Your UNI is the user name by which you log in to almost every online service provided by Columbia. It is composed of your initials and one to four digits. For example, "jkb2001".
Old UNI allocation algorithm
Up until 2002, UNIs consisted of a person's initials plus a digit indicating the order in which the person with those initials joined the university. So if you were the first JKB, you'd get JKB1; if you were the second, you'd get JKB2; and so on.
New UNI allocation algorithm
Starting in 2002, CUIT (then known as AcIS) changed the system so that new UNIs would be harder for computerized spam robots to "guess". Previously issued ones were easy for computers to just generate and then spam. So they started with appending 2001 instead of 1.
Some important people are issued 'vanity' email addresses. For example, George Rupp was email@example.com. Some AcIS employees also give themselves vanity addresses. People with such addresses still receive a regular initials+number UNI that they must use to log in to the network and university websites like SSOL and Cubmail.
- myUNI - change your password, etc.