The ATS academic & research programming group develops and deploys software in support of teaching, learning, and research on campus. The group provides a recharge programming service to campus and the UCDHS, taking on projects that are well aligned with ATS' core academic mission. The programming group provides multiple core instructional technologies to campus and the wider UC system. The group also supports the software infrastructure that empowers other ATS units: Media Services, Faculty Support, A/V Engineering, and Client Services.
The programming group focuses on the following broad areas:
- Recharge programming
- Faculty Websites Network
- Sakai — Open Academic Environment (OAE)
- On-line and hybrid
courses (enabling technology and content)
- Lecture capture (Opencast Matterhorn pilot)
- Video dissemination (streaming, on-demand, mobile, YouTube, iTunes U)
- Undergraduate course applications
Each of these areas is covered in more detail below.
The Academic & Research Programming group continues to offer recharge programming services to campus and health system clients for projects that are well aligned with ATS' core academic mission. In other words, we provide programming support to projects with pedagogical or research components. In support of these goals, the following general programming services are offered:
- Website graphic design
- Integration with social networking services (e.g. blogs, Twitter, Facebook)
- Design and development of web applications (supported languages: Ruby, Python, PHP, ColdFusion, Java, C, C#, Perl)
- Custom data visualization for both on-line (d3, matplotlib, jsxgraph) and off-line uses (R, matplotlib)
- Database design and implementation with associated web services for access
- Development of interactive, multi-media, tailored-surveys
- Integration of open-source tools
- Integration of Google Apps (e.g. maps, charts, docs, plus)
- Scientific programming in R, Octave, Matlab (e.g. in support of a statistician)
If you are looking for general administrative programming services, please contact the Web Development Group in our sister organization, IET-Application Development.
Faculty Website Network
The IET Faculty Website Network service allows faculty members to setup their own websites in a matter of seconds and immediately begin posting to the world wide web.
The service uses the open source content management system, WordPress, that many faculty either, already use, or have had some contact with in the past, making entry into the software simple. For those without previous experience, making Posts and Pages is similar to using a standard WYSIWIG text editor.
Additionally, the service provides the following features:
- Easy to using blogging platform
- Content tagging
- Create user profiles for research team members
- Publications management, including import/Export in BibTeX format
- Image gallery and media management capabilities
- Easily add video from YouTube, Vimeo, and others to you pages and posts
- Choose from a selection of customizable themes or work with Academic Technology Services to customize your theme
- Connect your social media sites to your website
Sakai — Open Academic Environment (OAE)
The role of learning management systems in universities continues to evolve. The Sakai system that underlies UC Davis SmartSite is moving toward a more open architecture that is complimentary to ATS' other services. Sakai's Open Academic Environment (OAE) introduces the concepts of
On-line & Hybrid Courses
ATS leadership has taken a lead role in the UC online course initiative. Kirk Alexander, the technical director of UCOP's online instruction pilot project (OIPP), holds a joint appointment
within UCOP and ATS. Six of the 30 pilot courses are being developed on the Davis campus. OIPP will be hosted in Sakai OAE, a system designed for extensibility. The programming group is working with OIPP to develop new tools for use by OIPP courses. The programming group supports infrastructure and distribution requirements of new media as it is integrated into OIPP pilots. Work takes the form of custom programming of new tools that work in concert with OAE. Additionally, the programming group collaborates with the animation group to develop higher-end course content that requires scripting (e.g.
ATS has a long history of capturing and distributing lecture material, both in the form of audio podcasts, and webcasts. Lecture capture takes these technologies to the next level — audio/video of the instructor and her projected laptop. ATS ran a lecture capture pilot in the fall of 2010. To take this to the next level, the programming group maintains the Opencast Matterhorn lecture capture system on a cluster of virtual servers
in the data center. We continue to collaborate with Berkeley and other UC campuses that are adopting Matterhorn; we participate in the international Matterhorn community. We continue to collaborate with ATS' A/V engineering group to integrate the appropriate technology in the classroom (we are currently piloting the Epiphan, NCast, and Matterhorn reference capture agents for large lectures).
ATS also has a long history of managing and distributing video material — beginning with a locally hosted REAL server, then Akamai, and now the Limelight and Delve content delivery networks (CDN). The programming group develops and maintains the webcasting, YouTube and iTunesU
media distribution systems for campus-generated videos. Recent upgrades for mobile delivery have triggered the need for a comprehensive upgrade to HTML5 across our webcast presentation systems. We continue to pursue our goal of developing an integrated capability that allows members of campus and the media service group to upload video from any location, then distribute that in a variety of formats (Flash, MP4, QuickTime, Ogg, Windows Media), for a variety of devices (desktop, tablets, smart phones), in streamed and on-demand, and indirectly through alternate channels (YouTube, iTunesU, SciVee,
Undergraduate Course Applications
The ATS programming group maintains a number of custom applications that support undergraduate STEM courses. These courses tend to have high enrollment, significant technical content, and frequently associated labs. Automation of submissions and grading help campus offer these courses to more students.