Since the introduction of computers at Yale University, students have played a vital role in their creation, programming, and maintenance. As early as the 1950s, students provided maintenance for the mainframes, terminals, and email messaging systems at Yale.
Personal Computer Revolution
The dawn of the personal computer in the 1980s created a demand on campus not only for computers, but also for computer support staff. In 1985, Project Eli hired the first eleven Yale Computing Assistants to provide support and maintenance for the computer workstations in the Residential Colleges, Connecticut Hall, and Becton Engineering Lab. In 1989, Project Eli was also instrumental in the creation of the first Yale student personal computer network, located in Calhoun College and called "Houn Net". This simple network used the AppleShare protocol to communicate between campus systems and the internet.
In the years that followed, Project Eli was reborn under the name Student Computing, and continued to provide support for the growing number of computers on campus. By 1990 the number of Computing Assistants had tripled from the original eleven, and by 1995 the ranks had doubled again. Now Student Computing provided support not only for machines installed on campus, but also for the rapidly rising number of student-owned systems on campus.
Into the 21st Century
Today, over 95% of Yale students own a computer system and computers are an essential part of campus life, from email and course enrollment, to mobile technology and media classroom systems. From a small group of enthusiastic students, STC has grown to an essential campus resource with over 100 employees providing personal computer support, media technology assistance, software development, and other technology initiatives. STC continues to be committed to its role as an organization committed to not only providing top-rate technical support to Yale students, but also educating both student employees and student clients in the constantly changing field of computer technology.