SSCC to Transition to Office 365 this Summer

As you've no doubt heard, the campus is in the process of replacing all email services with Office 365 (see The SSCC is now tentatively scheduled to make the transition this summer. We'll have many more details for you as the date approaches, but wanted to make you aware of some key points now.

  • SSCC's email service will be shut down, but almost all mail will be moved to your Office 365 account.
  • The exception is messages larger than 25MB. We will help you identify and deal with these messages.
  • You can continue to use your SSCC email address, or choose a different address.
  • We strongly recommend using Outlook or the Outlook Web App with Office 365. While it's possible to use Thunderbird, serious problems have been reported, including loss of mail.
  • DoIT-trained students will be available to visit your office and set up Office 365 for you.
  • Plan on transitioning along with the rest of the SSCC even if you are currently using WiscMail—there will be special training and resources available to help you during this period.
  • We plan to offer Outlook training soon.

We anticipate that this will be a challenging transition, but SSCC staff are committed to working closely with DoIT staff to make it go as smoothly as possible. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact us at any time.

Stata 14 Released!

Stata 14 has been released and will be available on SSCC's servers and from the Campus Software Library shortly. We haven't had the opportunity to use it yet, but here are some of the announced features we're most excited about:

  • Unicode support means Stata 14 can work with and display data sets in any language using their own character sets, including Russian, Korean, Chinese, etc. You can now put the entire user interface in English, Spanish, or Japanese.
  • Panel and multilevel models for survival analysis.
  • The new tebalance command checks for balance after propensity score matching or other treatment effects estimators. Time to completely retire psmatch2 and pstest (along with the incorrect statistics they calculate).
  • margins and predict now work with random effects.
  • putexcel now allows you to put text, results, and graphs into Excel spreadsheets directly from a Stata do file and control their format.

For more see

Account Renewal Time is Near

The SSCC requires that all accounts be renewed annually. Members of the SSCC are asked to fill out a short web form that both verifies that your account is still needed and collects some additional information we use for budgeting. Graduate students with instructional accounts are asked to simply click on a link to indicate they are still using their account. (Meanwhile, School of Education accounts in SOE-AD do not need to be renewed.) Watch for an email telling you when and how to renew your SSCC account, and please do so when it arrives: accounts that are not renewed will eventually be closed.

This year, the account renewal form for members will have some additional questions related to email. This information will help us plan the transition to Office 365.

Unfortunately, hackers have found that sending counterfeit versions of emails like our account renewal announcement is a good way to collect passwords from unwary computer users. You should be suspicious when you receive them, but here are some ways you can tell that they are legitimate:

  • The emails will be digitally signed. If your email client can verify digital signatures this is the best way to be sure that the message comes from the person it says it comes from.
  • It will contain the personal name of an SSCC staff member (Director Nancy McDermott) rather than coming from some generic "team." Legitimate email from the SSCC will always contain the personal name of an SSCC staff member.
  • When the emails go out there will also be an announcement on the SSCC home page so you can verify them independently.
  • The links will point to pages hosted in the domain and connect using the https protocol, which both protects the information sent and ensures the server you connect to is who it says it is.

Tip: Be careful with autocomplete in Thunderbird

Recent versions of Thunderbird have tried to improve the "autocomplete" feature that fills in email addresses based on what you've typed thus far. Many of us have found very short character sequences that bring up the people we email most frequently, but every time autocomplete changes, the results of typing those sequences can change as well. Be sure to double-check who you're sending messages to.