Watch carefully now

Cool animated GIF of cab going past a shop window.

Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg have made some very cool and wonderfully subtle animated GIFs that may possibly be the most interesting use of that technology that I’ve ever run across. Sadly, a lot of what they’ve done with it isn’t that exciting (lots of clothes and hair moving gently in a breeze), but there are a few examples (such as the one above) that are real gems. If you’re interested you might check out “Far Better Than 3-D: Animated GIFs That Savor A Passing Moment”, a nice article on their work (which is I where I learned about it). You can also see more of their animations here and there.

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What should a new UMM Director of Information Technology person do?

This is essentially a re-posting from the UMM CSci blog.

UMM has recently opened a position for a new Director of Information Technology. The full job description is attached, and the description and application page are on-line.

Some highlights from the “Purpose of the Position” section:

General priorities for the position include:

  • promoting a 21st century learning and teaching environment for an undergraduate focused residential campus;
  • supporting through technology and information resources the research endeavors of a highly qualified and active faculty; and
  • advancing the use of technology to engage a growing base of prospective students, donors, and alumni.

Specifically, the Director of Information Technology will:

  • Provide IT leadership to the Morris campus and in the broader University community.
  • Serve as a key member of the Morris campus and University of Minnesota technology leadership team, which formulates and implements local and institutional goals and initiatives.
  • Partner with the academic and administrative leadership across the Morris campus and university-wide to participate in the creation and implementation of strategic goals and IT initiatives.

I’m a member of the search committee, and I want to share this information here for two reasons.

First, if anyone reading this is interested, please consider applying!

Second, the search committee is gathering feedback from various stakeholders about what we want this person to be and do. Before we begin to look at applications, the committee would like to try to clarify as best we can what the campus wants and needs from someone in this position.

So, what do you think are the priorities for UMM’s Director of Information Technology? What do they need to do to support the teaching, research, and service missions of campus? Looking ahead 5 years, what issues do you feel that this person will need to address/get ahead of? On of my concerns in recent years has been that the campus has been far too reactive to technological change, and instead of being ahead of the ball we’re constantly scrambling to respond to events and put out fires. What skills and background does this person need to help us turn that around?

I’d be happy to discuss this at UMM CSci tea tomorrow afternoon (4-6ish in the lab), or hear from anyone by whatever other means work for you. If you have ideas or thoughts, however, please share promptly; we want to wrap up this fact finding process in the next two weeks (by the morning of Tuesday, 20 Apr).

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