The Princeton Review ranks Fairfield University among top 20 "Most Connected Campuses" for its computing capabilities


Fairfield University has ranked 18th nationwide in The Princeton Review's second annual list of the "Top 25 Most Connected Campuses," which considers colleges' computing prowess. Among the top schools were Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania. Fairfield ranked higher than schools including the University of Vermont and Boston University.

To identify the colleges on the list, The Princeton Review collected responses from the colleges in its "The Best 357 Colleges" guidebook, to a survey on computing capabilities. Criteria included the ratio of school-owned computers accessible to students; the breadth of the computer science curriculum; and the sophistication of campus technology, including streaming media of classes and extracurricular offerings; availability of school-owned digital cameras and equipment for student use; wireless Internet access on campus, and support for handheld computing.

"We've made significant investments in campus networking infrastructure," said James Estrada, vice president for Information Services at Fairfield University. Fairfield University has recently completed a three-year project to upgrade the wiring in the student residences and has made enhancements to the network infrastructure to support the latest technology, including streaming media. Additionally, the University has made upgrades to the Media Center's production studios, started construction that will establish an Information Technology Center in the DiMenna-Nyselius Library, begun the addition of Smart Classrooms, and made numerous improvements to classroom projection equipment.

Fairfield University's Department of Mathematics and Computer Science has refined its computer science curriculum in the last few years. The major in computer science now offers three tracks: a systems track, for students interested in learning about computer architecture in order to work on computer systems; a mathematics track, which focuses on using computer applications to solve mathematical problems; and a cognitive track, which combines psychology and computer science to delve into areas such as artificial intelligence. The department has also created a freshman sequence of courses to help identify students who may be interested in pursuing a major in computer science.

Colleges that embrace technology are providing their students with more than just the creature comforts that come with having Internet access and other tools, said Erik Olson, director of Guidebook Publications. They are creating a culture that "engenders an instinctive embrace of technology of the students."

"High tech has become an integral part of the students' experience - whether it enhances their academics, their entertainment or their ability to communicate. Each year we find the bar raised higher and higher as students' consider a sophisticated computing environment central to their college experience," said Robert Franek, Editorial Director, The Princeton Review. "These students also know that honing their tech skills in college can be crucial in their job searches and careers after college."

The full list of the "Top 25 Most Connected Campuses," can be found at http://www.forbes.com/lists/2004/10/20/04conncampland.html. Media representatives can contact Robin Raskin or Harriet Brand at The Princeton Review at (212) 874-8282.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on October 26, 2004

Vol. 37, No. 91