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America's Most Connected Campuses

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the disruptive-technologies dept.

Education 429

foghorn666 writes "Forbes and the Princeton Review have posted their list of America's Most Connected Campuses, which measures the technological capabilities of the country's 357 top colleges and universities. They're looking at infrastructure stuff like whether wireless networks are available, if you can register for classes online, and so on - not really curriculum. But the results are interesting, and the winner not a huge surprise: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute."

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First Post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10600700)

FP, Mofos!

Re:First Post (0, Offtopic)

strictfoo (805322) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601043)

This First Post brought to you by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, who also brought you this story!

Not a surprise? (4, Interesting)

Frisky070802 (591229) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600710)

RPI's not a huge surprise? I expected MIT at number one... not below the top 25. Same for many others. WTF?

Re:Not a surprise? (4, Funny)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600834)

MIT is in Cambridge Mass, where there are lots of interesting things to do. RPI is in... Troy, NY. I'd spend all my time on the Internet too if I were there.

Re:Not a surprise? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10600860)

Drexel kicks everyone's ass. I love it here. I'm sitting on a fucking backbone. 45 mbit down, 11 mbit up.

Re:Not a surprise? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10601049)

MIT has had multiple T3's since at least 1996. Hell, most off-campus fraternity houses each had their own T1 line, paid for by the school--and this was before DSL or cable. (Not sure what they have now.)

Re:Not a surprise? (1)

The Mainframe (573877) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600887)

Hell, I'm surprised to find my college at #1. I guess, however, when I think of the prevalence of bits around here, it makes sense. I probably would have picked Dartmouth, but hey, I'm not complaining. Shows what I know.

Re:Not a surprise? (3, Informative)

tonsofpcs (687961) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600904)

RPI was the first technical institution. MIT is newer and is not as tech based as it is science based.

Re:Not a surprise? (3, Interesting)

the quick brown fox (681969) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600918)

I believe there were some mistakes in the MIT data.

Does the school provide Web pages?
Can students register online?

Both these answers were "No" according to the survey, but they should be "Yes".

Re:Not a surprise? (3, Informative)

the quick brown fox (681969) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600961)

Oh, here's the MIT page [] . I think with those two "No" answers corrected, MIT should be #3 on the list.

Re:Not a surprise? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10601194)

Heh... there seem to be mistakes across the board, actually, glancing through some of the schools.

Re:Not a surprise? (3, Interesting)

qplnm (228906) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600977)

And what about CMU? A few years back they were considered way up there, if not #1. T1 to all the dorms by my freshman year (1996), wireless at big chunks of campus in 99, hell we had a robot that roamed the halls freely and took commands issued via a web site.

Perhaps in the past few years there has been less of a focus on technology than there used to be.

Re:Not a surprise? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10601032)

I visited CMU last summer. They are wired in all the dorms and are wireless everywhere on the campus. In fact, many professors update the class material over their network in realtime. This study is either biased or not thorough at all.

Re:Not a surprise? (4, Informative)

QuantumFTL (197300) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600981)

RPI's not a huge surprise? I expected MIT at number one... not below the top 25. Same for many others. WTF?

Well, unlike MIT, RPI is much much more interested in technology and applied science than pure science - it is an "engineer factory" so to speak. Not only that, but their campus is tiny. A few wireless access points is all it takes to cover the entire place, unlike my school (Cornell University).

When I was there last, it was hard to find a place without wireless or ethernet available. Very cool. Good job RPI!

BTW, if you wonder what they do there, I was talking to Freeman Dyson the other day and he seemed to be very excited about their lightcraft [] - UFO looking space ships powered by earth-mounted laser generators. He seems to think they are much more likely to work than space elevators.


Re:Not a surprise? (1)

rattler14 (459782) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601076)

Bear in mind, the school holding the "top" spot goes in cycles. As a school that updates there internet backbone makes a huge leap forward on the list and then eventually gets passed while others upgrade.

Also, fast access does not guarantee anything about the education. It's nice, yes, but being number 1 in internet speed is like being number 1 in number of campus dining options. It's nice, but not essential in creating a good campus atmosphere.

CHI ?? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10600728)

Why is my alma matter not on the list

We're #13! -- We're #13! (1, Funny)

The I Shing (700142) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600732)

I am pleasantly surprised to find my school ranked as #13 overall, ahead of Boston University, even!

Re:We're #13! -- We're #13! (1)

NardofDoom (821951) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600929)

I am totally unsuprised to find my alma mater [] not on the list at all.

Anyone with the skill to implement half the stuff Rensselaer has [] would avoid that place like the plague.

Unless they want slutty sorority girls to drunkenly fawn over them.

In which case they're too busy to implement a WAN.

Re:We're #13! -- We're #13! (2, Informative)

NardofDoom (821951) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601011)

Actually, looking at the list of stuff PSU [] supplies, it's factually incorrect.

PSU offers webmail, online course registration, online classes, free web space w/ http access and limited CGI, network access in dorm rooms, and I think there are areas with wireless scattered around the campus.

But that doesn't mean the sorority girls aren't slutty, or make up for the fact it's a football school first and a teaching school second.

Re:We're #13! -- We're #13! (1)

and by (598383) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600947)

BU may have a lot of computers, but its IT department is not so hot. I was at University of Oregon for undergrad (an Internet2 school) and it blows the pants off of BU in terms of user-friendliness, security, and variety of available systems. For cryin' out loud, they don't even support POP3S when they only give you 20M of storage and encourage the use of webmail.

I'm really bitter about the downgrade in my computing experience since moving here. It's a fine school, but for what we're paying, I think we deserve better IT service.

BU sucks in general (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10601152)

That's all there is to it.

Re:We're #13! -- We're #13! (2, Funny)

general_re (8883) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601172)

I passed that info to my boss, mentioning that I graduated from #13. It did not, however, result in the raise I asked for.

Your Future

Sad commentary... (2, Interesting)

potus98 (741836) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600765)

That every year I hear the rankings of Top 10 party schools in Time, Newsweek, and other mainstream media outlets. I never hear a thing about campus rankings on issues that actually matter unless I turn to (relatively) obscure news sources like /.

Re:Sad commentary... (1)

StevenHenderson (806391) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600790)

That every year I hear the rankings of Top 10 party schools in Time, Newsweek, and other mainstream media outlets. I never hear a thing about campus rankings on issues that actually matter unless I turn to (relatively) obscure news sources like /.

Um...this is from Forbes, not Slashdot.

Re:Sad commentary... (1)

DaHat (247651) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600867)

I think he's saying that he doesn't read non /. sources very often with out being told to (ie from /.)

Someone Think Of The Students... (2, Insightful)

thealmightyegg (824365) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600781)

"...which measures the technological capabilities of the country's 357 top colleges and universities."

But where's the survey measuring the technological capabilities of the students?

Re:Someone Think Of The Students... (3, Interesting)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601170)

Or, often more importantly, of the faculty.

I teach at a good sized state university, and we were well ahead of the curve in being "wired" (we could easily answer "yes" to almost all the questions on the forbes survey). But I have colleagues who don't know how to use their computers. While there are attempts to train faculty and draw them more into the information age, there are still far too many (usually older) faculty members (and staff) who are out of touch technologically. Department pages are very slow to be updated on the web (if they exist at all), students freely plagiarize from online sources knowing their professor won't use google to catch them, and computer labs are cesspools of viral activity because the OS's aren't kept up to date.

What's worse, the university has bought into inflexible proprietary software solutions such as PeopleSoft, WebCT, and Blackboard to try to manage tasks which would be much better served by more flexible tools. I don't know as much about Peoplesoft (other than that I hate using it and it doesn't always work with my Mac), but my experience with the online teaching tools is that we would have been much better off with open source solutions like classweb [] , being developed at UCLA.

But of course it's a lot more difficult to measure such things on this sort of survey.

What about most secured? (4, Interesting)

TrollBridge (550878) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600783)

With as much emphasis as the survey put on wireless networking, I'd think good security would be one of the most important factors in a well-wired campus.

It's sad that something this high-profile apparently dismisses the importance of network security.

It's a... Nokia campus? (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600789)

Or at least a Nokia sponsored campus?

