How to Get a Copy of a Stats Program

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Usually at the beginning of the semester (or at any time during the semester!) we get requests from students, faculty, and staff about installing software onto their personal computers.  Remember that we support a wide variety of quantitative and qualitative statistical programs here in the lab computers, but if you need your own copy of the software, we may be able to help. The three kinds of statistical software on demand for distribution are SAS, SPSS, and STATA.  Here is our general policy on software distribution:

If you’re a student

SPSS:  We do not distribute SPSS to students. Students who want to own a copy of SPSS on their personal computer must purchase the software online. You could also download a trial version of SPSS for a limited time use.

STATA: We do not distribute STATA to students. If you would like your own copy of STATA, you must purchase it online. There is a special AU discount on the STATA website.

SAS : You can get a free copy of SAS on your personal computer IF you are taking a statistics class AND/OR you are a PhD student.

If you are a staff or faculty member

SPSS: We can install SPSS on any AU-owned computer*.  Come by the lab or make an appointment with us.

STATA:  If you would like your own copy of STATA, you must purchase it online. There is a special AU discount on the STATA website.

SAS:  We can install SAS on your personal or AU-owned computer.

*AU-owned computer means that you have a computer or laptop that was distributed to you by American University.

For more information on additional software supported by our lab that we can or cannot distribute, visit our website to learn about statistical packages such as R, EViews, and alternative open source software.

If you have questions about any of this, or about obtaining a different statistical program, please do not hesitate to contact us!

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Fall 2011 Drop-In Tutorial Schedule Now Available

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Our tutorial schedule - now in technicolor!

Get your agendas ready…because the lab’s drop-in tutorial schedule for this fall is now available!

Why should you care about the lab’s drop-in tutorial schedule, you might ponder. Well, dear reader, if you need help learning a specific quantitative or qualitative software that the lab supports, you can use the schedule to find out the day and time the tutorial is offered (..for this semester. The schedule will change every semester.) You can find the Fall 2011 Drop-In Tutorial schedule on the CTRL website.  It is also located on the bulletin board outside of the lab (It will likely be the most colorful thing tacked on there).

There are several great advantages to these tutorials:

  • They are generally one-on-one, so if you have a burning question that you didn’t want to ask in class, you can ask one of our consultants without the pressure of your classmates surrounding you
  • You get your individual questions answered, and we’ll work at your pace so that you can understand the software better
  • Most exciting part: they are ABSOLUTELY FREE and appointments are not required!

This semester you will find more software tutorial options than we have had in the past. We have experts not only on the popular SPSS, STATA, and SAS – you can get help on Mathematica, R, Dreamweaver, Matlab, Python, Google Earth, EViews, NVivo and ArcGIS. Come in if you need a refresher on any of these programs, have a specific question, or just need a quick tutorial on how to get started. We will work with you no matter the level of your experience with these programs.

Although making an appointment is not required for any of the tutorials, you may call or email us to confirm your arrival if you’d like.  Also remember that the schedule reflects guaranteed times an expert on that software will be available. If you have a software question but can’t make the tutorial, you can still drop by one of the labs anytime and a consultant on duty will assist you.

Statistics Video Tutorials (and more!) with The Khan Academy

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Misplaced all of your statistics knowledge? Forgot which mental filing cabinet you stored everything you learned last year in the statistics class you aced (because you got help from the SSRL?). Or maybe all of your statistics books and notes “accidentally” fell down the garbage chute last semester…and you need your notes again?  Well, good luck getting those back.

Aside from what we can offer you (Even during the summertime!), check out this website that can help you brush up on your statistics or even help you learn something new:

The Kahn Academy is a non-profit organization that provides video tutorials on almost any academic subject out there – including Statistics!  Their videos are generally about 10 minutes or less, and the “instructor” (a casual, informative, and often humorous voice narrating the lesson) will guide you through the lesson using colorful visuals. There are no tests, just lectures. At the moment the Academy is striving to cover all the essentials of a first year statistics course. You can see on their webpage that they have already covered most of the basics:

These video tutorials can help you understand the fundamentals of statistics, but they won’t show you how to actually use statistics programs such as SPSS or STATA. For help on how to use these programs and more, feel free to visit us in the lab and we will show you how it’s done.

Use Dreamweaver to Showcase Your Research (or Yourself)

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Adobe DreamweaverStatistics is the name of our game…and so is data visualization. One of the ways we can help get your long hours of research known to the world is to get it online. And what better way to do that than create a website?

