Pak-Austria Fachhochschule: Institute of Applied Sciences & Technology, Mang Haripur has taken horde of initiatives towards technological infrastructure development and deployment at its campus. The Campus Computing & Communication Services (3CS) @ PAF-IAST has to offer the most advanced and world-class technology available to facilitate the academic and research activities at the campus and beyond.
PAF-IAST is the only institute in the country having acquired Smart Classroom solutions for its classrooms and lecture theatres. These smart facilities offer the most advanced Interactive Digital Board, AI enabled Speaker’s tracking camera, Lecture Recorder, along with other ancillary equipment.
Campus is focused towards changing the mode of teaching from teacher centric to students’ centric classroom contrary to teaching and learning trends prevailing in the country. These smart classrooms ensure remote lectures delivery from both Austrian and Chinese universities/ institutes and also interactive sessions of PAF-IAST’s teaching faculty and researchers with their peers in the foreign universities/ institutes.
The facility offers students highly interactive classroom environment with a provision of attending lectures and scholarly sessions from anywhere beyond the campus. The recorded lectures are also available to students to supplement in their learning pursuits.
PAF-IAST offers advanced computing laboratories for students and researchers which are based on two emerging technologies, i.e. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and All-in-One Desktops. The cloud based solution is provided primarily to the students of computer science, software engineering, and electrical engineering, where the computing resources are in high demand for diversified nature of experimentation and simulation. Whereas, the All-in-One desktops are being offered to others for general computing labs across the campus.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) offers optimal utilization of scarce computing resources by pooling them for the users to acquire when needed and release them when idle. This entails to easy management of desktop interfaces which are accessible from anywhere over a secure link, enabling users to continue their work beyond the labs and in afterhours using their own devices, leveraging the concept of BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) culture in the campus. Consequently, VDIs are efficient and cost-effective solution as each of desktops’ operational life is doubled in VDI mode while reducing the hardware procurement and maintenance costs. Whereas, All-in-One desktop is an advanced version of traditional desktops which is compact and energy efficient.
PAF-IAST offers blanket Wi-Fi coverage for students, teachers, researchers, staff, and even the visitors. The only Campus in Pakistan having equipped with latest Wi-Fi 6 (5G enabled technology) to offer multi-gigabit connectivity across the campus with centralized management and portal services.
As a digital natives, 24/7 connectivity is the need of hour and with the concept of “learning anytime anywhere”, PAF-IAST ensures students are always connected with their teachers/ mentors and for collaborative activities.
The digital resources, e.g. recorded lecturers, course contents, digital library, computing facilities, and internet resources are always available to students to access from their own devices. The multi-gigabit speed of ubiquitous wireless offers promising speed when multiple devices of students are connected simultaneously for fast uploading/ downloading of digital contents, seamless video streaming, virtual desktop connectivity, etc. For this, PAF-IAST intends to empower students by providing them with a laptop of latest specifications from the day one.
PAF-IAST has given special emphasis on the security and surveillance of the campus as to make it safe and
secure for the whole community. Dedicated bullet cameras, PTZ dome cameras, indoor cameras, and
command and Control system are one of the primary secure-campus strategies which prevents from both
internal and external threats and provide strict security protocols within the Campus.
IP Surveillance cameras are being installed at all the entry and exit points across the campus, inside and around the academic buildings, parking lots, library, laboratories, hostels and along the fences for perimetric surveillance of the campus.
Safe and secure environment for students, faculty and staff at PAF-IAST is of utmost priority. Campus security addresses all kind of challenges including prevent violence, manage students’ diversity, maintain access control check points and 24/7 surveillance to reduce risk associated with campus and human resource security.
The campus core network of PAF-IAST is based on 40Gbps (upgradable to 100Gbps) fiber optic backbone. This makes PAF-IAST the privileged higher education institution in Pakistan to have its backbone network of this much capacity for high performance computing with low energy consumption.
The ultra-high-speed backbone network is so deployed at PAF-IAST to cater for all digital/ electronic communication needs of PAF-IAST associated with Academic Computing Services (ACS). Wired network is the bedrock for campus connectivity between core switches, firewalls and distribution switches, which ensures the stable connectivity within the Campus and beyond. The campus core network ensures that the students, teachers, scholars, and support staff, all get an uninterrupted 24/7 connectivity assisting them in their academic and research pursuits.
With the funding of Federal Government through Ministry of IT & Telecom, and in collaboration with Chinese counterparts, PAF-IAST is in process of establishing a state-of-the-art research facility as Sino-Pak Center for Artificial Intelligence (SPCAI). The SPCAI is to serve as a hub for research and development in the domain of Artificial Intelligence, while establishing focused research laboratories in the areas of Intelligent Biomedical Applications, Smart City & Urban Planning, Smart Agriculture, Neuro-Computation, Deep Learning, Intelligent Field Robotics, Computer Vision, Internet of Things, Intelligent Systems Design Laboratory and Intelligent Technologies for Natural Disaster Management & Rescue Operations.
In order to deep dive insight in AI research, the SPCAI @ PAF-IAST is privileged to have the most advanced High Performance Computing facility based on NVIDIA Tesla VS100 GPU Cluster, Computing nodes for machine learning and complex algorithms, and HPC Workstations, which is first of its kind not only in Pakistan but in the region. Consequently, offering scalable computing capacity to support research activities in the field of Artificial Intelligence.
This GPU-based Accelerated Computing (GAC) facility will facilitate researchers to run their complex algorithms/ codes and help them in performing at par with the researchers in the developed world in the field of AI and associated domains.
PAF-IAST has acquired modular Data Center for its Cloud services which is equipped with latest and most advanced products. This energy efficient Cloud Data Center offers IT Racks with In-row Cooling and Uninterrupted Power Supply within the setup. More importantly, the data canter is equipped with redundant firewalls which help in offering secured communication and infrastructure with the control on important and critical data as per PAF-IAST policy.
All the equipment relating to Campus Computing Services as well as High Performance Computing facilities and GPU-based Accelerated Computing Cluster are hosted while offering 24/7/365 services. The Cloud Data Center has the capacity to host more applications in future for which the plans are in place, like Smart Campus One Card Solution, Emails Services, Learning Management System, Campus Management Solution, Enterprise Resource Planning, etc.
The Data Center offers cloud-based services for students and administration to maintain and manage student repository, digital learning content management for teachers, big data storage space for AI researchers, and other critical applications related to campus computing services and R&D.
PAF-IAST Campus is facilitated with ancillary services to facilitate the campus community while provide conducive academic and working environment for all. Amongst are, the Vending machines providing snacks, beverages, essential commodities, etc.
Vending machines will facilitate students as well as others in the campus to get commodities 24/7 with ease of use and ease of access, especially on the go and in short breaks in between classes instead of rush to cafeteria all the time. Moreover, these machines enable human-less contact and ensure fair prices to fully accommodate every individual at the campus.
Multiple vending machines are being deployed at various places across the campus, considering the needs of students, faculty and staff. These machines are compatible for integration with Smart Campus One Card Solution which PAF-IAST intends to deploy in coming days and promote cashless campus culture by using smart cards, leveraging latest technology and setting benchmark for others to follow.