MIT's computing environment consists of a rich array of technologies and information resources for academic, research, and administrative use. MIT Information Services and Technology (IS&T) provides services and facilities available to every member of the MIT community, 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, centrally licensed and downloadable software, and a variety of support services.
MITnet connects tens of thousands of computers across the campus and connects MIT to networks around the world. All buildings on the MIT campus offer high-speed wireless connectivity in addition to wired network connections.
The Athena Computing Environment is MIT's academic computing environment, which powers computer labs (“the clusters”), private workstations in labs and departments, remote-access servers, and personal machines throughout campus. Athena is based on the Linux operating system and provides a large collection of third-party software, including popular scientific and engineering software such as MATLAB, Maple, and Mathematica.
Even though a laptop is not required, the vast majority of our students bring a laptop to campus to use in addition to MIT-provided computers. MIT provides recommendations, advice, and discounts from recommended vendors for laptop bundles that meet MIT’s course and software requirements.
IS&T provides full service and support for recommended hardware and software through IS&T’s Help Desk, which offers email, web, and phone support, a walk-in center, and assistance with connecting to and using the MIT network in the residence halls. This includes certified warranty repair for Apple, Dell, and Lenovo Thinkpad hardware.
IS&T’s Adaptive Technology for Information and Computing (ATIC) program and lab 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/students/, which presents an overview of MIT's student computing environment, details on available services, computer recommendations, and software downloads.