A survey conducted by Intel Corp. in conjunction with the Center for Digital Education ranks CSUMB among the top wireless campuses in the nation. The survey, which was published in a recent edition of U.S. News & World Report, ranks the university 12th among the top 50. It's one of only four schools in California to make the list, and the only public university.
Intel sponsored the survey to identify the U.S. colleges and universities that have the greatest wireless Internet access. Bert Sperling, noted researcher and creator of the "Best Places" studies, conducted the survey. CSUMB's academic and administrative buildings, residence halls, dining facilities and green spaces have wireless access. Survey findings are based on the percentage of each campus that is covered by wireless technology, the number of undergraduate students and the computer-to-student ratio for each school.
CSUMB made this year's rankings not only because it has implemented wireless access throughout campus, but also because it is in the forefront of exploring innovative ways to use this new technology through the Wireless Education and Technology Center based on campus.
"We have 20 projects with 28 faculty that will leave you flabbergasted," said Arlene Krebs, director of the wireless center. The center - which was created in 2002 - has been awarded more than $400,000 for wireless equipment, including digital cameras and printers and handheld computers.
Students from the Division of Science and Environmental Policy use Tablet PCs and digital cameras to revolutionize field geology; science students conduct seafloor mapping in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the Ross Sea in the Antarctic using iPAQs and laptops; and archaeology students use wireless technology in their field work at the Carmel and San Juan Bautista missions. Other students, working with the education program at Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, installed a solar-powered wireless transmitter at a research blind to provide nomadic explorations of the bird and aquatic life to local school children. These are just a few examples of how wireless technology has been integrated into the teaching and learning environment at CSUMB.
"Wireless technology allows us to create networks where faculty want to teach and where students want to learn. It causes a fundamental realignment about creating educational spaces -- whether it's at Elkhorn Slough in the Monterey Bay or at the Ross Sea in the Antarctic," said Gil Gonzales, the university's chief information officer.