Remodeled Offices, New Web Site Launch Fall Semester
The completion of two renovations – one physical and one electronic – mark the beginning of the 2010-2011 academic year for the Department of Mathematics. Offices and classrooms on the second floor have been remodeled, and the department web site has been redesigned, bringing a fresh look and new functionality to both.
The second floor renovation involved extensive modernization of both offices and classrooms. The graduate student area was redesigned with a large collaborative open space surrounded by offices. Extensive use of glass in doors and interior walls provides noise insulation while maintaining an open and airy atmosphere.
All of the interior walls in this area that are not glass are either blackboard or whiteboard writing surfaces, which promotes collaboration and discussion. Improved lighting, raised ceilings, and separate conference rooms for consulting with undergraduate students are additional features of the new graduate student suite.
Lecturers’ offices on the second floor were enlarged and also incorporate improved lighting and higher ceilings. Work space for undergraduate teaching assistants was added as an anteroom to each pair of lecturer offices, fulfilling a long-standing need for these assistants to work near the lecturers.
Two classrooms on the second floor were transformed into state-of-the-art teaching spaces, with the latest multimedia equipment and sophisticated lighting. Instructors can light one portion of the classroom while darkening another for PC projection, for example.
“The remodeling has exceeded our expectations,” says Department Chair Dietmar Bisch. “All of the second floor areas are not only more conducive to research and teaching than ever before but are attractive, inviting places in which to work.”
The department web site has a new look this fall as well. The site features a more contemporary design and significant new functionality. Navigation features have been improved to make important informational sections more accessible. The home page offers a snapshot of all the latest news and activities of the department.
Summaries and thumbnail photos of department news stories feed automatically onto the home page from the news section of the site. Upcoming calendar events also feed into the central well of the home page, beneath the news. The calendar feed is an important feature because seminars, workshops, and conferences are such a vital part of the activity of the department. The new calendar also offers users the option of sorting from the Main Calendar by seminar, to see only upcoming Biomath Seminars or Partial Differential Equations seminars, for example.
Additional web site enhancements include thumbnail photos of faculty and staff within the directory and a Quick Links bar that speeds access to such popular pages such as colloquia and conferences.
“It’s always exciting to begin a new academic year,” says Bisch, “but it’s even better with new office and classroom space and a new web site.”