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zhangpei, 10/03/2014 12:42 PM

ETM Getting Started or !0 Things I Wish I had Known

Some very basic stuff that might be helpful:

1. There are two different PSU Computer Systems?

PSU has two totally separate computer systems:

  • *OIT* - Standard Computer Systems (AKA ODIN)
    • They manage the computers in the library, the Broadway Lab, and all the other computer labs outside the engineering buildings.
    • Classrooms PC's outside engineering building
    • The account for accessing registration, library accounts, etc
    • All your PSU "Google Apps" such as PSU's gmail, calendar, hangouts, groups,, google sites, and other services.
    • The account for WiFi - in all buildings
    • Help Desk OIT help desk in the basement of Smith Hall. You can also get limited assistance after hours at the desk in the Broadway Lab.
  • *MCECS* - Engineering Computer Systems (AKA The Cat)
    • These are the computers in labs in the engineering building
    • Many classrooms in the engineering buildings have an OIT & MCECS PC built into classroom
    • Help Desk The Cat help desk in the basement of engineering building (FAB 82-01)

The two accounts are completely separate, and have different passwords.

BKM The OIT systems require you to change your password every 90 days - it is simplest to change both your passwords for OIT & MCECS the same day to keep them the same so you do not need to remember two passwords.
  • OIT password change link
  • MCECS password change link

So other then having to remember two passwords, and the files not being shared between the systems - is there ANY advantage to this setup? Only one - you get a 500 page print quota on each system - so if you run out on the engineering systems you can go to a OIT system to print.

2. Where are the Best Computer Labs?

There are two major MCECS labs in the engineering buildings.

  • *Intel Lab* (across from the ETM Office) has both Windows & Linux computers. The first row of computers to the right are Linux, the second row, third row and far wall are Windows7.
  • *EB325 Lab* (3rd floor Engineering building) has only Windows7 systems - but they are a bit newer then Intel lab and the lab gets some daylight.

All of the MCECS labs require your badge be coded for access. If you visit the Cat help desk they will code your badge for access if your currently registered for an engineering class.

The labs are open 24x7, as long as you have badge access to the Engineering Buildings.

A few notable OIT Computer Labs

  • *Broadway Lab* is open 24x7. It has Windows and Mac computers. To access the lab after hours use your badge to access the door on the East side of the Broadway building (next to Starbucks). Part of the Broadway Lab is the Grad Student only IDSC lab. It has the fastest PC's and largest monitors of the labs on campus. They check PSU ID's to confirm your registered for a graduate class before your allowed to use the lab. They have large format printers for printing posters and banners. Prices start at $0.50 / inch.
  • *Library 2nd Floor* The 2nd floor library lab is open the same hours as the library. There are Windows & Mac PC's - about average performance for OIT systems on campus. The lab has a few pluses. The library has three book scanners if you need to scan a book to a PDF - these are stand-alone scanners. The systems also have the full version of Adobe Acrobat installed for editing PDF's - it is useful to remove cover pages from PDF's you have downloaded or to convert a PDF without searchable text into a searchable PDF.
  • Starbucks in the Broadway Housing Building on 6th Ave has good PSU WiFi access and is a popular "virtual" lab if you bring your own laptop or tablet. And they do not enforce the same draconian "no food or drink" policy as real PSU labs.
  • Starbucks in Urban Plaza has only moderately fast PSU WiFi. But has got the FASTEST non-PSU WiFi on campus. So if you would like to stream any files that you would rather OIT not monitor (Yes, they do track your on-line behavior) this is the spot to grab a latte.

3. How do I get Badge Access?

To get into the engineering buildings after hours you need your key card authorized for entry.

Your key card is the white Official PSU ID that has a Access Badge # on the front of the card. The One Card is not an access badge.

All of the badge scanners on campus can be a little flaky. You often have to swipe your badge 2 or 3 times before your given access and the light glows solid green.

Ask the related offices for the access renewal every year if needed. -Pei

Accessing Engineering Building

To get access to the Engineering buildings after hours and on weekends you need to request access. Shawn or Becky in the ETM Office can have your name added to the access list. You need to send them email with your PSU ID number, your badge number from the front of the key card and your email address. It takes a few days for it to become active.