Adobe Dreamweaver is available on each of the computers in our lab. With Dreamweaver, you will be able to create a website without the knowledge of HMTL. The design view will allow you to create your website the way it will appear on a browser.

What’s another great reason to get started on creating a website? As a student of American University, you get access to free webhosting provided by the university so that you can launch your web site free of charge. This space is located in a folder in your G:/ drive called “www” (if you are a staff or faculty member, you will need to speak with your department to get access to this).  Take advantage of the free space that AU offers you!

Even if you don’t have a project to show off, you can create a personal website that highlights you and your personal achievements. These days it’s a great idea to have a website that showcases your work portfolio for job opportunities. If you need help getting started, a consultant in the lab is ready to assist.

*New* Spring Break 2011 Hours

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Spring Screen

Our labs are open during Spring Break

Don’t have plans to leave campus for spring break? Get excited, because the SSRL lab will be open during spring break…but for shorter hours.

Get your pre-summer tan while basking in the rays of our computer monitors. The hours of operation of the Hurst lab will be:

Saturday-Sunday, March 5-6: CLOSED
Monday-Friday, March 7-11: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Saturday-Sunday, March 12-13: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

The SPA lab (Ward ST01) will close on Friday, March 4 and reopen on March 14 at 9:30 am. (So, basically closed for all of Spring Break)

After the break, the labs will resume normal operating hours.

“Can I get a copy of that stats program?”

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The simple answer to this question: It depends!

It depends not on whether you can repay us with delicious treats for our service (kidding, kidding), but on the type of software you want and if you are a student or faculty member. The three kinds of statistical software on demand for distribution are SAS, SPSS, and STATA. Here is our general policy on software distribution:

SAS

  • We can distribute SAS to both students and faculty on either a personal or AU-owned computer.

SPSS

  • We do not distribute SPSS to students. Students who want to own a copy of SPSS on their personal computer must purchase the software online. You could also download a trial version of SPSS for a limited time use.
  • We can distribute SPSS to staff and faculty as long as the computer is AU-owned.

STATA

  • We do not distribute STATA to students. If you would like your own copy of STATA, you must purchase it online.
  • We can help you install STATA if you are staff or faculty and as long as your computer is AU-owned.

*AU-owned computer means that you have a computer or laptop that was distributed to you by American University.

For more information on additional software supported by our lab that we can or cannot distribute, visit out website to learn about statistical packages such as R, EViews, and alternative open source software.

Remember, all of these programs are installed on our lab computers where you can access them for FREE and even get FREE help if you have trouble using them. If you still have questions about the kinds of software our lab is able to distribute, please do not hesitate to ask a consultant.

4 Stats Apps for your iPhone or iPad

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StatsMate screenshot

Do you ever wish that you could carry a whole bunch of databases and statistics in your pocket?  These days you can, thanks to these four apps that you can download for your iPhone or iPad.

An important note – SSRL does not endorse any of these apps, nor will we be able to show you how to use them.  Also, these apps are not ranked in order of coolness, and they have not been tested by the consultants. The descriptions below come directly from the app description on iTunes, where you can get even more information about the app.

1. StatsMate

StatsMate (screenshot above) allows you to search for a statistical value without interpreting a table. StatsMate is created to help you find probability density curves areas, critical values, rejection regions of hypothesis testing, P-values, and more. It features many of the common probability distributions, including the normal, chi-square, gamma, and many others.  This app is available for both the iPhone and iPad. You can try the lite version for free.

2. OECD Factbook

Wherever you are, you can get easy access to a comprehensive statistical picture of the world’s major economies from OECD. The app is organized around12 themes such as population and migration, macroeconomic trends, and globalization. Each indicator includes a table showing the latest available data for the 30 OECD countries. This app is free but not available on the iPad.

3. World Bank Data Finder

This app lets you access fifty years of World Bank data on more than 1,100 global economic indicators for around 200 countries, chart and visualize that data, and share those data and charts for use in you presentations and projects. This app is free for both the iPhone and iPad.

4. Economy for iPad

This app gives you a snapshot of the U.S. Economy (and also individual states) by providing the latest key economic indicators and tracking the history of these indicators across the past few months, years, and decades. It features the latest values of key U.S. economic indicators (GDP, Employment, Housing, Manufacturing, Infliation, etc) published by the U.S. Federal Reserve. This app is only available for the iPad.

If you decide to try any of these apps yourself, let us know if they are useful to you!

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