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. We also welcome walk-ins to DRL-3N5 between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM as well as phone calls to 215-573-0777.

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

The Getting Started page 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?

Typically, full-time faculty and staff are eligible to receive a computer via SAS Allocations every fourth fiscal year. Please contact manager@math.upenn.edu to discuss your eligibility and the process of receiving your Allocations computer.

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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 is available for purchase using both departmental and personal funds from the Computer Connection in the bookstore.

The ISC Supported Computing Products page contains links to software available for Allocations, University-owned, and personal computers; categories include anti-virus programs, web browsers, ssh/sftp terminals, and desktop email clients.

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

Faculty may host their professional webpages on the departmental server hans.math.upenn.edu, which serves plain HTML pages stored in the directory ~/html. You may reference the live version of your page by visiting http://www.math.upenn.edu/˜$pennkey/ from any web browser, substituting your Pennkey username for $pennkey.

Files edited on other machines may be transferred to hans by terminal on Linux/macOS (sftp $pennkey@hans.math.upenn.edu) or SecureCRT on Windows. The name of the main web page in each directory should be index.html  -  remember to set permissions so only you can edit it: chmod 644 index.html.

Ask Monica to create a link to your professional webpage and add it to your entry on the Department directory page.

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

The University provides unlimited network storage to full-time faculty and staff through PennBox. SAS Computing domain accounts (Active Directory) allow access to departmental shares and personal network folders ("U Drives"), which are backed-up daily. Files in /home and /usr/local are backed-up for Linux users on hans.math.upenn.edu.

In addition to these network back-ups, external hard drives are highly recommended for local data back-up.

SAS Computing can attempt to recover data from broken or damaged drives in extreme situations, without guarantee of success. Third-party professional drive restoration services are also available, and may be paid using grant or research funds  -  please contact your LSP to get a quote.

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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-based bash implementation 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 gear menu in the upper-right corner. Select "Automatic replies" and follow the instructions provided.

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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/.