There are four badge access to the engineering buildings:

  • The main door of the Maseeh Engineering building (West side of Building) has a badge reader to the right of the front door.
  • The side door of the Maseeh Engineering building (South side of Building) has a badge reader.
  • The main door of FAB (West side) has badge access. The badge reader is far to the left side of the doors on wall of the building. There are two readers, one for PSU and one for city employees - only the PSU reader will work. After hours they lock three of the doors & put closed signs on the door - leaving one door for badge access.
    • The FAB security guards can sometimes be strict about following the rules. If another student opens the door with their badge for you they may ask to see your PSU ID or in extreme cases have you show that your badge grants you access to the building. If they give you a problem, just walk over to the Engineering Building, badge in & walk through the basement to FAB.
  • The Harrison Street door of FAB (North side) has badge access. There are two badge readers there - one for PSU and one for Pacific Corp employees who have offices on the third floor of FAB. Make sure you use the right reader.

Accessing Other PSU Buildings

PSU has been increasing security by making some buildings badge access in the evening and weekends. The Broadway building which has a 24 hour computer lab is badge access in the evening. Badge access should be automatically granted for any quarter that your registered as a student. If your a full-time grad student but not currently taking any classes (for example summer quarter) you can email them and request that access not expire at the end of each quarter. Directions on how to here

Access Engineering Computer Labs

All engineering computer labs require badge access. If your currently registered for a engineering class you can go to the MCECS Help Desk - FAB 82-01 and they will grant access for a year.

4. How do I get one more credit?

International students needing 9 credits to be a full-time student or students needing 5 credits to qualify for health insurances often find themselves needing just one more credit after they register for 4 credit ETM classes. The solution? ETM seminar! ETM Seminar is a one credit class offered every quarter. It is a pass-fail class and the only requirement is you show up and stay awake for the 4 or 5 times it meets each quarter. It usually does not meet the first week of the quarter, the first seminar is usually the second week of the quarter.

Register for ETM 507 and check the schedule to see when seminar meets.

Note that because it is pass-fail it does not count towards credits needed for graduation.

5. Where is my class?

ETM offers classes on three campuses - and two of them are over 10 miles away from downtown. Make sure you know where your signing up for a class and where your class is being taught. The ETM Class List shows which campus a class will be taught on.

  • PSU These are classes taught on the downtown campus. Most classes are taught in the Engineering Buildings but due to space limitations classes maybe taught in other buildings.
  • West These classes are taught at PCC Willow Creek. It is 12 miles west of downtown, out near Nike and Intel. In evening rush hour traffic it can sometimes take up to 45 minutes to get here by car. There is a MAX stop right at Willow Creek so it is a easy 40 minute ride from downtown PSU. Often a number of full-time students living downtown take classes out there because they need a class the quarter it is taught on the West side and not downtown - so check with student friends, you can often carpool with a friend or sometimes the TA.
  • South These classes are taught at the Oregon Institute Of Technology (OIT) in Wilsonville, about 15 miles south of downtown on I5. Rush hour traffic in the evening from downtown to Wilsonville is just as bad as to the West campus and can take up to 45 minutes to get there by car.

To find out what room your class is in check the online registration system a day or so before class starts - rooms get changed at the last minute as classes get canceled and better rooms open up - so classes get shifted.

Once you find out what room your class is in - you can check the online campus map to figure out where the building is.

It is also important to check your PSU email. Regardless of what you tell ETM or PSU - they will keep sending email to your email account. Make sure you either check this email regularly in the weeks before class starts or have it forwarded to a email account you do check. If you get on

It would be a little challenge for you to find the correct buildings and correct classrooms at the very beginning. You can check on the maps from the following links:

6. Is any part of the bus system that is free?

The Portland Streetcar is free for PSU students with a Portland State ID. It passes right by the end of the ETM building. It is a easy but sometimes slow way to get down to south waterfront or up to the Pearl district.

The MAX (light rail) is NOT free, and there are fare inspectors that will check and fine you if you do not have a valid ticket. These are the trains running on 5th and 6th Ave.

