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Laptop Requirements

All new freshmen are required to have a wireless laptop for use in their classes.

The Oregon State University College of Engineering is pleased to announce a commitment to using state-of-the-art wireless technology to enhance and expand our teaching-learning environment. Thanks to generous gifts from Intel, Hewlett-Packard, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the entire College of Engineering and a number of other buildings on the OSU Main Campus now offer wireless connectivity. This commitment to wireless supports one of the College's major goals: developing extraordinary "work-ready" graduates for the 21st century. We are committed to promoting advanced technology and using it to develop a more engaging and innovative learning experience for our students.

Several key first- and second-year courses in engineering, computer science, and science are using wireless technology to improve education through a more "hands-on" learning environment. In time, additional courses will incorporate wireless technology to enhance learning as part of every engineering student's classroom experience.

Students with wireless laptop computers will have instant and continuous access to the Internet, email, and engineering curricular materials. Examples of educational activities with wireless computing might include: remote control of robots built as projects for design classes; individual student use of computer models in the classroom; real-time simulation of load and strain for structural designs; immediate feedback on performance during exams and exercises; and classroom analysis of statistical data sets.

Because laptops are now required for incoming OSU engineering students, the cost of a wireless laptop will be automatically considered in the financial aid package offered to new freshmen.

The College of Engineering does not require a specific wireless laptop because of the dynamic and diverse character of the computer marketplace. Rather, we encourage students to make their own choice of specific manufacturer and configuration. We have established minimum requirements as guidance.

For the computer intensive applications used by engineering majors, we recommend a laptop computer that exceeds these minimum requirements. Naturally, the performance of a laptop depends on the processor and amount of RAM installed. Students who already have a laptop computer can simply add a wireless card.

Please visit http://engr.oregonstate.edu/computing/wireless for instructions on how to set up your wireless adapter for use on the OSU wireless network. Classes will have differing software requirements.

We suggest you shop around for the best pricing on laptop computers that meet the minimum requirements. Reliability and support should be strongly considered in your decision. There are many sources of independent laptop evaluation available on the internet, and you should also seek recommendations from current laptop users.

For your convenience, the OSU College of Engineering has provided links to the online academic stores for Dell, HP and Apple Computer.

Links and help:

For help setting up your laptop to access the OSU COE wireless network, see the following documents: