Ryerson engineering short on software

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By Shirley Lin

One of Ryerson’s civil engineering classes is in short supply of a computer software program, leaving some of its students feeling frustrated.

The third-year course, Computer Aided Structural Analysis, has about 70 students registered and uses the program SAP2000 for the majority of assignments. But the winter-term course has only 20 software licenses, leaving the remaining 50 students to fend for themselves.

“How are we supposed to learn and do assignments when we can’t log in to use the program?” said Adam Salem, who’s in one of the lab sessions.

“From the people who I’ve talked to, we all seem lost. We have to find other time to go use the computers and also learn it ourselves.”

Salem said a group of his classmates complained to the professor, Arnold Yuan, who then took it to the administration head.

But Yuan was told that the department won’t be obtaining any more licenses because it instead plans on buying better software in the future.

Yuan explained that students from previous years had to learn to the software through PowerPoint presentations in classrooms without computers because of limited space in the lab.

But after the lab underwent renovation last term, Yuan decided to switch his tutorials to the lab so the lessons could be more hands-on. Yuan, who is new to Ryerson, didn’t know that the department had always used only 20 licenses. So now, every other student has to share a computer with the software.

“We can’t really do anything about it; just have to deal with it,” said Salem.

But Yuan says he doesn’t think it will affect his students’ ability to learn the course material. He says he doesn’t expect them to complete the assignments during tutorial and gives them time outside of class to finish them.

“The software was used to complete part of the assignments…During the non-tutorial time, 20 licenses should be enough. I did not receive further complaints from my students ever since.”

To cope with the issue, the administration made computer labs available during the weekends.

Amanda Lidia Alaica said that she’s taking advantage of the extra lab hours to keep up with the work.

“This is how I’ve dealt with the issue; I schedule around the available time during the week,” said Alaica.


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