It's SSCC Member Account Renewal Time

The Social Science Computing Cooperative requires that member accounts be renewed annually. This helps us identify accounts which are no longer needed and allows us to collect information used in SSCC’s budgeting process. The renewal process for SSCC Lab accounts is already complete, but those who receive accounts through one of our member agencies should visit:

Member accounts which are not renewed will be closed on June 1.

If you didn't get an email about account renewal, make sure your preferred email address is valid and one you check regularly.

SSCC Summer Training

SSCC summer training gets underway in June with the usual introductions to Stata and SAS, plus a workshop on working with dates in Stata.

New this summer is a class on Git. Git is a popular "version control" program that keeps track of all the changes you've made in a project's files. It can be used with programs, web pages, or anything else that's stored as a text file. Git makes managing your projects easier and is an important tool for making your research reproducible. If you've ever said "This used to work, but I can't figure out what I did that broke it!" then this class is for you.

We will hold "bootcamp" versions of our most popular classes right before the fall semester starts. Watch the training page for updates.

Training Opportunity in Qualitative Analysis

Christian Schmeider, a Qualitative Research Specialist in the UW Cooperative Extension, will teach Qualitative Data Analysis & Software: A guided work session for research teams August 22-25. It may not be a good fit for all SSCC members who are interested in the topic: the class will be taught using MAXQDA rather than NVivo, requires that you have your own transcribed data to work with, and is designed for teams rather than individuals. On the other hand, SSCC staff do not have the expertise to teach qualitative analysis (though we'd love to have someone volunteer), so this is a rare opportunity to learn it from an expert in the field.

More Mplus Licenses on Linstat

Mplus is a special-purpose statistical program for Structural Equation Modeling and thus often needs a great deal of computing power. This makes it a good candidate for Linstat, as Mplus can use up to 16 cores when run on Linstat. We transferred a single Mplus license from Winstat to Linstat last August, and seeing how much demand there is for it we have now transferred two more. Running Mplus Jobs on Linstat has instructions for using them.

New Help Desk Software

If you've noticed some cosmetic changes in correspondence from the SSCC Help Desk, that's because we've started using Request Tracker to manage problems sent to our Help Desk. RT is open source, reducing our software costs, and is easier for our staff to use than our previous help desk program, but it doesn't change how you interact with SSCC staff.

Changes to Office 365 for Emeriti and Retirees

Office 365 has a lot of features bundled with it in addition to email and calendaring. Many of these are of limited interest to SSCC members, but the ability to install Office on up to five devices for free (including personally owned devices) and the use of Office Online are very handy. Unfortunately, the Office 365 team recently announced that on June 30th emeriti and retirees will be converted to alumni accounts that do not have access to these extra features. They will still have access to email and calendaring.

Tip: Check your Clutter Folder

Office 365 tries to identify email that's less important to you and puts it in a folder called "Clutter." It bases its decisions partially on your behavior: it you always delete mail from a given sender without reading it, Office 365 may soon start putting all mail from that sender in the Clutter folder. It also looks at characteristics of the message, such as whether it was sent to a list.

Clutter is not the same as spam though, and important information can easily end up in your Clutter folder. For example, some people have reported that SSCC's Account Renewal email went in their Clutter folder. The Clutter folder is best used as a lower priority Inbox: you may not need to check it as often as your regular Inbox, but you still need to check it regularly.

If you don't find the Clutter folder useful, you can turn it off and Office 365 will put all your mail in your Inbox. Microsoft has directions here.