Training in Stata, SAS, SPSS, R, and WordPress

The SSCC's summer training includes workshops on Stata, R, SPSS and SAS. We also have a hands-on workshop scheduled on WordPress which offers an easy way to create web sites and blogs. Visit our training page for details and to register. You may want to check the schedule again later because we are still finalizing some of the workshops.

Symposium on Research Computing in the Social Sciences

A campus Symposium on Research Computing in the Social Sciences will be held Thursday, May 12, 9am-1pm in the Wisconsin Institute for
Discovery's 3rd floor Teaching Lab. This symposium is one of the events scheduled as part of a campus initiative to strengthen research computing. Professor Ted Gerber, chair of the SSCC Steering Committee, and Russell Dimond, SSCC Statistical Computing Specialist, will give a joint presentation. Visit the Research Computing Symposium web site for registration and schedule information.

Summer Hours for SSCC Computer Labs

Summer hours for the Social Science building 4218 computer lab will be 8:00-5:00 Monday - Friday. There will be no student lab monitor on duty during the summer. The 3218 computer lab will only be open for classes. You can request after-hours access by filling out a short form on SSCC's web site. Once your request has been processed (usually within two business days), you will be able to enter the lab with your University I.D. card and a PIN you designate.

Tip: Restart NVivo So It Saves Your Project

When you open a project in NVivo on Winstat, Nvivo makes a local copy of it to work with for the duration of your NVivo session. When you click Save, it only saves the changes you've made to the local copy. NVivo only saves your work to the network when you quit the program. If NVivo crashes (which is not uncommon) the changes you made to the local copy will not be saved to the network. SSCC staff may be able to help you locate and recover the local copy, especially if you do not log off (contact the Help Desk for assistance). However, the best protection is to periodically quit NVivo and then start it again. This forces NVivo to save your work to the network so it won't be lost even if the program crashes.

Tip: Switch Linstat Servers if the One You're Using is Slow

The Linstat cluster is made up of three servers, Linstat1, Linstat2, and Linstat3. When you log in you will be assigned to a server at random, but if you find that it's slow you are welcome to switch to another.

The easiest way is simply to log in again and hope you're assigned to a different server. Alternatively, you can type ssh linstatX (where X should be 1, 2, or 3) to switch to the server of your choice. The disadvantage of this method is that you won't be able to use graphics in the new session. So if you use Linux regularly and would like to be able to switch servers at will, consider setting up a session for each server in your client program. Instructions for doing so in X-Win32 can be found in Connecting to SSCC Linux Computers using X-Win32.

You can see if the server you're on is busy by using the top command. The Linstat servers have eight CPUs, so if the total CPU usage is less then 800% then there are CPUs available for you to use. However, if jobs are using all of the server's network bandwidth to access network disk space, performance for other jobs that use network disk space (even trivial jobs like cd or ls) can be poor no matter how many CPUs are available. This rarely lasts more than a few minutes but makes it difficult to accomplish anything while it does.

You can check for this state by pressing 1 after starting top, which will give you the status of each CPU. Wait a few seconds for the data to update, then look at the "wa" column. A high number here means the CPU is spending much of its time waiting for the network. If any CPU is spending most of its time waiting, then the server's network bandwidth is all in use and you should switch to a different server.