Purchasing a Computer
SCSE students are not required to have a laptop but it is expected that students are able to conduct online registration, email communications with UMD faculty and administration, class work, and access data in UMD library and elsewhere on the internet. Limited computers are available in computer labs although most students prefer to have their own computer.
Specific computer needs and capabilities vary with individual students and major program - there is no one standard requirement throughout the college. Most students find it useful and convenient to use a wireless-capable laptop for in-class use and portability, although it is not required that students have a laptop. (considering a Macintosh? Read more here)
Computer Purchasing Information and Ordering
UMD Store Computer Corner (sales tax will apply)
An office suite containing word processing and spreadsheet programs is required.
Many students use Microsoft Office which is available at a discount from the University. The UMD Computer Corner also sells software. Many courses use the Excel Analysis Toolpak which is a no cost add-on to the program. The Macintosh version of Microsoft Excel (version 2011) does not currently have the Toolpak available so please be aware of that before purchasing as students are entitled to one MS Office license at the discount rate. (considering a Macintosh? Read more here)
Other software might be required for certain courses although our numerous Computer Labs have all the software typically used by our students. If you plan to purchase your own software, check with your department or instructors to find out what might be needed.
Software Licensed by SCSE
SCSE maintains the license for some specialized software including ArcGIS and JMP Genomics (SAS). Instructions for downloading and installing is found here.
Student Collegiate Fees
Technology is an integral part SCSE. The student collegiate fee makes it possible for SCSE students to develop skills needed to succeed in their future profession, enhance their learning experience, and provide access to high-quality technology facilities. From computer labs and classrooms to sophisticated instrumentation to web development, the fee contributed by every student is being used to benefit all SCSE students.
All SCSE majors use a spreadsheet application at some point in their courses. It is advantageous to have some degree of skill in using spreadsheets before you start classes for your first semester.
Online training resources are available including these (many are old but still useful):
- Excel Help (Microsoft)
- Excel Basics (University of Alberta)
- Excel Tutorial (University of South Dakota)
- Excel Tips (University of Alberta)
- Excel Starter's Guide (PDFConverter.com)
- Excel Training (a fee is charged) (Microsoft)