Computer Help

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Computer Help

This is a guide to the computer facilites, 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. Those who do not have Math department accounts may use the two kiosk PCs located at the north B1 entrance (facing Ingraham hall) or the PCs located in the Kleene Math Library on the B2 level of Van Vleck hall. Our older guide is here.

Accounts and Policies


Account Set Up

Set up your e-mail client with the following parameters:

  • Account Type: IMAP
  • Incoming and Outgoing Mail Server:
  • IMAP Prefix: (leave blank)
  • Incoming Server Port: 993
  • Outgoing Server Port: 465
  • Check Use SSL

Vacation Mail


Here is how to set up vacation notification for your math e-mail account First, login to, then type cd /auto/mail/YOURNAME where YOURNAME is your username. Then add the following line to the end of your .procmailrc file:

       :0 c
       | /usr/bin/vacation YOURNAME

where YOURNAME is your username. Edit/create the file


and put in there the message you want sent out while you are on vacation.

When you return from your vacation, just delete or comment out these lines in your .procmailrc file by placing a # at the beginning of each line.

       :0 c
       | /usr/bin/vacation YOURNAME

This will allow our spam filters to process your incoming mail before it gets to your mailbox and send your vacation message to only legitimate addresses.

Forwarding your e-mail

  1. To forward filtered mail to a new address, put lines like this in

your /auto/mail/yourusername/.procmailrc file


(of course you should replace the last line with your forwarding address).

to forward mail to another account while keeping a copy on our server, put a line like this in your /auto/mail/yourusername/.forward file


Leaving the Department

If you leave the Math Department, your account will be deleted on September 1 after your departure. You will be notified about this on August 1. Here are some things you may want to do to prepare for this

  • Start forwarding your e-mail to another account. To avoid getting spam, login to then follow these steps
    cd  /auto/mail/YOURUSERNAME
    edit .procmailrc with your favorite text editor (e.g. vim, emacs or pico). Insert these lines at the end of .procmailrc:
    !  (your forwarding address)
  • Notify the computer staff if you would like forwarding to continue (up to a year after your departure) after your account is deleted. Give them your forwarding address.

E-mail Web Forms

You can create a web page on your web site to allow visitors to send you e-mail messages. With an e-mail form, you can allow users to register for conferences, send feedback, or answer an on-line poll. With additional tools supplied by the Math Department, you can import these messages into a spreadsheet or database.


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 Math Library on the B2 classroom level. You may check them out for up to 4 hours using your UW ID card.

  • Ceiling Mounted Projectors

Classrooms B102, B107, B231 and B223 and the 901 seminar room 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.

  • Computer Classroom

B107 is an instructional computer lab featuring 21 speedy (2.8 GHz, 2 gb RAM) Windows PCs --each PC has network access and Maple, Matlab, and MSOffice programs-- a ceiling-mounted projector connected to the instructor's computer, and an HP B&W Laserjet printer with duplexer. To reserve this room, please contact Joan Wendt at

You can check out the key for the room from the Math Library.


Remote Access