blossomsApril is here! That means a bunch of different things: cherry blossoms, warmer weather, shorts and sun dresses…

…and the due date of your statistics project. Yeah. It’s about that time.

The SSRL staff knows this too, and we’re prepared to assist you with any questions you may have as you finish up (or get started?) on your term papers, statistics projects, thesis, SRP…you get the idea. You’ll notice that our labs will be busier than usual, which is very common for this time of the academic year. We’re here to give you a heads up on what to expect and how you can make this best of this busy and stressful time:

Scenario 1: The Hurst lab or SPA lab is full and/or there is a class in session.

We’ve stated this before: don’t panic! If our labs our full or if there is a class in session and there are no computers available for you to do your work, try checking the other lab (if you’re in Hurst, check SPA, and vice versa) or consider going to the Anderson lab in the Anderson building or the first floor of the library. SPSS and some other statistics packages are available there. You can always ask a consultant to call the other lab to make sure there is availability.

Also, be aware that we are the busiest during the morning and early afternoon (and especially lunchtime). Our labs are open until late (11:00 pm Hurst), so to avoid the crowd, you should consider visiting our labs during our non-peak hours.

Scenario 2: You’ve been trying to get help from a consultant for about 10 minutes now. Tick tock, people.

We want to be able to answer everyone’s questions to the best of our ability and at a timely manner, but sometimes that is difficult to do during hours when we have large volumes of visitors in our lab.  In addition, the consultants are responsible for faculty and staff inquiries, which we also receive in large volumes during this time of the year.  If you have an urgent question, please be patient with us – we will attend to you as quickly as we can!

Scenario 3: You need SAS or STATA installed on your (AU-owned) computer…now. Your assignment is due tomorrow.

If you need to install SAS or STATA onto your computer, and know this in advance, we encourage you to email us ahead of time so that we are prepared for your installation. We can still assist you if you pop into our lab without notice, but expect to wait a bit; the installation may take a while, especially if you are installing SAS. We understand that you need the program as soon as possible, but please plan ahead so that you can have the programs installed in time to do your work.

Scenario 4: You need help on your statistics assignment that is due next week. Your dataset does not exist.

We are more than happy to assist you with your statistics assignments, but we help you even faster if you have some sort of dataset to present. If you need help organizing your variables, or even doing the research to find certain variables, we can give you guidance on where to look for them. We cannot, however, create your dataset, do your analysis, and write your paper for you (that’s If you have something ready for us to look at, we can help you much quicker. Unfortunately, we are very poor mind readers, so please come prepared.

Scenario 5: The hustle and bustle of the lab is just too distracting.

Busy times equals busy bodies.  Everyone is hard at work in the lab, so please be courteous and respect your neighbors. Keep your voice low, and if you want to listen to music while you work, bring in your own portable headphones (the computers have headphone jacks).  Know that with the large number of people using the lab, the environment can seen more distracting than usual, but that is just the nature of, well, finals. With your help, we can keep the lab as comfortable as possible.

SSRL wishes you the best of luck during the final stretch of the semester! As always, ask a consultant for assistance when you need it.