The information here provides answers to questions frequently asked by graduate students about technology resources available to them in support of teaching as an Assistant in Instruction (AI), as well as remote research and learning. The questions and answers also address changes to IT services and resources for Fall 2020 that are a result of Covid-19 social distancing guidelines.
Technology Resources FAQ for Graduate Students
- I am teaching in the Fall. What technology is recommended for online teaching?
You should contact the faculty member for whom you are teaching as an AI to determine if there are course-specific technology needs. If so, the faculty member will connect you with the department’s technical staff (known as a SCAD), who can consult with you on the technologies and options for getting this equipment.
- I am new to online teaching. Where do I find guidance on best practices and tools for teaching online at Princeton?
For best practices and tools for teaching online, see the McGraw Center’s Teaching Online information pages. Here you will find a collection of workshops and documentation on teaching online and using digital teaching tools.
- I heard Zoom is making security updates related to Waiting Room and passcodes for meetings. Where do I get more information?
Zoom is not moving forward with the security update previously planned for September 27, which would require a Passcode or Waiting Room for all Zoom meetings. Though these settings will not be mandatory at this time, they are highly recommended security settings for your meetings. For more information see, “Zoom: Using Waiting Room and Passcodes” and Zoom’s FAQ. You can find more information about Zoom at support.zoom.us.
For assistance with these settings, contact the OIT Support and Operations Center by email, phone, or chat.
For coursework and research
- How do I access academic software (like MATLAB and STATA) previously available on OIT cluster computers?
With Vi-Lab and a standard computer browser, faculty, researchers, and students can access academic software such as Mathematica, Matlab, Perl, R, R Studio, Scientific Workplace, Stata and Office 365, to name a few. Access Vi-Lab at princeton.apporto.com.
- Is software available for my computer?
Yes. Through Princeton’s site and volume licensing, many software packages are available at no charge to faculty, students and/or staff. Go to www.princeton.edu/software to view software that is available for download. Here, you’ll also find instructions for installing and using the software. For questions about software, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- I need access to online library resources to complete my coursework. How can I do this from off campus?
There are several ways to access online library resources from off campus. See the Princeton University Library website for the appropriate tools for “Using Library Resources from Off-Campus.” For library-related questions, you can also contact the Library's Ask Us! support resources.
- What computational and data science resources are available for use in my research and where do I go for help with using them?
The Getting Started page on the Research Computing website lists the high-performance computing systems that are available and provides guidance on selecting the resource that will best support your research.
Here, you can also find a schedule of training courses and support resources that are available to you should you wish to learn more about using the research computing systems, or need assistance.
- I need to purchase a new computer or tablet. Does Princeton have a computer program for students?
Yes. Princeton’s Student Computer Initiative (SCI) program offers Apple and Dell computers, and a tablet. View program details at www.princeton.edu/sci.
Note to students currently outside the US: We recommend that you purchase your computer in the country where you reside. Vendors who supply SCI computers are experiencing long delays in international delivery at this time. Log into the SCI Store to view recommended computer specifications.
- I need Adobe Creative Cloud for my coursework. Where can I get it?
Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) is available to students at a discounted rate of $19.99 per month. Visit the Adobe website for more details. Departments can also purchase Adobe Creative Cloud for Graduate Students through the OIT Store. Please check with your department or SCAD if they are willing to fund this purchase.
For all graduate students
- My computer or tablet is broken. What should I do?
If you are local or live near campus: To start, contact the OIT Solutions Center by phone, email or chat and request assistance with your computer. An OIT technology specialist will consult with you on the issues you are experiencing. If your computer can be repaired, you will receive a Work Order number and instructions for dropping off your computer at the OIT Solutions Center (room 112) in the Frist Campus Center. An OIT technical specialist will be available to accept your computer for repair services. When repaired, your computer will be available for pickup from the same location.
If you are remote to campus or live outside the US: At this time, OIT cannot fix the computers of graduate students who live a distance from campus or outside the US. However, OIT Solutions Center specialists can help advise on issues and potential avenues for repair. Contact the OIT Solutions Center by phone, email or chat for a consultation.
- I have a temporary need for a laptop or a tablet. Can I borrow one?
If you need a temporary computer while yours is being repaired, you can arrange to borrow one from the OIT Technology Loaner program. Contact the OIT Solutions Center by phone, email or chat to inquire about the loaner program and options.
For students who live outside the US: Unfortunately, we cannot ship loaner technology internationally.
- Internet service is not reliable where I live. What should I do?
We have a tool and tips to help you. The Tiger Speed tool checks your Internet performance from where you are to Princeton. You can give it a try here, tigerspeed.princeton.edu.
For tips to improve your home network performance, search the Princeton Service Portal for 'Tiger Speed.' If these tips don't work and problems persist, contact the OIT Solutions Center by phone, email or chat for a consultation.
- I am experiencing technology-related challenges with teaching, research or coursework. Who can I contact for support?
If you are experiencing challenges with technology for remote teaching, contact the faculty member for whom you are teaching and/or SCAD for the department for which you are teaching. Refer to the SCAD roster to determine the department’s SCAD.
Research and Coursework
If extenuating circumstances are creating challenges for you with research or coursework, please contact your advisor, Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or department SCAD who can provide academic support
- I need financial support to help cover the cost of technology incidentals, such as better Internet service. What should I do?
The Graduate School can provide limited financial assistance to graduate students with high financial need who are suffering severe hardships related to COVID-19. If you would like to be considered for this emergency funding, please submit the Graduate Student Hardship Request Form.
On-campus resources for graduate students who live on or near campus
- Are the OIT computing clusters open?
Due to the COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, the OIT Computing Clusters are closed and computers have been removed from these locations across campus. The computers, academic software, printing, and scanning services previously provided at our cluster locations are now being offered in other ways.
- Are printers available?
Printers and printing supplies are provided in Lakeside Apartments, Lawrence Apartments, New Graduate College, Old Graduate College and the Frist Campus Center. For exact locations see “Campus Clusters: Getting Started.”
- Are scanners available?
Scanning stations are available in the New Graduate College and Old Graduate College for graduate student use.
Don't see your question?
Don't see your question about information technology listed? We'd like to help.
For answers, you can search the Princeton Service Portal at www.princeton.edu/service. To view the technology services that are of particular interest for the fall, search the knowledge for 'Fall2020.'
The OIT Support and Operations Center (SOC) is also available to help by phone, email or chat.