Math FAQ

Mathematics Department SAS Computing FAQ


Departmental Printers

Email Support

AirPennNet Wireless

Wired Internet



1. What free software is available from the university?

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 made available in the fall and spring on the PennConnect DVD which is available for pickup in the SAS Computing Math LSP office, DRL 3N5. Software commonly included in this category is anti-virus, web browsers, file transfer programs, and email clients. The mathematics program Maple is also available for install on university-owned computers. Contact to confirm eligibility and borrow the install disk.



2. 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.



3. I need an Ethernet cable in my office, or I need a longer cable than the one 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 DRL-3N5 to exchange it for a longer cable.



4. I can’t connect my computer to the network.


Instructions for connecting can be found online at these websites: Wireless Wired.



5. Can I get a static IP address in DRL?

If you need to connect to the computer remotely, a static IP is recommended. Please submit this form, or stop by DRL-3N5.



6. What printers are available? Is color printing available?

Department use printers, locations, and configuration instructions for black and white laser printing are available here. Unfortunately there are no color printers available for departmental
use. An often used alternative by members of the department is the SEAS
Copy Center, which can be reached at 215-898-8115.



7. Can I get a email address? 

 If you have a address, email sent to will also reach your SAS email account. To use as your outgoing email address, just configure it in your email client.



8. Am I eligible for an SAS Allocations computer?

Please contact



9. Do you know where I can recycle my printer toner/ink cartridges?

Any empty toner or inkjet cartridges that you have (including home use) you can drop off at DRL-3N5 during office hours and we will take care of recycling them through the university's printer cartridge recycling program.



10. How do I connect my smartphone to AirPennNet?

AirPennNet Connection Instructions for PDAs




11. Is there a departmental Scanner available for use?

Yes, there is a departmental scanner located in the Kitchen area adjacent to 4w5. Scanns can be printed or emailed to your sas email account (,



12. How to access your hans account on our sever remotely.

Once your account is created, you are able to access the "hans" server remotely.

Windows users: use PuTTY or SecureCRT (download from Http://


Windows: use WinSCP or FileZilla (download from )

Linux/Unix/Mac: in a terminal window:         sftp



13. How to transfer files to hans remotely? Windows: use WinSCP or FileZilla (download from )


Linux/Unix/Mac: in a terminal window: sftp



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



15. What is Blackboard?


Blackboard is an Internet site where you and your students can communicate.  You can post notices, exam grades, and references for your class. You can also use it to give your students a place to communicate publicly with each other.  But this must be setup for each course.



16. How to Create a Blackboard cite for your courses?


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

To set this up for other courses visit:



17. Where and how to create a personal Home Page?


Your Math personal web pages -- and pages for your classes etc -- should be on our departmental server "" in the directory html (a sub-directory of your "home" directory).  The URL is To edit this: (Linux/Unix/Mac) Open a Terminal Window, type:”sftp” and use an editor such as nano. (Windows) Use the program SecureCRT and connect to “”. 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 our web page:



18. 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. For a list of Penn systems currently requiring PennKey, see the Authentication Methods Chart. 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.



19. What is a "Non-Persistent" PennKey?


Non-Persistent PennKeys are issued to individuals such as conference attendees and volunteers, who have a mre fluid or shorter-term relationship to Penn. Non-Persistent PennKeys take the form gxxxxxxx ("g" followed by seven digits); they have a limited life-span and cannot be renewed. Individuals with Non-Persistent PennKeys cannot set a new password if they forget theirs -- they need to obtain a new PennKey and a new Penn ID.



20. How do I connect my Laptop on campus?



21. How do I access my Email?

Grad students:

Faculty:; Other non-web browsers are available and instructions are posted here:



22. Are my files backed up regularly in case I lose something? And how do I recover it?

Backup is done daily on all files saved on SAS, HANS and Facstaff. It is recommended that all users save data to Hans, SAS or some other device. Hard drive restoration is only offered in extreme situations but is not guaranteed.


23. How do I change my password?

Hans – ssh to hans, type “passwd” after login, change password

SAS – While logged in, press ‘Ctrl+Alt+Delete’, change Password

Facstaff – go to Fixpass tab on page



24. How do I send an email to my class? How can I get an up-to-date list of the students in my class?



25. How can I post a "vacation" message?