Commerce's new computer lab boosts teaching capacity

10 March 2003

Opening ceremony: Commerce Dean Prof Doug Pitt (right) officially opened the new commerce computer laboratory and enjoyed the celebrations (sponsored by Light Edge, providers of the hardware) in the company of colleagues such as Prof Don Ross (economics).

THE COMMERCE Faculty's new Alumni Laboratory opened at the start of the academic year, a high-specification facility with 202 top-of-the-range Pentium 4s, using high-end software, and a full multi-media teaching laboratory, where lecturers are able to teach off laptops, with visuals shown on 72-cm TVs.

The facility is the result of 20 months of planning and close interaction between UCT's Planning Unit and the faculty's project team, which included Kyle Roberts (IT manager), Professor Mike Hart (Information Systems), Adrie Stander (IT senior lecturer) and Associate Professor Peter Bourne (accounting), as well as Tony Dollery (Finance and Operations Manager).

The laboratory has already been booked for most of the year by the IS department to teach the second- and third-year IS majors. “There were 35 students to one computer in the faculty, but the new laboratory brings this figure down to a more manageable 19,” Kyle said. “We need a big space for the IS department, which teaches up to 80 students at a time.”

However, this facility won't run 24 hours a day, unlike the three existing commerce computer laboratories. It is an 8 to 5 facility run by computer science graduate Craig Lötter.

Good news is that the laboratory is accessible to disabled students via a new ramp from the front entrance on Library Road.

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27 Mar 2003

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