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Computing Structure at Penn

Like almost everything at the University, computing at Penn is decentralized. Although there are many benefits to distributed authority and localized control, the learning curve for a new employee in decentralized setting can be challenging.

The following links on the Penn Computing Web are provided to help illustrate a picture of the vast computing landscape at Penn, including the IT Advisory Structure. A list of technology terms specific to Penn has also been constructed to aid the orientation process.

In our decentralized structure, each school and center has its own computing organization. This page has links to the numerous providers of computing resources on campus.

One way to pull together these widespread resources is through IT Roundtable. The focus of the IT Roundtable Committee is information technology strategy. It is comprised of senior technology officers from all 12 Schools and major centers. Its primary role is as a communication vehicle for the community of IT Directors supporting strategic local IT planning.

The University also has several technical special interest and user groups that meet regularly to discuss new technology and computing issues on campus. In between meetings, online discussions occur through the groups’ listservs. Although they groups and lists are open to the entire Penn community, they are especially targeted to IT professionals. Some of these groups are sponsored by ISC, while others were initiated by IT staff in a school or center who wanted to bring colleagues from around the University together to discuss a specific topic. Three of the most popular groups are the Super User Group (SUG), PCNet, and MacNet.

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