DOIT Newsletter

Spring 2023

In This Issue:

  • A Message from the Vice President / Chief Information Officer
  • Smart Campus Initiative Updates
  • Information Security: "Passwordless" Login | Tax Scams
  • Noteworthy:  Canvas Integrations | Tech Day 2023 | Digital Equity

A Message from the Vice President / Chief Information Officer

It is my pleasure to introduce this spring issue of our Division of IT newsletter. In support for the campus’ efforts to recruit and retain students, we are focusing on collaborating with campus units/offices to enhance campus student services with technology solutions. You will find an update about our student virtual lab and our joint approach with several campus offices to enhance communication with our students through Elbee, our chatbot. Additionally, to support our campus’ research mission and our “high research activity” university Carnegie Foundation designation, we continue to enhance our high-performance computing infrastructure, and we are providing an update about our HPC capacity. To help our campus community fight against cyber-attacks, we are offering a few information security tips.  We also continue to assist the City of Long Beach’s effort of digital equity by donating our recycled computing equipment via Human-I-T to students and their families who reside in Long Beach. In this issue of our newsletter, we are also providing updates on several other Smart Campus Initiative projects. I hope that you will find this issue of the DoIT newsletter informative. 

Go Beach!

Min Yao, Ph.D.
Vice President & CIO

Smart Campus Updates

Elbee chat box on computer screen

Elbee Chatbot Supports Student Success

The campus' Elbee chatbot continues to expand on campus with a total of 9 campus service groups using it on their main webpage, and several more in development. Since inception, the artificial intelligence driven chatbot has handled approximately 126,000 conversations. Elbee has been a boost to student support, as it averages approximately 300 daily conversations during the week and over 200 on weekends. Learn more about the chatbot service.

Student Virtual Lab (SVL) Now Offers 40 Software Applications

The growing SVL service now provides access to 40 campus-licensed software programs that can be accessed by students and faculty from any location with an internet connection. Recent additions include Autodesk Civil 3D, LINKQpad, SpeedTrack (limited to College of Health and Human Services users), and Lumion.

Student Remote Lab Averages 2,085 Logins Per Month

The Student Remote Lab service has been a convenient method for the Colleges of Business, The Arts, Liberal Arts, Education, and Engineering, to enable their students to remotely access physical computer lab computers which contain specialized software programs and applications. Without the Remote Lab service, students would need to physically visit designated computer labs.  The service average 2,085 monthly logins during the active semester months.

DocuSign eSignature Usage 

On our sixth year of DocuSign use on our campus, the service continues to grow. The service is on pace to outperform last year's activity. Average monthly eSignature emails ("envelopes") sent last fiscal year was about 8,800, while this fiscal year so far has been over 13,400. Explore DocuSign Help resources to learn more.

High Performance Computing (HPC)

Our HPC infrastructure for research faculty currently stands at 76 compute nodes with 2,696 computational cores and 43,008 GPU CUDA cores. These resources provide high computational power and parallel processing.  

The number of new faculty and student researchers accessing the HPC grows every semester. For going on two years, the number of monthly completed computational jobs averages nearly 26,000.

MS Teams Supports CSULB Collaboration in the Millions of Minutes

Since Teams was widely introduced on campus approximately three years ago, it has gradually become a major communication and collaboration tool.  In the past six months our campus Teams service has handled:

  • 3.1 million chat messages
  • 2.9 million minutes of audio time
  • 2.2 million minutes of video time
  • 2 million minutes of screen share time  

Consider the many integrated collaboration capabilities for document sharing, meetings, and even classroom specific features to support faculty and students with classroom assignments and more. A past Microsoft hosted Teams training session by a certified Microsoft trainer was recorded and is still available for a limited time.

Outdoor Wi-Fi Exceeds 60 Locations

Our outdoor Wi-Fi service continues to expand with campus and CSU investments in network infrastructure. The growing number of outdoor Wi-Fi locations can be viewed on the campus smart map. These outdoor locations are selected based on areas that are perceived to be the most densely populated areas on campus by students.

Information Security

Person holding phone screen with passwordless log in

Consider Using "Passwordless" Login

If you haven't already done so, consider making the switch to using a more secure and convenient way of logging in to your campus services. Students, faculty, and staff have the ability to log in to the campus single sign-on service without having to enter a password. All that's needed is to configure Microsoft Authenticator to enable sign-in without a password. The enhanced security will also provide you with location information as part of the sign-in approval prompt.

Beware of Tax Season Scams

Tax season typically comes with an uptick in tax-related scams. Protect yourself from tax fraud and scams with these tips: 

  • Use secure VPN, password and MFA when available; don't send your personal information via email.
  • File taxes promptly, before someone impersonates you.
  • Be alert for scams via emails, texts, and phone calls.
  • The IRS will not call, email, or text you for the first time.  They always start by sending you a letter.  
  • If you want to confirm, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040. 

Learn more from IRS Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts.


image with canvas and Long Beach logo

Canvas Integrations and Procurement Compliance Reviews

The campus' primary academic Learning Management System, Canvas, will be fully adopted on June 15, 2023. As with any powerful software tool, Canvas supports countless software integrations, known as Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI), that are added features and functions which can extend teaching and learning experiences. Please be aware that adding LTIs must involve a very deliberate preliminary review process before they can be integrated with Canvas. Please consider existing approved integrations and learn more at Canvas Tools, Features, and Integrations before requesting new LTIs.

Tech Day Returns in 2023

Save The Date for Thursday, Nov. 9, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm at Friendship Walk.  More information will be shared as planning is underway. Visit the Tech Day page for a refresher.

Tech Donations Continue to Mount, Support Digital Equity

Our two-year relationship with Human-I-T has continued to make a lasting impact to those in need by accomplishing the following so far:

  • Diverting 61,111 pounds of electronic waste from landfills
  • Empowering Human-I-T to provide a combination of
    • 611 devices with one year of tech support
    • 2,546 high speed internet connections at low- or no-cost
    • support to 932 digital literacy learners