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April 21, 1997

UC Santa Cruz named one of America's most-wired colleges

By Francine Tyler

UC Santa Cruz is one of the nation's "most wired" universities, according to a just-published survey that assessed the computer environment of 300 colleges and universities. UCSC was No. 56 on the survey's top-100 list.

"America's 100 Most Wired Colleges" was compiled by Yahoo! Internet Life and appears in the magazine's May 1997 issue. Yahoo! used four main categories in ranking the colleges: student services, hardware and wiring, academic use of the Internet, and recreational use of the Internet.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Northwestern University, and Emerson College took the top three slots on the list. Five UC campuses, including UCSC, also made the cut: UC Berkeley at 16; UC Davis, 26; UC San Diego, 75; and UCLA, 78.

To conduct their research, Yahoo! staff surveyed computing departments, information technology offices, public affairs people, and students at 300 colleges and universities across the U.S., the magazine says. The field of 300 was chosen on the basis that they were all "nationally recognized, four-year institutions that routinely appear in many college guides and national rankings," the magazine says.

Yahoo! rated the colleges on a number of factors, including percentages of students owning computers (70 percent at UCSC), classes with home pages (15 percent), and classes with online study aids (35 percent). Yahoo also asked whether colleges have a home page (yes) and automatically provided students with e-mail accounts (yes).

Yahoo! emphasized academic uses of the Internet in compiling the survey results, the magazine says. These uses, which included prevalence of online homework, study aids, and course home pages, made up 45 percent of the total score. The colleges' hardware and wiring accounted for 22.5 percent. Social uses of the Internet--including online chat lines, events listings, and the percentage of students with home pages--accounted for an additional 22.5 percent. Student services added the remaining 10 percent.

UCSC earned "extra credit" from Yahoo! for its wireless modems. "Who needs a high port-to-pillow ratio when you've got wireless connectivity available to all dorm residents?" the magazine asks.

All students living in UCSC's residence halls can rent or purchase a Metricom wireless modem--providing access to the Internet from anywhere on campus--through a program administered by Housing Services and Communications and Technology Services (CATS). UCSC's "port-to-pillow" ratio (the number of computer ports per resident student) is 1 to 3.

Yahoo! Internet Life is published by the Ziff-Davis Publishing Division and Yahoo! Inc., which provides the Yahoo! search service on the Internet.

Go to Yahoo's article and the "100 Most Wired" list

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