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Faculty Information

Some specific information for faculty (especially new faculty).

Computer Accounts

Both the math department and the college (through CIS) offer computing accounts. These accounts give you access to different sets of access; in most cases, you'll need both.

Mathematics Cluster Accounts

Accounts on the mathematics cluster (machines maintained by the department's systems administrator) are available by filling out the department's account request form (PDF) and submitting the form to the department's systems administrator. Account policies are the same for all users.

CIS Accounts

CIS runs the college's Windows and Macintosh computer labs and maintains the college's networking infrastructure. They administer the accounts for their systems, such as “charlie”, CIS's Windows fileserver for faculty, staff, and students. The CIS account-request form allows you to select what systems you need access to.

Consulting these descriptions of some of the CIS servers may help you choose which types of accounts you need.

More information on setting up and maintaining CIS accounts is available below.

Wireless Connectivity

The Claremont Colleges run a campuswide wireless network called Claremont-WPA, which provides WPA encryption for connected machines (i.e., no one can see what you're doing until it gets to the wired network). Access is restricted to community members who have “charlie” accounts.

Getting onto Claremont-WPA requires you to install a profile on your machine, which includes the necessary SSL certificates to support encryption as well as some information about your account. Going to will walk you through a wizard to create the necessary profile.

Web Sites

The department runs its own web server (hint: you're looking at it). Faculty can have their own websites under their usernames, with URLs like

The files for these websites are stored in a public_html directory at the top level of your home directory on the math cluster. Note that the permissions on files and directories within the website as well as on the public_html directory and your home directory must be set properly; our Unix permissions tutorial describes the correct settings.

Special Directories

For faculty, we provide the ability to restrict access to materials to machines within the domain or within the Claremont Colleges network. You can create the directories ~/public_html/hmc-only/ and ~/public_html/cuc-only/ to take advantage of these restrictions.

Keep in mind that the wireless network is shared by all the colleges, and that anything you want students to be able to access from their laptops will have to go into the cuc-only directory. As this directory also allows non-HMC students to access your materials, it's probably the best place for class-related materials that you don't want people off campus to be able to see.

Desktop and Laptop Machines

If you're not purchasing equipment out of your startup funds or as part of your startup deal, you may want to consider requesting a laptop or desktop system from CIS's PCs for Faculty Program.

Each semester, CIS sends out a call for applications that includes several preconfigured machines to choose from, generally a Dell laptop and desktop machine running Windows XP Professional and an Apple laptop and desktop running Mac OS X. Once we have the machine, we can wipe it and install whatever OS we like on it, so if one of the standard configurations works for you, then we can go with that.

If none of the preconfigured machines does quite what you want, PCs for Faculty program will provide around $2000–$2200 (the exact amount may vary each semester; these amounts are from fall, 2005) towards the purchase of a nonstandard system.

In either case, I encourage you to talk to me about what you want to do so that we can figure out the best solution together. Because CIS “takes back” any PCs for Faculty funded machine (even ones that have been partially funded), it may be worth considering whether some peripherals should be purchased outside the program so that they may be retained when that machine is replaced.

Shared Resources

The department maintains a number of shared resources for use by faculty.


The department has an HP Color LaserJet 5550dtn and shares a Canon imageRunner 8070 with the other departments in Olin. Both of these machines can duplex (print on both sides of a sheet of paper).

gaspode is a color laser printer, suitable for printing reasonably detailed color documents. If you want to print photographs, you're probably better off taking them to a drugstore or other store with photo-printing equipment, or buying your own inkjet printer.

mrfusspot is a digital copier, and can produce multipage documents (such as exams or class handouts) that are printed duplex, stapled, and even three-hole punched.

Poster Printing

Through the generosity of Hewlett Packard and the tenacity of Mike Raugh, the department also has scraps, an HP DesignJet 1055cm. scraps can print posters that are 36" on one dimension. We have more information about printing posters available, including templates, college logos, and other material.


The department has additional, shared computers that you can use. These include:

A dual-processor Apple Power Macintosh G5 running Mac OS X 10.4. Located in the Publications Room, Olin B-143A (small room off the scientific-computing lab). Has a very nice color scanner and Adobe's Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat Professional) and can be used to create PDF files from scanned pages.
ponder is a 3.06 GHz dual-Xeon machine with 12 GB of RAM. It can be used for computations requiring a large amount of local memory or for long-running processes. ponder was purchased by Darryl Yong out of his startup funds; he has generously shared it with the rest of the department.



The college currently has a Total Academic Headcount (TAH) site license for MATLAB that allows all faculty, staff, and students to use MATLAB on their machines (desktops and laptops).


The college's current Maple license agreement covers faculty, staff, and students, and also allows for home use.


