Math Department FAQ

  • Faculty & Staff

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Mathematics Department SAS Computing FAQ

Frequently Asked questions concerning computing services provided to the Department of Mathematics by SAS Computing.

General

Click an FAQ question to view the details.

What is the best way to contact someone if I need help with University computing issues?

Please send email to manager@math.upenn.edu. This is the best way to contact our office. Walk-ins to DRL-3N5 between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM as well as phone calls to 215-573-0777 are also welcome.

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Where can I find even more information about getting started accessing University computing resources?

Go to Getting Started to find links to documents that will lead you through the process of accessing the University's computing resources.

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Am I eligible for an SAS Allocations computer?

Please contact manager@math.upenn.edu to discuss your eligibility to receive a computer via SAS Allocations

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What software is available at a discount from the University?

The Office of Software Licensing website lists terms and pricing of software packages available for purchase by university funds for use on university-owned computers. Software for purchase by both departmental and personal funds is available from the Computer Connection in the bookstore. Site Licensed and free software for both on-campus and off-campus use, and for both university-owned and personally owned PC and Macintosh computers is available online at the Office of Software Licensing website. The same software is also available at ISC's Supported Computing Products page.

Software commonly included in this category is anti-virus, web browsers, file transfer programs, and email clients.

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Where and how do I create a personal Home Page on www.upenn.edu?

Your Math personal web pages -- and pages for your classes etc -- should be on our departmental server "hans.math.upenn.edu" in the directory html (a sub-directory of your "home" directory). The URL is http://www.math.upenn.edu/˜YourUserId/. To edit this: (Linux/Unix/Mac) Open a Terminal Window, type: sftp userid@hans.math.upenn.edu and use an editor such as nano. (Windows) Use the program SecureCRT and connect to hans.upenn.edu. The name of the main web page in each directory should be "index.html". To make this world accessible -- but editable only by you, use the command: chmod 644 index.html. Then ask Monica or Janet to include your URL in the list on the Math Department Faculty and their Fields of Interest page at http://www.math.upenn.edu/FacData.html.

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Which of my files are backed up regularly? How do I recover lost files?

File backup is done daily on all files saved on personal network folders ("U Drives") and hans.math.upenn.edu. The University also provides unlimited network storage through PennBox. External drives are useful for local data back-up, and the use of both network and local backups are highly recommended. Hard drive restoration is only offered in extreme situations and is not guaranteed.

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Connecting to the Network

How do I change my password?

New users should change their password as soon as possible.

Hans Account
  1. From a Mac or Linux Workstation, open a terminal window and type

    ssh hans.math.upenn.edu

    In Windows, use SecureCRT, which should already be on your office computer and is downloadable for free for the Penn Community. 

  2. Use the standard Unix command: passwd

    You'll be asked for your current password and new password (twice). Change your password using at least 8 characters (upper/lower case, number and special characters.

SAS Windows Active Directory Account

While logged in to your Windows computer, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete, Click "Change Password"

PennO365

Visit the ISC O365 Password Reset page and sign in with your Pennkey. Using the "Forgot my Password" link on the Outlook Web Application will return an error.

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How can I obtain or request the install of a longer Ethernet cable in my office?

SAS Computing provides Ethernet cables free of charge for on-campus use. If your current cable is too short, please bring it to your Math Computing Local Support Provider in DRL-3N5 to exchange it for a longer cable.

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How do I connect my computer to the network?

Instructions for connecting to the wired and wireless networks can be found online at these websites:

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How do I connect my smartphone to AirPennNet?

Please visit this page for directions for connecting your smartphone to AirPennNet.

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How may I obtain a static IP address in DRL?

Please email manager@math.upenn.edu with your Pennkey name, Ethernet MAC Address, make/model of computer, and the office where you will use it. You can also stop by DRL-3N5 to make your request in-person.

A static IP address is recommended if you need to connect remotely to your computer.

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How may I remotely access the hans server and transfer files?

You can access the hans server remotely via SSH using your hans account and an appropriate terminal client or Secure FTP client.

On Windows 7 /Windows 10

For SSH, use SecureCRT.

For SFTP, use Ipswitch WS_FTP Professional.

