A female student at work in the computer lab

The College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS) has its own Unix-based computer facility, consisting of several servers, six computer labs and a support staff.

For assistance with UVM-related account or software issues, visit the Help & Support page.


We use UVM netIDs for Student accounts, but you must qualify by either being enrolled in CEMS or be taking a CEMS course for which the professor deems that computer use is required for the course. Passwords can be obtained or changed by Network ID & Account Management.

Faculty and staff accounts are also netIDs and must be enabled for CEMS resources.

Computer Recommendations

Engineering students must either own or lease a laptop computer. Requirement: 

Engineering is a professional field that leverages mathematics and the sciences to design and implement solutions to problems faced by society. The practicing Engineer utilizes not only the fundamentals related to mathematics and the sciences but also computational tools to accomplish his or her tasks. With this latter reality in mind, engineering at UVM requires all incoming Engineering students to have a laptop computer. The laptop requirement enables instructors to incorporate computational analysis and numerical examples in the classroom for an immediate and powerful praxis of engineering theory.

Minimum Requirements:
The laptop requirement is platform agnostic (Windows, Mac or Linux) and is satisfied with current mid-range offerings (i.e., 2.3 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 250 GB Hard Drive, 802.11 a/g/n). Note that current netbooks do not have sufficient computational resources to meet your needs. As part of the laptop requirement, students must install a student version of Matlab (a high-level programming language and interactive computational environment). Instructions for installing Matlab.

Very Strongly Recommended:
The College also recommends that students have word processing, presentation and spreadsheet software on their laptop. Recognizing that students will also use their laptops for multimedia applications (e.g., video editing for class projects) and running various engineering software during their tenure at UVM, the College strongly recommends new computers be purchased with increased performance (i.e., 2.6 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 256 Solid State Drive (SSD) or 1 TB Mechanical Drive (HDD) for storage).

Note to Mac Users:
Certain engineering software packages are PC-only and do not offer versions for Mac OSX. An appropriate PC emulation software would be required to run these applications on your Mac laptop. Popular options for this emulation is the freely available Virtual Box and also the commercial software Parallels. In addition to obtaining the emulation software, a copy of Windows will need to be purchased.


The personal computer is an essential tool for learning and professional work in the programs at the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS).

As a CEMS student, you must master computing technologies and use them throughout the curriculum. All CEMS students should have ready access to a computer (see below).

Although CEMS students are not required to own a personal computer, it is highly recommended. Please see the information below on buying or leasing a computer and required specifications.

Accessing a Computer

CEMS has its own Unix-based computer facility, consisting of several servers, five computer labs and a support staff.

The labs consist of high-powered PCs that dual boot to both Windows and Linux, and are loaded with the latest software packages such as MS Office, AutoCad and various other packages specified by the professors.

Buying a Computer

There are many national and local computer vendors who can provide a hardware and software package to meet your needs. In addition, students may purchase a computer at the University's Microcomputer Services Depot at discounted prices. The Depot has packages available for purchase and can answer questions regarding technology or pricing.

Computers purchased through The Depot are available at the beginning of the semester; students are contacted regarding pickup arrangements. The Depot also provides support for problems associated with your computer hardware. Most software can be purchased at the UVM Bookstore (software cannot be purchased online at this time).

Leasing a Computer

Computer leasing is a viable alternative to purchasing. Here at UVM we purchase most computers from Dell, which does offer leases. However, be aware that the total cost of a computer is more for leasing than for purchasing.

If you are considering leasing a computer, please keep in mind that it is important to be very sure of the place you are leasing from and to find out as much information as possible. Questions to ask include:

  • What happens if the computer breaks down? Who fixes it?
  • Is there a penalty if I terminate the lease early?
  • What happens if I receive the computer and it isn't what I thought I was getting?
  • What happens if I'm a few days late with a payment?
  • Do I have an option to purchase the computer at the end of the lease?
  • Are there any other mandatory charges?