We now have a Claremont Colleges-wide license for Mathematica, which includes support for home and laptop use for faculty and staff.

For college-owned laptops, please see me about getting the necessary software (ideally, I can install it for you while I'm installing other software). CIS has requested that we use standalone installs for all laptops.

For your home system, you have to fill out a form at Wolfram's site. You can then download the software or request a set of CDs to be sent to you.

You will need the Colleges' license number to complete the form. The number was sent to all faculty by Elizabeth Hodas in the summer of 2006; if you don't have that message, let me know and I'll send you the information.

Odyssey Grant Review System

The Odyssey system is provided by the Claremont Colleges to allow faculty to review grant spending and other expenses. It's also used for Request-for-Checks (RFCs) and other aspects of the accounting system. At the time that it was rolled out (February, 2011), it only works with Internet Explorer on Windows or with Firefox with a third-party plugin (to allow viewing PDFs within the browser) on Mac OS X.

Because the plug-in recommended by CUC changes the behavior of all the browsers on the system (including Safari and Chrome), and because it causes crashes in some of these browsers, we are not installing it as part of the system software. Instead, you can choose to install the plug-in for yourself, which also has the advantage of allowing you to choose when you use it.

Alternatives to the Plug-In

The main problem is that the software does not work with any browser other than Firefox—it causes Google Chrome to crash and refuses to display anything with Safari. But Firefox cannot use the Mac's native PDF-viewing software to view PDFs within the browser. (As the system refuses to work with Safari the Chrome browser crashed during testing, their PDF viewing capabilities are, alas, irrelevant.) The system sends PDF content with an incorrect file extension, which means that you need to save and then rename the file or adjust Firefox's Applications preferences to treat these files as PDF (and thus open them with a PDF viewer).

You can also teach your Mac to treat these files as PDFs and open them in a PDF viewer. In the Finder on your Mac, you can select one of these files, right-click on it and choose Get Info..., then in the Open with pane, select Preview (or Skim, or whatever) in the drop-down menu (because it isn't obviously a PDF, you might have to scroll down to Other, then choose the application—you also might have to change the Recommended Applications menu to All Applications if the PDF viewers are greyed out). You can then click the Change All... button, which will pop up a dialog box asking if you really want to change all files with that extension so they open up in your PDF viewer. After that, any file with that extension should be openable as a PDF without renaming.

Installing the Plug-In

To install the plug-in, open a Finder window, press Command-Shift-G (or choose Go->Go to Folder... from the menus), and type /shared/local/macosx in the sheet that appears. You will then see a plug-in called “PDF Browser Plugin”.

Open a second Finder window and go to ~/Library. If you have a folder called Internet Plug-Ins (with that spelling), select that folder; if not, you'll have to create the folder. Then you can drag the PDF Browser Plugin file to that folder.

Quit and restart your web browser to load the plug-in.

While you're looking in ~/Library, you might also want to create a folder called Internet Plug-Ins (Disabled). You can then return to the native behavior for your browsers by dragging the plug-in from the Internet Plug-Ins folder to Internet Plug-Ins (Disabled).

For a laptop, you can do the same thing, only you might to copy the plug-in to your machine using scp; if you decide that you like it, you can also install the plug-in with a package from (I extracted the plug-in from the package to make it easier to install by hand; the package installs the plug-in system-wide.)

License Agreement

This plug-in is free for educational, nonprofit use. The first time you try to view a PDF after installing the plug-in, you'll get a dialog box asking you to “Order PDF Browser Plugin 2 license”. You can select the “Educational use only” radio button near the bottom of this dialog and click the OK button, then click OK in the next dialog to agree that you're only using the plug-in for noncommercial purposes.

Removing the Plug-In

If you want to get rid of the plug-in, you can drag the file from ~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins to the Trash. You will also find preferences files with names starting com.schubert in ~/Library/Preferences, and you may want to remove those as well.

Other Software

If you have questions about particular software packages, please feel free to ask the department's systems staff for more information.

More (Local) Information

More information about our support for various software packages is available from our support site. Quick links to specific packages:

CIS Services

The college's central IT organization, CIS, provides a number of services outside of our department. You can keep up with changes and other news on their news blog.

Computer Accounts

There are many services provided by CIS that use a common account (for “single sign on” access). These accounts must be obtained from CIS (and are managed by CIS). Once you have an account, you can manage some aspects of it via the Password and Account Management Portal.


For connecting securely to college resources (including ours), CIS offers a VPN service. This service requires a CIS computing account to use.


Audio/visual services, such as arranging for projectors, cameras, microphones, or other equipment for classrooms, seminar rooms, or meetings. Requests should be made at least 24 hours before the service will be needed through their online form