Note: Windows 10 Creators Update added an Ubuntu implementation of bash to the OS. It is still in beta (considered "unstable") as-of Summer 2017, so use with caution.

On Linux, Unix, or OS X

Use your your preferred terminal shell for both SSH and SFTP:

sftp , where userid is your Pennkey username

ssh , where userid is your Pennkey username

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Printing and Scanning

What printers are available? Is color printing available?

For a list of Department use printers, locations, and configuration instructions for black and white laser printing, go to the Printers Page. Unfortunately there are no color printers available for departmental use. The SEAS Copy Center offers color printing and can be reached at 215-898-8115.

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How may I recycle my used printer toner and ink cartridges?

Please bring your empty toner or inkjet cartridges (including those from home use) to DRL-3N5 during office hours, and we will take care of recycling them through the university's printer cartridge recycling program. Only the cartridge itself is necessary. You may recycle the packaging into your usual office recycling stream.

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Is there a departmental document scanner?

Yes, there is a departmental copier/scanner in the kitchen area adjacent to 4W5. Scans can be printed or emailed to your Penn email account.

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Canvas and CoursesInTouch
(Student Communication and Information Management)

What is Canvas?

School of Arts and Sciences' online course management system. More details are available on the SAS Computing website.

Log into Canvas with your Pennkey credentials on the main Penn Canvas site.

Support for Canvas is available through the Library and reachable by email here.

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How do I create a Canvas site for my courses?

Canvas sites are created for the standard calculus courses: Math 103, 104, 114, 115, 240, 241.

For other courses, a Canvas site is created on request by completing the Canvas Course Request form.

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How do I send an email to my class?

An email alias is created from the Registrar's list for every official University course so you can distribute a message to everyone in your class easily. For more details, go to the Class Mailing Lists page.

It is important that you set the options correctly. By default, only instructors and TAs can send to a list, and replies go to the sender. If you need to change the default settings, you can do this through the Class Mailing List Service page.

Once there, choose the "Service Request Menu, then choose "Change Options" or "Activate a Classlist". You may find it useful to add your TAs to the list (if the TA is not already in SRS). You can do this through the "Add a Member" option.

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How can I get an up-to-date list of the students in my class?

You can use Courses In Touch to see the current student list from the Registrar, updated regularly with photographs.

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PennKey

What is a PennKey and who needs one?

A PennKey is an individual's username within the PennKey authentication system. Paired with an associated password, a PennKey is required to authenticate your identity for access to many of Penn's networked systems and services.

Anyone who needs access to PennKey-protected electronic resources must register a PennKey and password. Increasingly, additional campus services will adopt PennKey authentication. Some campus email systems, for example, will switch to PennKey from their current email logon and password. As these changes occur, you'll be notified by your e-mail administrator or your School.

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Email

How may I obtain an @math.upenn.edu email address?

If you have a address, email sent to will also reach your SAS email account. Email manager@math.upenn.edu for assistance configuring your account to send outgoing messages as .

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How do I access my Email?

Undergraduates, Graduates, and Visiting Scholars use Google@SAS, which is available by logging into Gmail with your SAS email address and password. See the SAS Computing website for details on how to sign up and configure your Google@SAS account.

Faculty and Staff use PennO365, which is available through the Outlook Web Application (OWA). More information on PennO365 can be found on the SAS Computing website.

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How do I send an email to my class?

An email alias is created from the Registrar's list for every official University course so you can distribute a message to everyone in your class easily. For more details, go to the Class Mailing Lists page.

It is important that you set the options correctly. By default, only instructors and TAs can send to a list, and replies go to the sender. If you need to change the default settings, you can do this through the Class Mailing List Service page.

Once there, choose the "Service Request Menu, then choose "Change Options" or "Activate a Classlist". You may find it useful to add your TAs to the list (if the TA is not already in SRS). You can do this through the "Add a Member" option.

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How can I post a "vacation" message?

Google@SAS users should follow the instructions provided by Google for Gmail.

On PennO365, set your vacation by logging into the webmail portal (OWA) and clicking the 

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For links to more computing information, you may wish to visit the Help, Self-Help, and Documentation page at http://www.sas.upenn.edu/computing/help/.