can direct printouts, and the cards needed to pay for and authorize printouts in the system are for sale from vending machines in NACS’ labs in Engineering Gateway and the Humanities Instructional Building, as well as in ICS, Social Sciences, and Humanities.

There is more good news for users of PayPrint! A recent analysis of anticipated costs for the coming year has enabled NACS to reduce the price to $0.10 per page. This will make printing more affordable to students.