New Stata for Researchers Section and Other Training

We've added a fourth section of Stata for Researchers that will meet on Friday afternoons starting on September 30th, a time that we hope will not conflict with any other classes. First-year CDE trainees, Econ Masters' students and LaFollette students are especially invited to attend, but anyone who plans to do research and wants to learn Stata is welcome. Our goal is to give every first-year graduate student in the social sciences the opportunity to learn the statistical software they'll need.

We also have training on a variety of advanced topics coming up, including Mixed Models, Structural Equation Modeling, Publication-Quality Tables, Git, and more.

Server Upgrades

While we're not replacing any servers this year, we have installed additional RAM in most of them and reallocated some resources to where they'll do the most good:

  Servers Cores (each) GB RAM (each)
Winstat 14 16 80
Long Jobs Winstat 3 16 160
Linstat 4 16 320

Note how Long Jobs Winstat is now an intermediate step, for jobs that are too big for Winstat but may not need the power of Linstat. Talk to the Help Desk if you're interested in using Long Lobs Winstat or Linstat.

We've also budgeted for a fifth Linstat. We're glad so many SSCC users have learned to take advantage of parallel processing (whether that's by using Stata MP16, R's parallel package, or the Matlab Parallel Computing Toolbox) but it does mean demand for cores frequently outstrips supply. If you have a large job to run on Linstat, take a moment to check which Linstat server is least busy before starting it (talk to the Help Desk if you don't know how).

Odd Folders in Apple Mail

People who use Apple Mail to connect to their campus Office 365 email account may have noticed that some odd folders appeared recently. Names range from "files" to "Yammer Root." These are folders used by Office 365 that are not intended to be visible to the user, but Apple Mail doesn't know that. The only solutions at this point are to either ignore them (they are harmless) or switch to Outlook 2016 (a fine program, but we're not pushing anyone to switch).

What is SSCC News?

If you're new to the Social Science Computing Cooperative (welcome!) you may be wondering what SSCC News is and why you're getting it. We send SSCC News to everyone who has an SSCC account roughly once a month. Some of the content will be more relevant to researchers than students, but it's a key way for us to share information with everyone.

You can opt out of receiving SSCC News, though you're likely to miss important information. If SSCC News isn't relevant to you because you no longer use SSCC services, perhaps it's time to close your account. Either way, the Help Desk can assist you.

Tip: Update Software You Download from the Campus Software Library

The campus software library is a great resource, but you should be aware that it doesn't always have the very latest version of every program. In particular, the version of Stata it makes available is an older version with the bad habit of crashing on a Mac if you try to define variable labels using the menus. (Of course that kind of thing should be done using a do file anyway.)

So if you download Stata from the campus software library, the first command you run in it should be 'update all'. More generally, we strongly recommend that you take advantage of automatic updates in any software that does them, and periodically check for updates for any software that does not.