UB now has one more technological achievement to add to its growing list. In a recent study of 1,300 colleges and universities, completed by the Internet service giant Yahoo!, UB was ranked the 10th most wired university in the nation.
The university has steadily improved over the last several years, going from 47th place in 1999 to the 11th place last year and up yet again this year, where it shares 10th place with the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
"We're pleased that we've been recognized for a second year in a row as a national leader in the use of technology to support academic programs and services to our students," said Voldemar Innus, UB's chief information officer, in a press release.
The study, published in the October issue of the "Yahoo! Internet Life" magazine, rates universities based on how technologically advanced they are in six categories: infrastructure, student resources, Web portal, E-learning, tech support and wireless. UB scored in the A range for all categories except for wireless, in which it earned a C- grade.
"Our survey looked at a school's sheer computing power, integration of the Net into curricula and classrooms, availability of technical support for students, and numerous other criteria. Collectively, these factors helped us determine each school's [wiredness quotient], our overall measure of an institution's technology resources," states the Yahoo! Web site.
"Simply put, technology plays a crucial role in higher learning today. It's spawning powerful interactive tools for professors in the classroom, providing scholars access to vast digital libraries, and functioning as a social forum for students."
According to the magazine's grading criteria, divisions are set up to reflect how well each university fares in areas such as user-friendliness, accessibility, tech support and online class registration.
In particular, UB was given praise for its high-tech development centers. "UB's Virtual Reality Center is emblematic of the school's commitment to emerging technologies, and the Electronic Poetry Center [http://wings.buffalo.edu/epc/] caters to the left-brained e-poets," the magazine stated.
At the very top of the university list was research center Carnegie Mellon University. To compare, UB scored a wiredness quotient of 91.11 while CMU scored a 94.69. Among the main factors that elevate CMU over UB is a state-of-the-art wireless network, which provides all equipped computers with access to the Internet from anywhere on campus.
UB is the only New York state school ranked in the top 10. Other New York state universities ranked include Syracuse University (76), Rochester Institute of Technology (28), Cornell University (77) and Binghamton University (78). Each of the schools listed has a wiredness quotient between 80-89. In comparison, fifth-ranked MIT scored 91.87.
UB's high-tech advancements have helped meet many students' academic needs.
"My chemistry class has the most useful Web site; it contains all the lecture notes and is constantly updated with new announcements," said freshman Ken Camann.
The October edition of Yahoo! Internet Life will hit stands Sept. 18. For more information on the study, visit the Yahoo! Internet Life Web site at http://www.yil.com/.