MIT's computing environment supports a rich array of technologies and information resources for academic, research, and administrative use. The Information Services and Technology (IS&T) department supports "universal" services and facilities for everyone, including MITnet (the campus network), the Athena Computing Environment (centrally provided hardware and software resources), the on-campus telephone system, co-location services for high-performance research computers, and a variety of support services.
MITnet connects thousands of computers across the campus and its connection to the internet gives MIT high-speed access to computers around the world. The MIT campus is fully wireless and provides an extensive Mobile Web application.
The Athena Computing Environment is MIT's academic computing environment, which powers computing clusters (labs), private workstations, remote-access servers, and personal machines throughout campus. Athena provides a vast collection of third-party software, including popular packages such as MATLAB, Maple, and Mathematica, and provides easy access to the AFS file system for personal and group file storage.
Students increasingly use laptops as part of their coursework on MIT's campus-wide wireless and wired networks. While MIT does not require that every student own a computer, the vast majority do. IS&T provides recommendations and buying advice for laptops that meet faculty guidelines and are competitively priced.
IS&T provides full support for recommended systems and software through a range of technical help services. The starting point for help is the IS&T Service Desk. The Help Desk also offers on-campus certified warranty repair, installation, and upgrades for the following manufacturers: Apple, Dell, and Lenovo Thinkpads. The Adaptive Technology for Information and Computing program provides technologies for students and staff with disabilities.
For more information on IS&T and computing at MIT, visit http://ist.mit.edu/. For details on getting started with IT as a student, visit http://ist.mit.edu/start/students/, which presents an overview of MIT's student computing environment, with links to further details, including recommendations for systems.