7. What is PICMET?

No, PICMET is not an ETM religion, although you will hear about it so often you will wonder if their trying to convert you. "Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology"

PICMET is one of the top Engineering Management conferences and was started by the Portland State Engineering and Technology Management department in 1991. From a small one time conference, it has grown to one of the top international technology management conferences in the world.

Many ETM faculty and students are involved in running PICMET.

It takes place the last week of July every summer. It alternates between taking place in Portland one year and an international location the next. In the summer of 2015 it will take place once again in Portland.

Dr. Weber and Dr. Jetter are past recipients of the PICMET Best Student paper award for papers submitted while they were students.

8. Where can I store my stuff?

If you need a secure place to stash your extra books, laptop, lunch or sleeping bag long-term on campus - one option is to rent a locker in the engineering building. There are lockers in three areas on the basement floor of the engineering building where ETM is located. Current students are welcome to rent lockers to store items for $12.50 per term. Register online at the Maseeh College Self Service Portal. A MCECS username and password are required to access site.

Long-term lockers are also available for rent in Cramer Hall and Neuberger Hall at $30 per quarter or $65 per academic year. You can rent them through the box office

An option for short-term storage are the free day use lockers in the rec center. Once you have shown your PSU ID at the desk to enter through the 2nd floor entrance to the gym, the lockers straight ahead on the right side. They are only good for day use - you need to retrieve your stuff before the gym closes.

The least affordable option is to use your car as a storage locker in the basement parking garage of the engineering building, below the ETM department. Parking in the FAB (Forth Avenue Building) garage is the most expensive parking on campus at $376 / term and requires you to be registered for at least 6 credits. These spaces typically sell out within a day of going on sale about a month before the term starts.

9. How do I save money on textbooks?

There are a number of ways to save money on textbooks. Some of of them require shopping for your textbooks a few weeks before class starts.

Shop Online

Amazon and the local independent Powell's bookstore often have new books cheaper, used books or books to rent instead of buying the textbook. It may take a week to have it delivered - so you need to plan ahead.

Alternate Editions

In some classes, other editions of a textbook maybe be OK. Check with the instructor before buying an edition other than what the PSU Bookstore is stocking.

Borrow from Summit / Interlibrary Loan

It is sometimes possible to borrow the textbook from PSU's library, or get it through Summit (regional library system) or Interlibary Loan. It will take a week to two weeks to get the book in.

The maximum loan period for Summit is six weeks and for interlibary loan is between four weeks and eight weeks. The PSU library does have three great book scanners that you can use to scan a book into a searchable PDF.

Use an ebook

Some textbooks are available for purchase or rent as an ebook - sometimes far cheaper then a traditional hardcopy. In some cases the ebook version can be borrowed from the PSU library indefinitely.

PSU Bookstore Price Matches

If you bring in an ad showing the textbook for a lower price somewhere else, the PSU Bookstore will match that price.

You need to bring in an ad or online listing for a new copy of the same edition of the textbook. One textbook for an ETM class was $200 at the PSU bookstore; a student brought in an ad showing it was $79 on Amazon, so the bookstore matched the price. The student did need to wait while they found a bookstore manager to OK the markdown.

10. Don't I get a second chance to make a good first impression?


Every ETM class has a group project. From the first day you are establishing a reputation, not just with the professors but more importantly with the other students. Make that reputation a positive one of being the person that they can count on in crunch time rather than someone always looking for a shortcut.

If you screw-up you will quickly find yourself working on a team with other average students - and you will be doing most of the work and struggling get a good grade on your group project. Students very quickly figure out if you are hard working or not.

If you want to learn a lot, get the most out of the group projects, get good grades and make good connections The best way to get good grades is get on the team with the smartest students - that means working hard, delivering and contributing. They will push you harder and demand more of you - and you will learn more.

The best way to find a job is through networking - many of your classmates are already working in industry and may be your best opportunity for a future job. They will assume how hard you work in class is how hard you would work on the job.

Pick a diverse group - again that helps build your future professional network.

Updated by zhangpei over 6 years ago · 37 revisions