I'm special (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10600795)

I go here. Weeeeee!!

Kids today have it too easy... (4, Funny)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600818)

I remember dialing in with a 9600 baud modem to do my CS 60A (scheme) homework at UC Berkeley and only getting 2400 baud because of the answering modem's speed most of the time.

And then once I got on, the slowdown was that our new superfast server (danube, IIRC) was bogged down running poorly written interpreted, recursive, memory-hogging programs by 500+ students all trying to get in under the wire.

Sigh. The good old days.

Re:Kids today have it too easy... (5, Funny)

nick-less (307628) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600921)

I remember dialing in with a 9600 baud modem to do my CS 60A (scheme) homework at UC Berkeley and only getting 2400 baud because of the answering modem's speed most of the time.
Sigh. The good old days.

9600 Baud? Come on youngster, I bet I got pants older than you...

Re:Kids today have it too easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10601159)

9600 Baud? Come on youngster, I bet I got pants older than you...

Pants? Come on old-timer, both my parents are younger than your pants.

9600 "Baud" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10601165)

Bah, a true old-timer would have flamed him for saying "baud" when he meant "bps".

Mine's cool, too! (0)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600823)

I'm from the National Univesity of Singapore [] , and we have a system called IVLE [] . Click on "IVLE Web tutorials" to have a look around. They've made this into a commercial product, and are now selling it [] to other colleges and Unis.

Ha (1, Interesting)

igzat (817053) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600826)

I'm not surprised to see that Rutgers isn't even listed in the rankings. That school always was cheap when it came to technology spending. Even now the liabraries still have computer running Pentium I processors. For shame...

Re:Ha (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600952)

I'm not surprised to see that Rutgers isn't even listed in the rankings. That school always was cheap when it came to technology spending.

I don't know about ALWAYS... wasn't it the site of one of the first handful of ARPAnet nodes?

Re:Ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10601061)

No, Rutgers was not [] among the early ARPAnet nodes.

I don't buy it (5, Insightful)

WilliamGeorge (816305) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600830)

A major portion of their analysis seems to be the ratio of students to computers, but that is rather unfair: they are only counting campus-owned computers, not the ones students bring with them. For example: my alma matter, the University of Washington, has two EXCELLENT, large computer labs, plus others scattered about the various buildings. They also have Wi-Fi network s (though not campus-wide). But still, the majority of students bring their own computers (wether laptops they carry or desktops in their dorms). And ya know what, it didn't even make the list! This is bull-crap!

Re:I don't buy it (1)

Standmic (769361) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600960)

RPI requires (since the class of 2002 or 2003, I can't remember) all undergraduates to have laptops. Plus there is a huge main computer lab, and dozens of smaller ones scattered around campus. They also have campus-wide internet (I would bet that 99% of classrooms have either wireless or wired internet, the student union has wireless, even the dinning hall).

Re:I don't buy it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10601223)

RPI requires (since the class of 2002 or 2003, I can't remember) all undergraduates to have laptops.

RPI has required laptops since the Fall of 1999 (IBM 600e). The graduate students are required to have one also.

Re:I don't buy it (1)

Galapas (155864) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600967)

You'll note that one of the checkboxes in the details page is "Are students required to own a computer?" So not only do some schools (RPI for instance) have a good ratio of school computers, but every student also has their own.


Re:I don't buy it (2, Insightful)

dfj225 (587560) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600969)

Yes, I was kind of surprised that my school, Drexel University, didn't make the list. Since Drexel is mostly an engineering/science/technology focused school, it seems like it should be up there. I know there is a lot of technology on our campus, plus everyone is required to own a computer. This means that there is not much use for the labs outside of commuters who don't have laptops, other small groups of people that need a lab, and the ones required for a class. Most of my geekier friend even have 2 or 3 computers in their dorm rooms. Obviously a school isn't going to build many labs if most of the population has a computer that they carry with them all day. Also, some of the information was flat out wrong. For Drexel, they are marked as having no web space when we actually get a small chunk as well as other accounts on various servers.

Re:I don't buy it (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600975)

actually I agree... My school has pretty much gotten rid of most of the computer labs (aside from high end unix, chem, and graphic design labs) because 99% of the students bring their own computers and very few actually use the public labs.

Re:I don't buy it (1)

ratsnapple tea (686697) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601005)

Yeah. Take a look at my alma mater, Columbia [] . The stats are just plain wrong: there's a campuswide wireless network, many classes are offered online and some in streaming video, the school provides webspace (though admittedly it's still up to you to design your site), and both WKCR [] and WBAR [] are streamed online. So why are these all red X's in Forbes' table?

Re:I don't buy it (1)

tonsofpcs (687961) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601029)

Yea, they list RPI with a 24:100 computer to student ratio, but they require the students to own a computer (and have it with them if they live on campus). So shouldn't this really be 124:100?

Re:I don't buy it (2, Insightful)

Se7enLC (714730) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601037)

I second that opinion that computer/student ratio is useless. Having computers in labs are for non-technological universities. Real geek schools expect the geeks to have their own PCs and spend the money on cooler equipment. WPI has campus-wide wifi (including all the dorms/apartments and even some fraternities), Internet2, and 10/100 in all buildings. Just because they don't have as many physical PCs sitting in labs doesn't mean that we aren't as connected! Compare that to MIT who doesn't even encrypt their wireless!! Can you believe that?!

Re:I don't buy it (1)

ostiguy (63618) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601127)


1. Why is forcing kids to buy a pc a great idea? This methodology skews in favor of forced choice, and does not count freely acquired computers owned. This makes things easy for campus IT depts, but is not necessarily the best thing for students.

2. Some things appear to be factually incorrect- I am an American University alum - I had a web page hosted on their old VMS box in 97. They retired that circa 99, but I am fairly certain they have some facility for students to host pages - Forbes says there is none.

3. What is the difference between online classes and those that stream audio and video? Offering streams might be just a facility for students to not leave their beds.

4. Usenet access? Does even 5% of *any* student body use usenet?


Re:I don't buy it (1)

Impotent_Emperor (681409) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601129)

There also seems to be some wrong information in the Forbes article/database of colleges. For instance, their NJIT information [] lists that there is no wireless network and no webpages for students, but both do exist. It might be the school's fault since the webpage shows the text "NR - School did not report" indicating that the schools participating answered a survey for Forbes/Princeton Review. Someone may have screwed up.

Of course, it would be nice if we knew more details of the questions asked. For instance, does a wireless network have to be campus-wide for it to count? What kind of multimedia equipment are they talking about and what do they mean by "provide"?

Re:I don't buy it (1)

RPI Geek (640282) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601177)

As an RPI student (3 running PC's and a few not-currently-running in my room right now), I can honestly say that every single student there has a computer. It's a requirement for being an undergrad to have a laptop, and I'd venture a guess that around 25% have a desktop in their rooms as well. Hell, I'm building one for my car even!

Re:I don't buy it (1)

Keith Russell (4440) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601179)

Never mind ones brought by students, how about ones issued by the school to the students?

Since 1995, Grove City College has been handing every incoming freshman a shiny new Compaq laptop. (Would have been nice to have that when I was a freshman.) Yet GCC is listed with a miniscule 2:100 ratio! Well, duh! What use would a school have for rooms full of space heaters when they know everybody has a computer, because they gave every student one to keep?

reminds me... (5, Funny)

LiquidMind (150126) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600832)

I read this on some IRC channel a couple'a years ago...

A: this school i'm trying to apply for is asking me all these stupid questions. like "why do you want to attend our school?"
B: tell them 'cuz you got a phat pipe that i can use to download porn, warez and mp3s.

what about NJIT? (1)

Mach5 (3371) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600861)

i go to NJIT and i hate it, BUT, im involved in our schools smartcampus project [] and our campus is really wired, we shouldve been in the top 25. when i clicked on the details of my school on the forbes site, almost all of the things they said we did not have were lies.

this is not accurate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10600865)

Many of the schools that are not ranked did not respond. For example, I go to Rice and the information about my school is just plain wrong.

learn something new everyday (1)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600875)

I always thought /'DePauw' was just how people from NY/NJ/etc pronounced 'DePaul'

Student: Computer ratio could be a factor (1)

outcast36 (696132) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600878)

It sems that Student-Computer ratio could be keeping the traditional tech schools out while state schools that require incoming freshman to buy a new dell laptop get higher numbers. (You try telling the hardcore geeks that they all have to have the same IBM, DELL, whatever and see how long that lasts.)

