Computer Help

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Computer Help This is a guide to the computer facilities, services and software available at the Math department of the University of Wisconsin. Most of the facilities are for department's the faculty, graduate students and staff.

How to report an issue

Accounts and Policies

Account Set Up

Every person in the math department should be provided the opportunity to set up an account. That account is used for ...

  • computer login for math department computers
  • the ability to print to department printers
  • file storage on the department file server
  • access to math department servers for math software
  • the ability to login to various department web pages

This is different from your WiscMail account, which is used for

  • payroll
  • access to Canvas
  • access to UW system level IT resources such as Google Apps and UWNet wireless
  • your UW wiscmail account
  • login to various UW protected webpages hosted throughout the university
  • WiscVPN

Changing your Math Dept. Account Password

You can reset or change your account password any time:

  1. Go to
  2. Click "Forgot Password"
  3. Click the link you will receive in your email.

Dealing With Spam

The University runs Office 365, which has some spam controls built in.

There's two parts to the UW's spam control.

Questions regarding these two methods should be directed to the DoIT Help Desk. (264-HELP, 4357)

Vacation Mail

How to set up an auto-reply.

Forwarding your e-mail

Set/Manage a Forward on a NetID or Service Account

Leaving the Department

If you leave the Math Department, we will occasionally remove old accounts. In some cases, we can leave an account in place for

  1. ) users that are continuing to collaborate with faculty or staff for research
  2. ) users that wish to continue to receive mail under their math account for a time.

While we can't guarantee infinite continuation of your email account because that is controlled by DoIT, we do have some methods at our command to make this more streamlined and less prone to being deactivated.

Generally, we remove accounts in October and March. In most cases, you'll be told in an email that we intend on doing this.

If you feel you fall under either of the two case scenarios listed above, please email

E-mail Web Forms

If you need to have someone contact you via your website, it is better to use a Google Form. has information for creating a google form for use in a class, but you can adapt those instructions to create forms for almost any use case. The responses are collected in Google, but you can set up a notification to send you an email when you receive a response.


The facilities and equipment described below are for use by UW Math department faculty and graduate students on the UW Madison Campus and, preferably, in Van Vleck hall.

Mobile Computers and Projectors

Instructors may borrow laptop computers and projectors for demonstrations in any Van Vleck classroom. This equipment is kept in the AMP Library in Chamberlin Hall. You may check them out for up to 4 hours using your UW ID card. The math library also has an assortment of VGA and HDMI video cables which can be used to connect a PC, Macintosh computer or iPad to a projector. One of the projectors has built in speakers and a DVD player. It also has two microphones which can be connected to it. WARNING: the laptops available for check out are somewhat old and have only basic software (MS Office, TeX) on them. It is far better to use your own computer with the Department's projectors.

Ceiling Mounted Projectors

Classrooms B102, B107, B130, B215, B231 and B223, B239, the 901 seminar room, and the 911 Lounge each have a ceiling mounted projector. These projectors provide better displays than the mobile units. They can be used with a laptop computer. If you want to reserve one of these rooms, contact Sharon Paulson at Keep in mind, though, that they're heavily booked and usually only available at the beginning or end of the day.

The Math Department's computer staff maintain the projectors in 901 and 911. All the others are maintained by the UW Physical Plant. Please contact Derek Dombrowski about them. You will need an access code to use them and a key if you want to use the document camera or microphone with them. Here is Derek's contact information:

    Derek Dombrowski
    (608) 265-9697
    (608) 516-5993




Math Dept Printers

Location PrinterName Printer Type
3rd hall 3 Ricoh IMC6000
4th hall 4 Ricoh IMC6000
5th hall 5 Ricoh IMC6000
6th hall 6 Ricoh IMC6000
7th hall 7 Ricoh IMC6000
8th hall 8 Ricoh IMC6000
101B VV a HP LaserJet 600 M601

During the summer of 2020, new Ricoh IMC 6000 printers were placed on floors 3-8. We will also switched from LPRNG to CUPS (the Common Unix Printing System) on our unix print servers.

As of 2014, we stopped charging for overages in printing, but want people to consider carefully the costs of consumables and paper, and the impact on the climate from overuse of paper. Please limit your use of our copiers to fewer than 250 pages a month.


If the printers run out of paper, please get more paper from the Copy Center on the second floor and place it in the printers. If you are unsure how to do this, ask the computer staff for assistance. For assistance with other problems (no toner, paper jams, etc. ) see Henry Mayes in 507 (for issues with the Ricoh copiers) and Sharon Paulson in 220 (for help with the printers in B127 and 101b).

See the cups guide for more detailed information on printing with cups. Click on the links below to learn how to use each function with the Ricoh copiers.

Ricoh Copier

Ricoh Copier FAQ

Only people with computer accounts in the UW Math Department will be allowed to use the Van Vleck Ricoh copiers. If you have a math account, you will receive a code to use for copying. These codes will be mailed out once a year in September after old accounts are deleted and new ones added. NOTE: if you forget your copier code, login to one of the math department linux PCs and type whatsmypin.

  • You copier code is only required for copying. Although the default display shows the copier login, you do not have to login in order to print or scan. Just push the buttons at the left to select the scanner or printer function.
  • Your code can be used on any of the copiers on floors 3-8. Do not use the copiers on the second floor. They are reserved for the administrative staff.
  • After you have finished copying, do not touch the display. Your login will time out after 60 seconds.
  • Everyone with a math dept account is urged to keep their printing at fewer than 250 pages a month. The Math Department does keep a count of printing totals. You may receive a report each month on your total printing. At the end of the month, these are zeroed out.
  • How to create a multi-page PDF document: Most people will want to create a multipage PDF scan of their document (instead of the default which is a single page TIFF document). To do this press the SCANNER button to the left of the display. Select SEND FILE TYPE/NAME in the left hand column of the display, then select MULTI-PAGE -> PDF

Ricoh Printing FAQ

Ricoh Scanner FAQ

Ricoh Scanner FAQ

Uploading webpages to your personal Math Dept. site

See Transferring Existing HTML Webpages to our servers


TeX and LaTeX are supported on the Math Department computers. To learn more about Typesetting with LaTeX we recommend the following site. Mediawiki has some support for LaTeX as the following example shows:

[math]\displaystyle{ \int_{[0, 1]^n} \left| \sum_{k = 1}^n \mathrm{e}^{2 \pi \mathrm{i} \, x_k} \right|^s \mathrm{d}\boldsymbol{x} }[/math]


Manipulating PDF files

The pdftk toolkit provides several useful tools for manipulating PDF files without using Adobe Acrobat Pro. Here are some examples:

1. This command will split off the first 15 pages of the file NSFProposal.pdf and save it to 'front.pdf'. Substituting 'cat 16-end' for 'cat 1-15' will save the second half of the file.

 pdftk NSFProposal.pdf cat 1-15 output front.pdf

2. This command will merge two (or more) pdf files:

 pdftk 1.pdf 2.pdf 3.pdf cat output 123.pdf

You can find more examples at pdftk-examples


Answers to some common computer problems

1. If you forgot the code you need to use the copiers, login to one of the department's linux PCs, open a terminal window and type 'whatsmypin'.

2. 'Macintosh users'. Sometimes the internet connection on a Mac will freeze. If this happens, click on the following"

 System Preferences -> Network -> DCHP -> Advanced -> renew DHCP lease