This is just a short list of some of the more obvious questions to ask. Be aware that you should not take anything for granted when leasing.

Computer Specifications

When a computer is obtained for a specific purpose (such as supporting your classes at the University), it is helpful to know what software is necessary to fulfill required tasks. Then you can obtain a computer that will satisfactorily run all of the identified software.

Below, you will find descriptions of:

Minimum and Optional Software

All of the software below can be purchased at the UVM Bookstore. Click on Technology for computer related items.

Minimum Software

The software listed below should be on each student's computer. We feel that each student in the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS) will use this software extensively.

Name Bookstore Price
Microsoft Office 365 (Excel, Word, PowerPoint) MSOffice is free for Students
Anti-virus Site License*
Adobe Acrobat Reader Free**


* Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) at UVM has purchased a site license for Anti-virus software; it is available for download at ETS Software.

** Web browsers and Adobe Acrobat Reader are free software; they are also available for download at ETS Software.

Optional Software

The Optional Software category is software that students may wish to purchase depending on their chosen major and software cost. For example, AutoCAD is very useful to Mechanical Engineering students, but may not be needed for a Computer Science major (depending on the series of classes you take).

We suggest that you do not purchase the Optional Software initially, but wait until you are sure you need it (software cannot be returned).

Software in this category requires the accompanying increase in hardware resources indicated in the table below.

Name Bookstore Price Minimum Hardware Requirement Suggested Hardware
Mathematica Site License* 128 MB (RAM) 256 MB (RAM)
MS Visual Studio $99.95 160 MB (RAM) 512 MB (RAM)
MATLAB Site License** 1 GB (RAM) 2 GB (RAM)


* Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) has purchased a site license for Mathematica it is available for download at ETS.

** UVM has purchased a site license for Matlab for students.


Minimum and Suggested Hardware

The computer you now own may meet your needs as a student.

In an attempt to convey useful information to you, we have specified Suggested Hardware configuration. This is meant as objective assessment; in practice, a configuration that may be perfectly acceptable to one student may be painfully inadequate to another.

The CEMS Computer Facility is a Unix and PC computer based lab. You will need to be able to save your document files in a Windows format to turn them in to the instructor. There are several wireless network locations across campus. Votey Hall is completely covered for wireless access.

With advances in Apple computer software, many Windows-based packages can be run on an Apple computer (running Virtual PC on Mac OS X [version 10.2]). We have listed comparable specifications for an Apple system in parenthesis to help Apple users decide if their system will work.

If you are purchasing a new computer, we recommend a PC compatible machine. If you have any questions, you should check with your department representative.

The UVM Bookstore lists computers that exceed our Suggested hardware specifications. You may also ask for a custom quote by emailing them at depot@uvm.edu or calling them at (802) 656-3067.

Suggested Hardware

The Suggested Hardware configuration is a system that will run all software needed for CEMS classes in a manner that all but the most demanding students should find satisfactory. This configuration also provides the capacity for other undertakings such as digital imaging, 3-D Graphics (AutoCAD or 3-D Modeling) and X-Windowing software, as well a large assortment of other software students may want to use.

  • 2.7 GHz quad core i5 processor
  • (for Mac: 2.7 GHz quad core i5 processor)
  • 8 GB of memory (RAM)
  • 1 TB hard disk drive or 256 GB SSD
  • removable storage (USB storage media and DVD+/-RW)
  • 19" LCD Monitor
  • surge protector

We also recommend that you consult with your department about any additional capabilities that would be beneficial for your major.

Department Contact Email
Computer Facility Tim Raymond Tim.Raymond@uvm.edu
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Arne Bomblies


Department of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Yves Dubief


Department of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Paul Hines


Department of Computer Science Prof. Bob Erickson Robert.Erickson@uvm.edu
Department of Mathematics and Statistics: Mathematics Dr. Chris Danforth Chris.Danforth@uvm.edu
Department of Mathematics and Statistics: Statistics Dr. Jeff Buzas Jeff.Buzas@uvm.edu