I would take those ratios with a grain of salt. Walk through the dorms at a respectable tech school, and I promise you will see a plethora of "unofficial" networks that show a bit more technical competence.

my 00.2 USD.

not to nitpick... (4, Informative)

npistentis (694431) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600879)

sadly, the most connected campus seems to be fairly irresponsible with their student data. 3 years ago, i did a search for a friend who went there, and got a hit on a page including student names matched with Social Security numbers and a test score. We sent an email to the IT guys there... a year later, I did it again- the page was still up, so I told them again. Out of curiosity, I just did the same search, and got the same list. How would you feel knowing that your school was this irresponsible with personal data?

Re:not to nitpick... (1)

ldspartan (14035) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600936)

RPIs student IDs used to be your SS#. Thankfully, a New York state law outlawed this 4 years ago, so we now have non-significant student IDs.

So yeah, it's a bit better now :).


Re:not to nitpick... (1)

npistentis (694431) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601117)

That's good to know... I sent them another email earlier - although it makes it far more excusable if they are not gov't assigned identifiers, I still think they should be a bit more careful with what they web publish.

Re:not to nitpick... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10601190)

I'd be happy with all the money I got when I sued them. With hat money I could finish up college.

Does size matter? (1)

igny (716218) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600884)

I 've always thought the smaller university, the more connected it's campus.

Rating Criteria (2, Insightful)

anglete (782289) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600893)

I have a problem with these ratings. According to the criteria, ratings are strongly based on how many computers there are per student. I dont know about your university, but i rarely use the campus computers. When i do, there are always many and they are mostly not used. Most people either have a desktop at home / dorm or a laptop they carry everywhere. To get my university to be on the top 25 on this list, they'll need to have even more unused machines scattered about campus.

In summary, I disagree with the rating criteria. I would like to see the rating based more on how many computers there are per student (including the ones the students own) not how many computers the campus owns per student.

Re:Rating Criteria (1)

caseydk (203763) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600996)

And is specifies them as "campus owned" computers...

At some schools - like my alma mater Rose-Hulman [] - all of the students are required to buy laptops, so the "school owned" computer to student ratio is incredibly low.

Of course, freshmen there have been required to buy laptops since 1995.

Way to go RPI (2, Informative)

pertinax18 (569045) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600900)

I graduated from RPI this past may and I can definitely agree with their assesment. Almost everything could be done online, from registering for class to attending class (via live video streams) to contacting the bursar or financial aid. They put a lot of effort into it and it is nice to see some recognition.

Re:Way to go RPI (2, Funny)

DonServo (727377) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601089)

Geez... At my university, we have to bribe the bursar with dried frog pills to get a response!

Re:Way to go RPI (1)

Se7enLC (714730) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601095)

So do many other schools. WPI was a beta tester for Banner, one of the foremost software packages to incorporate financial aid, schedules, housing, tuition payments, alumni, employees salary, etc etc etc. It's all in ONE system.

But they didn't look at that. They just looked to see who had the most computers / student.

Most connected, huh? (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600907)

Maybe they can stop sending be letters begging for cash. I've still got student loans, for crying out loud!

Re:Most connected, huh? (1)

Sandor at the Zoo (98013) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601094)

Don't worry -- the RPI alumni association will continue to send letters and call, long after you've paid off the school loans.

A friend of mine is the only person I know to avoid the RPI alumni plague -- before she left RPI, she changed her listed phone number to that of the Boston weather service.

NJIT Not On List. HAHA! (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600914)

I rmeember when I was looking for a college, the New Jersey Institute of Technology was ranked #1 Most Wired University by Yahoo!

They milked that thing for all it was worth. There were banners and posters everywhere.

