AVP & CTO Update November 5, 2018
Daylight Savings Time. An extra hour of sleep (so they say). And relentlessly controversial with many countries debating its future. For someone like me, an early riser, it has its (sun) ups. However I am also guaranteed that I will be mostly driving home in the dark, which is always a bit of a downer. And now I have to figure out how to change the time in my new car… or just subtract an hour until spring! 🙂
What I learned last week:
- Somewhere along the way my iPhone started to tell me about my screen time and average per day usage. This is an iOS12 addition which apparently has been on my phone for awhile (so much for being ‘aware’). I clicked through it a few times before it registered but now am paying attention. It is recording my activities, my most used Apps, (Maps followed by Twitter), tells me whether my screen time is up or down from the week before, and how often I literally pick up my phone per day average (30+ times). And if I sync this up in iCloud, I can have the aggregate use of both of my iPhones, or other Apple devices. The amount of time is kind of shocking when you realize you are also on a laptop/computer for a good part of the day. Is anyone else using this feature in a way that is helpful?
- The Research Technology Steering Committee as well as the Enterprise Applications Technology Committee both met last week. I presented the draft McMaster IT Strategic Plan at both meetings. I am nearing the end of the draft plan presentations and spent the weekend undertaking another round of revisions based on input from individuals with whom I have shared the plan. Thank you to everyone who continues to provide feedback and constructive comments. We are getting close…!
- I met with Bruce Wainman from Pathology and Molecular Medicine in FHS. Bruce sits on the Teaching and Learning Technology Committee (TLTC) and we were meeting to discuss IT Governance and other topics. Bruce toured me around his large, interactive anatomy lab, teeming with students. I was able to see the various artifacts that are kept on hand for self learning in the lab and Bruce also showed me some of the devices he and his team use to create 3D and VR images used to teach and test the students. And he gave me a VRBR – the Virtual Reality Bell Ringer that he and his team produced (see images) to complement and test the Anatomy course content. The VR headset interacts with a VRBR macanatomy app you can download to your mobile phone. Very cool! Our communications intern, Kate, was pretty impressed when she saw it – they didn’t have this when she was in the course. It is in my office and if you are interested in giving it a try, download the app and pop in. Bruce is hosting a regional conference for the American Association of Anatomists this coming weekend and has invited me to attend – they have an agenda full of technology related sessions including “A Century of Virtual Reality in Anatomy Education”, and more. I am looking forward to it!
- I attended the Council of Senior Administrators Officers (CSAO) meeting, a sub committee of the Council of Ontario Universities in Toronto on Thursday morning along with the CIOs from Ryerson, Wilfred Laurier, OCADU, UOIT, and Laurentian. The topic was Cyber Security and included a presentation by Brian Lesser from Ryerson on the CUCCIO BitSight benchmarking project (proof of concept) along with a panel discussion related to some of our incidents to date and lessons learned, security governance. Alex Cameron, a partner from Fasken Martineau DuMoulin who has developed a level of expertise with the legal aspects of cyber security breaches was also present and walked us through a table top exercise.
- I had an amazing conversation with Scott Briggs, CIO from Humber College to discuss building infrastructure technologies and standards. They have a new Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation opening in early 2019 and have had some great experiences and lessons learned related to the technology implementations and standards, mirroring some of the conversations we are having here on campus. We could learn a lot from the Humber team and I am hoping a team of individuals from our Digital Spaces committee can undertake a tour and meeting in early 2019!
- Vivian Lewis invited me to attend the Celebration of Research Excellence dinner on Thursday night at Liuna Station. There are many award winning and notable McMaster researchers who were named as part of the celebration. Very awe inspiring! This event coincided nicely with the fact that McMaster was named Canada’s most research-intensive university out of the country’s Top 50.
What I read last week:
- The Light Between Us – Laura Lynne Jackson – You may or may not believe in spiritual connections, but if you read this book you can’t help but wonder if indeed it is possible that there is life on the other side – and whether we are still connected with those that have gone before us. Jackson is a certified psychic and her story is pretty awe inspiring if you are open to it. I found at least one video online that showed her in action (not great audio) …and another that talks more deeply about the connection between our past and future.
- Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d (Flavia de Luce) – Alan Bradley
What is happening this week:
- I have a number of discussions scheduled with technology vendors, including Apple, Oracle, and IBM.
- There is a CanSSOC (Canadian Shared Security Operations centre) Steering Committee meeting this afternoon to continue planning towards the proof of concept we are exploring.
- I have a Provost Council meeting on Wednesday, and a meeting just with the Provost later this week.
- Amanda and I will be meeting with John Bell from Humanities to discuss a few initiatives including the Mobile App initiative.
- Amanda, Tanya and I have a call with University Manager magazine for a follow up to the CAUBO award that McMaster received for its IT Services Transformation project (the IT Services Review).
- I have a call with Rebecca Jamieson, the President of the Six Nations Polytechnic Institute to see if we can find any areas for collaboration.
- I have my regular meeting with Andrea Farquhar on Wednesday
- I will be recording answers to your questions from the IT Forum
- And so much more!
It will be another busy week. Hope you make the most of it, too!