The computing group is managed by Bill Szkotnicki, who is responsible for planning and coordination as well as ensuring that high performance computing equipment and associated software are functioning well. Richard Avery takes care of the network and computer lab, and with Gail Costigan help purchase and install new PCs for graduate students and faculty in the entire department, as well as assisting Bill Szkotnicki and CGIL faculty in special projects. Dr. Margaret Quinton continues to advise the department on statistical computing problems, and does genetic evaluations for sow reproduction traits. Margaret lately obtained her Ph.D. degree (2000) and has taught a graduate level statistics course for Dr. Ian McMillan while he is president of the faculty association. Larry Banks is involved in genetic evaluation programs for sheep and beef cattle.
A number of people have worked with the computing group in the last ten years. Retirees were George Smith, May 1995, Muriel Tolton, Feb 1995, and Muriel Auld, Jan 1996. George Smith worked for many years on the type classification programs of the Holstein, Ayrshire, Jersey, and Guernsey breed associations. Eric Yao, Gerald Jansen, Karl Warnica, Harry Zuzan, Ken Koots, Muthian George, Andrew Robinson, Steve Elgersma, Neil Irwin, Brian Sullivan, and Lalit Jairath all served as associates with George Smith over the years. Muriel Tolton also worked with the type classification program as a data entry person, kept track of user IDs on the computer systems, and was proficient with special hardware for scanning pictures and taking slides. Muriel Auld was a data entry person for the department for data coming from the research stations. The type classification service program officially left CGIL at the end of December 1999, and was taken over by Canadian Dairy Network.
The computer group (part of both the Department of Animal and Poultry Science and CGIL) provides advanced information technology, computing, communication and data analysis expertise in support of the research, teaching and extension needs of the faculty, staff and students. This encompasses a wide range of technical disciplines including: systems design and development, communications networking, statistical analysis, computer programming, genetic evaluation systems, animal breeding model development and implementation, graphics and multi-media, simulation and data base management.
The current computing environment features:
|late 1980's||Began switch to UNIX systems.|
|1991||Two HP 9000/735's (wright and fisher)|
|64MB memory with several 2GB disks.|
|1993-5||Expanded with additional HP machines|
|(sherlock, lush, ernie, bert), networked together|
|with load balanced over all machines.|
|1996||Added an HP 9000/J210 (bos) faster cpu,|
|2GB memory, 9GB disks.|
|1998||Replaced original wright with used J280,|
|2GB memory, 18GB disks.|
|1999||Purchased first non HP system, Intel SC450 NX|
|( 4 processors, 2GB memory ), Linux SMP,|
|high speed 10GB disks, called Quartet|
|2000||Added HP 9000/J7000 (2 processors, 4GB memory,|
|210GB disk space), funded by genomics project.|