In their defense, they were pretty wired for the time. Every single classroom and dorm room was wired for 10Mb ethernet; this was before wireless was popular or cheap, but I was surprised there was not 100Mb ethernet. And they had a partial T3 connection to the 'net. Also, you could register for courses online, which was a big deal back then. Most of my friends at other universities had to wait in line the old fassion way.

They lost that placing pretty quickly. Things had gotten a little better after I graduated, but still. I can easily see these things fluxuate very quickly.

What I find odd is that the current computer/student ratio is really really low. When I was going there, they'd outfit each student with a piece of garbage computer, but at least everyone had one. Maybe things have changed since?

Illinois? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10600917)

I'm always disappointed to not see my alma mater, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on there, considering the WWW was pretty much started there (netscape)

Something's FSCKed (1)

patrik (55312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600924)

I don't know who they talked to at Virginia Tech, but we have wireless, the school provides web pages, we do get student discounted computers, some courses do have streamable audio/video, honestly can't remember if we get network access in the dorm lounges but I know there are ports there so I'd think yes, they do provide multimedia equipment, we do have classes in emerging technologies, and WUVT (the local campus radio station) does in fact stream on the net So we definitely deserve to be a little better off than they claim.


Does cold climate have an effect? (1)

Enzo the Baker (822444) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600928)

Looks like all of the top 25 schools there are in states that have pretty cold winters. I wonder if that has an effect. In warmer places, people are probably more willing to walk to libraries and labs, etc.

Article doesn't have enough data. (1)

nberardi (199555) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600930)

The article doesn't have enough data for all the schools. For instance Penn State [] , my alma mater, is pretty much in the dark ages according to Forbes. Penn State meets all of the questions, so they should all be yes. And the computer to student ratio is about 1/3 (one computer for every three students).

So I really question this article.

UTexas (2, Informative)

TheSpunkyEnigma (10120) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600931)

I can do almost everything online short of actually going to class. Yet we're not even ranked. I call complete bullshit on this article.

is it just me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10600935)

or is the Bradley University guy flipping me off?

Seriously, check out the pop-up pictoral list.

Re:is it just me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10601059)

I'm the Bradley guy. I wasn't flipping you off, but the guy sitting next to you.

I really hate that guy.

RPI sucks (2, Insightful)

Herbmaster (1486) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600939)

The only reason RPI is so high on the list is because the administration is a bunch of pandering suck-ups who will do whatever it takes to meet a trendy benchmark rather than actually earn respect the old fashioned way. RPI wants to be at the top of this list, so they excel at filling this requirements that Forbes is looking for. Yahoo does such a ranking, and for years RPI has been near the top of that list.

In reality, RPI's dorm network is a mess, they manditorily firewall off all students, and computer labs have disappeared because since 1999 they've required all students to have a laptop (and essentially required them to run windows). They've had among the worst problems with file sharing and the RIAA. Sure, there "is a" wireless network. Great. Ooh, and email access off campus! Too bad Rensselaer alumni free email for life is, as of this month, no longer.

Re:RPI sucks (3, Informative)

ldspartan (14035) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601124)

Although it's been a few years since I've lived on campus, I do know some of the people who take care of the network, and I don't think calling it a mess is at all accurate. They firewall off students because students are dumb, and do dumb things, like getting infected with spam bots. And, if you have some semblance of a brain, getting around the firewall isn't very hard. As for off-campus mail support, I agree that sucks, but you can always VPN in and it works fine.

Also, alum mail is broken because it's not being run by RPIs IT folk. Alumni relations contracted it out to some freaking spam host that's killing them on the cost.

As for requiring laptops to run windows, you'll have to talk to my roomate, who hasn't run windows for anything in 3 years (I think he's a moron for this, but he's still done it), on both his RPI-sponsored laptops.

I don't know why you quote "is a" (another astounding feat of RPI english, I guess), but I've certainly never had problems with wireless access on campus, in fact it's available pretty much everywhere I need it.

RPI has a lot of problems, but IT sure as hell isn't one of them. How many other schools have a full-time CCIE?


Questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10600946)

So I looked up the college I just graduated from and read the questions and stats. I think some of them are questionable. e.g. Does a tution include a computer? Answer was "No" but you are required to buy one from the school and it is just added on to your tution bill. So every student in fact has their own computer. Then the computer to student ratio does not take into account that every student has their own computer in their room. Just seems like some of the questions could of been stated better to me. There were a few others that were wierd like the handheld device one.

More computers than students??? (2, Interesting)

wilsonjd (597750) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600959)

According to this article, Dartmoth has 12000 computers for 4000 students???

Bandwidth/Student Ratio? (1)

EvanKai (218260) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600991)

I work at Bradley University (squeaked in at #24) and I don't think this makes any sense. While we have an Internet2 connection and several buildings have wireless, our commodity connection was completely running at 99% capacity last year. This year we've separated student housing onto a completely separate service provider. So I have plenty of bandwidth to spare from my office and academic labs, I still hear complaints form students in the dorms.

Wouldn't calculating the bandwidth to student ratio make more sense than the computer to student ratio when determining "wiredness"?

Re:Bandwidth/Student Ratio? (1)

StevenHenderson (806391) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601212)

Do you guys use a Packet Shaper? That helped where I went...

University of Oregon (2, Insightful)

kngthdn (820601) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600992)

This study makes no sense. My school, the University of Oregon, offers free web hosting [] , discounted computers [] , support for handheld computers [] , multimedia equipment to borrow [] , and courses in emerging technologies [] . Why is all the information [] at wrong?

I'm not saying the UO is high tech, or that they should have been rated higher. I just wonder if they screwed up the data from other schools, too.

Re:University of Oregon (1)

mothoc (307671) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601113)

They screwed up the Texas A&M listing as well. Like you, we offer free webhosting, wirelss, etc. and they said we don't. I'm wondering if our Univeristy Relations people will get wind of this...

The University that I went to... (4, Insightful)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600999)

Now has amazing connectivity. The entire campus (quite large) is entirely "lit up" with wireless hot-spots, and most buildings have an ethernet tap for every classroom seat.

To make it better, in the student housing, for some pitifully low amount ($25?), you get a 20 megabit(!) connection. All paid for by student fees, of course.

Now, I'm all for computers. But when tuition has tripled over the past ten years, parking costs have quadrupled, and student fees are going out the roof - all the time real services to students are decreasing - it makes me wonder if it's really worth it.

Am I really going to be a better engineer if I have a 20 megabit connection to my home vs. a 1- or 2-megabit? Not really. Will a sociologist find better research to study over the 20-megabit connection? Nope.

The matter extends into the classrooms - while some connectivity has a very good payoff, they've gone to such lengths that the cost has far, far exceeded the benefits. It's just plain irresponsible.


False information (2, Informative)

ktulu1115 (567549) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601022)

Anyone else notice that their school had incorrect information? Funny, I never knew NJIT didn't host personal websites, I guess that makes my website [] null and void under the DMCA... oh wait, I mean they just had misrepresented data.

The reports of NJIT lacking a wireless network are greatly exaggerated.

I also recall we were the top #1 wired school in the nation my frosh year or so ('99), but now not even given a rating despite a massive upgrade of equipment.

NYU underrated (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10601026)

NYU has aeron chairs in the library computer lab....doesn't that count for something? Or not, but maybe it explains why I pay $1000 a unit here.

Stay away! (3, Funny)

Zardus (464755) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601027)

Don't be fooled by the promise of connectivity and online registration! If you care at all about your sanity, go somewhere else! RPI is not a g -- asfedj;sah( &Gfsogf AGOYD SABDAISLHD!! MUST ... KILL ... LINCOLN.....

Wow....GaTech's at 116 (1)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601041)

Pardon me while I go wash my salty, tear-stained face.


I've been let down by my alma mater.

RPI (3, Informative)

IceFox (18179) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601042)

So that is how they are going to get people to come to that dead town! Seriously, I visted there on my school tour. The campus is all on a hill and looked like half of it was under construction and the town was the last place I would care to live.

