We are grateful to the U.S. Department of Education, Title III, for their assistance in setting up the Lab.
Mount Mercy University provides their Computer Science department with an exclusive laboratory designed specifically for the needs of CS Majors. The Computer Science lab contains twenty-two Dell Optiplex towers all outfitted with first generation Intel i3 Processors hosting 64bit Operating Systems and applications. Their lab machines dual boot Windows 7 for students seeking a familiar desktop environment and Fedora 18 (Linux) for students comfortable in a more technical environment. Home directories are all hosted on file-share server; allowing students to migrate freely around the lab while consistently maintaining access to their data. The CS Laboratory is configured for remote access. This means that students are able to log in to the University laboratory from anywhere; allowing them to work on important assignments offsite or retrieve needed material. Their labs are configured with several development environments offering students a great degree of flexibility as they master their field of study.
The Lab Furniture
If you're going to be sitting at the computer for a while, you are going to want to be comfortable. Our computers sit at tables designed for computer education. The monitors sit on a lowered shelf so they are easy to see without blocking the view of the instructor. Then, there are the chairs. Nearly everyone who has tried them agrees; we have the most comfortable classroom chairs on campus.
Computer clusters are supercomputers, containing many individual processors networked together to perform large scale computationally intensive algorithms. Ever wonder what it would be like to program a supercomputer? We have in the Computer Science lab a Computer cluster, or "Beowulf Cluster" installed and configured by students here on campus. Our cluster consists of one primary node and four compute nodes. The operating system is a specially tailored Linux Distribution for High Performance Computing (HPC) known as Rocks Cluster. Students are encouraged to learn to develop in a parallel programming environment obtaining the skills necessary to code for supercomputers in research or government settings. With the onset of multicore personal computers and even multicore embedded devices, learning to develop for concurrent application architectures is a necessary skill for any student entering into the field of Computer Science.
See a 360-degree view of the Computer Science Lab on our virtual tour.