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Program Description

What is the TransIT program?

The TransIT program is the mobile computer initiative in the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering (VUSE)TransIT is an umbrella term for all activities and resources of the VUSE students, faculty and staff related to the use of mobile computers in the education of the VUSE students.

  TransIT is a networked community which provides:

  • Transportable communications and computing: Online notebook computer access 24/7, in class, in labs, in residence halls
  • Instructional technology to help learn and master complex knowledge and techniques more quickly -- in the labs, classrooms, and at home
  • Integrated technology to connect students with project teams of other students
  • Interdisciplinary technologies drawn from several disciplines and bodies of knowledge.


  • In-class teamwork
  • Student-faculty interactions
  • Access to sophisticated computer environments and tools
  • Immediate feedback from professors
  • Active, hands-on classroom participation
  • Vibrant learning environment

Why does the VU School of Engineering have a mobile computer requirement?

The core mission of the School is to prepare its students to enter the engineering professions. Much of the work done by the people in those professions involves the use of computers and increasingly that work is done "away from the desk". The intent of the VUSE mobile computer requirement is to accustom the students to work in the ways they will work after graduation by embedding this approach in our curriculum.

Why is there a requirement to use Microsoft Windows?

Most of the software used by practicing engineers runs under the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems and some of that software runs only under Microsoft Windows.

To meet the intent of the TransIT program computer requirements, it is thus a requirement to be able to run applications designed to run on Microsoft Windows and to be able to run them as though they are running on Microsoft Windows.

There may be ways of accomplishing this TransIT requirement without using Microsoft Windows as the operating system, but limitations on support resources mean that the School can offer little, if any, support for such configurations.

What is needed to meet the mobile computer requirement?

Hardware - a computer that

  • is reliable enough to use daily in several classes each week day (or one with a good service plan)
  • can communicate on an IEEE 802.11n wireless data network - all VUSE classrooms and most of the common spaces in the VUSE buildings are or will be covered by such networks
  • can operate for at least 75 minutes on battery power - 75min is the length of *one* class on Tuesday or Thursday and a student may have several classes in a row so a longer battery operating plan is very desirable
  • is adequately powerful to handle the tasks done in a VUSE classroom where power is a complex product of processor speed, primary memory speed and size, and secondary memory (typically rotating disk) speed and size
  • has adequate graphical capabilities - many engineering disciplines lean heavily on visualization both for problem characterization and for problem solving so display resolution and display speed can greatly impact the usefulness of a computer for TransIT


  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Office for Microsoft Windows or Apple
  • Microsoft Windows Defender - included with Windows 10 - or other similar security software to mitigate spyware, viruses or other malicious software

What are the minimum recommendations for a computer for TransIT?

Visit our Computer Recommendation page for details.

Where can I get what I need for TransIT?