Inaccurate (5, Informative)

nns6561 (559085) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601048)

This article is completely inaccurate. I checked a couple of schools I'm familiar with and they were all missing multiple items. The rank is more a factor of whether the appropriate person filled out the form. In many schools, there are few administrators who actually know all of the services provided on the campus. Sadly, it's very difficult to get accurate information about technology at a school. The best way is probably to talk to a student. The admissions office has no idea what's going on. I remember listening to the admissions tour at one school. The tour guide lied on multiple facts which I had easy methods to verify. The tour guides are just there to sell the school.

I wouldnt trust this list too much (1)

bile (169020) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601058)

The list of things supported by each school seems wrong... at least for my old school NJIT. About 7 things are marked incorrectly.

heh (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10601062)

i'm not surprised my school's not on the top 25, but there were a few things wrong with how it was reported...

here's the page []

1) the school DOES provide web pages.
2) the rest of the X's don't really make a school better. you can have stuff available even if it's not done through the internet. campus television (which is available throughout the state as well as satellite everywhere else) can be accessed ANYWHERE - needing a computer would be dumb. Why would being required to own a computer be good when there are thousands of computers on campus? if tuition included a computer, tuition would cost more. computers can be rented for like $15 a month. as for multimedia equipment... i don't see why that's on there... you get equipment if you're in a class that requires its use.

A ridiculous commentary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10601085)

You've got to be kidding me. This list is completely bogus. As an example, my school, Carnegie Mellon isn't even in the top 25. 400 computers?? The running joke here is that there are, at the very least, 2 computers for every student at this campus, and we getting close to 3. Wireless is everywhere, PSC, security? CERT is here for god's sake.

An example of why this study is a crock (5, Informative)

mmmmmhotpants (800341) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601140)

Case Study: California Institute of Technology (who recently broke networking speed records)

The study says there is no wireless network (there is), school doesn't provide web pages (it does), can't register online (we do), no ethics policy (a very loose one: the honor code), school doesn't provide multimedia equipment (its available for use), doesn't stream its radio (our radio is only streamed).

What the study got right: I don't think classes are provided online, students are not required to own a computer, tuition doesn't include a computer, and I don't think courses are offered in emerging technologies (if by emerging technologies you mean MS Word). I wouldn't want to go to a school that has these features.

Personally, I think this idea of connectedness is a horrible measure of a school's IT saviness, and I'm not even talking about the erroneous study itself.

I'm skeptical (1)

Jett (135113) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601149)

The college I work for is listed in there unranked. It has 6 boxes with X's in them, 4 of those boxes are not correct.

Completely wrong (2, Insightful)

Alcimedes (398213) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601151)

I just looked over our school's info. A lot of it is wrong. It was off in at least three or four categories too, not just one or two.

Anyone else's school got the wrong info for it? From what I saw of the school where I work, I wouldn't give this list much credence.

Usenet access (3, Informative)

Octorian (14086) | more than 9 years ago | (#10601169)

Ok, I graduated from RPI not too long ago, and noticed a glaring error in their report on the school. Yeah, I know we won this ranking, and I'm happy to see that. However, when I look at the question "Do students have access to Usenet newsgroups?" and see an "X" (no), I see something wrong.

We definitely have Usenet access, and even have a bunch of rpi.* newsgroups accessable inside the school. Someone definitely overlooked something.

Here is the criteria list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10601213)

This seems to be what they were basing their decisions on:

Is there a campuswide network?
Is there a wireless network?
Can students access e-mail away from school?
Does the school provide Web pages?
Does the school offer classes online?
Can students register online?
Can students do other administrative functions online?
Are students required to own a computer?
Can students get discounted computers?
Does the school support handheld computers?
Does the school stream audio or video of any courses?
Is network access available in dorm rooms?
Is network access available in dormitory lounges?
Is a computer ethics policy in place for the school?
Do students have access to Usenet newsgroups?
Does tuition include a computer?
Does the school provide multimedia equipment?
Does the school offer courses in emerging technologies?
Does the school stream its campus radio or TV stations?

Only ranked top 25 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10601227)

Am I the only one bothered that they only ranked the top 25, and yet when looking at the "sort by rank" option, they act as though alphabetical order is rank for schools below 25? I mean, sure, you don't need to actually rank the bottom 50 schools or whatever, but don't then act as though you did.
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