What is the SSCC?

With all the new people on campus (welcome!), we know some of you are thinking "What is the SSCC, and why am I getting news about it?" SSCC stands for the Social Science Computing Cooperative. SSCC was formed more than 30 years ago to support researchers at UW-Madison who use statistical analysis in their work. We provide a complete research computing environment focused on statistics plus the expert help you need to use it. We also support future researchers, both graduate students and undergraduates taking courses that include statistical analysis. Key services include:

  • Statistical consultants who are experts on the most popular statistical software and can answer many methodological questions
  • Training on statistical computing, including workshops and an extensive Statistical Computing Knowledge Base
  • Powerful and easy-to-use Windows and Linux based servers with the most popular statistical software installed and ready for use, plus many specialized packages
  • Secure data storage suitable for most sensitive research data, including HIPAA data
  • A dedicated help desk with immediate access to the system administrators who run the servers

If you receive SSCC News via email, you have an SSCC account. That could be because you are affiliated with one of our member agencies or chose to join the Cooperative as an individual (making you a "full member" of the Cooperative), or you are a graduate student in the Letters and Science Social Science Division, or you are taking a class that uses SSCC resources.

What is SSCC News?

SSCC News is one of the key ways we get information out to our members. This includes information about future events, changes to our services, and ways to make your computing more productive.

You can opt out of receiving SSCC News by emailing the Help Desk, though some announcements are so important we send them to all of our members. If you'd like to opt out because you no longer use SSCC's services (or are no longer at UW-Madison) let the Help Desk know and they can close your account.

SSCC Training

While our training this semester has been mostly focused on first-year graduate students (and we're glad to have met so many of you) we've got some workshops ahead that will be of interest to veteran researchers as well. This includes Stata programming (i.e. loops and macros), NVivo for qualitative analysis, citation management software, and tips and tricks for making presentable bar graphs in Stata. Visit our training page for details and to register.

Stata Day at UW-Madison

On October 2nd the University is bringing in Chuck Huber from Stata Corporation for a day of training. He’ll do seminars on Data Preparation; Regression, margins, and marginsplot; Multilevel and Longitudinal Models; and Causal Inference and Complex Observational Data. We highly recommend our Stata users take advantage of this opportunity. Register (seats are limited) at Live streaming of the events is being discussed—watch that web site for announcements.

Get Software from Software Center

SSCC-managed computers running Windows 10 do not allow users to install software directly. This protects you against many kinds of cybersecurity threats, especially "social engineering" attacks that try to trick you into running malware that will compromise your computer. (It's also considered a security best practice and required by UW-Madison's IT Security Baseline.)

However, you can use Software Center to install a wide variety of useful programs on your SSCC-managed computer. Software Center has everything from research software like Stata and R, productivity software like Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite, communication software like Zoom and GoToMeeting, to utilities like BoxSync and LastPass. You can also use Software Center to get new versions of software you have, which will then be updated automatically going forward. (Just leave your computer on when you leave, which will allow it to get any needed updates and then go to sleep.) If you need a program that is not in Software Center, just contact the Help Desk and we'll take care of it for you.

Supporting VoIP Phones

By now you've hopefully settled in to using your new Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone. Just a reminder that the phone system is supported by DoIT, not SSCC, so if you run into problems you'll need to contact the DoIT Help Desk. If you've chosen a "soft phone" we will, of course, help with any problems running the Jabber client on your computer. Also contact us if you need a network jack activated in your office to support VoIP.

Tips for hearing aid users, from one: The VoIP phones have a very weak T-coil, but if you hold the phone in just the right place (which will depend on your hearing aids) it will usually work. DoIT has line amplifiers available that can help a lot. By all accounts the best results come from pairing your phone to your hearing aids directly using Bluetooth. If your hearing aids use Bluetooth, or if you think you ever will have hearing aids that use Bluetooth (which is likely, given how hearing aid technology is progressing), talk to DoIT about switching to a Model 8851 phone that will support it.

Coming Soon: Multi-Factor Authentication for your NetID

The University is in the process of rolling out multi-factor authentication for web applications that require you to log in using your NetID. It is being implemented by school/college and, while we don't yet have a schedule, we anticipate it will be implemented in Letters & Science near the end of the process, currently planned for March 2019. Initially multi-factor authentication will be optional, but it will become mandatory at a later date.

The easiest way to use multi-factor authentication will be to install a small app on your smartphone (though there are alternatives). When you log in the phone app will ask if it's really you, and all you'll have to do is tap "yes." This is very effective at stopping hackers from taking over your account, as they would need your username, your password, and your smartphone to do so. More information can be found at the Multi-Factor Authentication Project web site.