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Fall 2012 Tutorials

Information Technology Services

Research Services offers tutorials and workshops on a variety of topics.  Each semester, we present a series of tutorials.  If you have suggestions, please contact us (  We will also give customized tutorials, and we are  available for advanced topics and consulting. 

The tutorials are available to all members of the BC community.  There is no cost for the tutorials.

To register, please go to our on-line tutorial registration page at:  You will be asked to sign in using your BC username and password to register.  You can also use this web page to change the tutorials you signed up for.  You can also register by sending mail to with the names of the tutorials that you are interested in attending.

The Fall 2012 Tutorials are:




Introduction to the Linux Cluster Sep 26 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neil 245
MATLAB 1: Fundamentals Sep 26 3:00 - 4:30 O'Neill 245
MATLAB 2: Matrices Sep 27 3:00 - 4:30 O'Neill 245
Locating and Using Data for Secondary Data Analysis at Boston College Oct 3 12:00 -1:30 O'Neill 307
MATLAB 3: Graphs and Visualization Oct 3 3:00 - 4:30 O'Neill 245
Stata 1: Descriptive Analysis Oct 9 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analysis Oct 10 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
Stata 2: Regression Analysis Oct 11  12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
Data analysis with ArcGIS Oct 11 2:00 - 3:30 O'Neill 245
Introduction to Statistical Analysis for the Social Sciences Oct 16 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
Introduction to Statistical Analysis Using Excel Oct 17 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
Introduction to Power Analysis Oct 18 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
Creating Web-based Surveys with Qualtrics Oct 23 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
SAS 1: Introduction to SAS Oct 24 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
Microsoft Access Oct 25 10:30 - 11:30 O'Neill 245
SAS 2: Introduction to SAS: Part 2 Oct 25 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
What's new in Atlas.ti 7 Oct 30 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
Introduction to GaussView & Gaussian Nov 8 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neil 245

Creating Web-based Surveys with Qualtrics

Qualtrics offers a way to create complex surveys without complicated programming or coding.  It offers survey design functionality that is more extensive than that offered by Survey Monkey.  Qualtrics offers an extensive library of surveys and options for encryption and anonymity. Qualtrics also offers foreign language functionality. Working within pre-defined templates, you can use many different types of questions, including text, multiple checkboxes, sliders, single-answer radio buttons, Likert scales.  Qualtrics also offers extensive branching functionality. Once the survey is completed, data can be downloaded into a format that can be used with Excel, Stata, SPSS, or other analysis programs.

This tutorial will also include a section on research protections and informed consent with respect to online survey development, distribution, and analysis. BC’s School of Arts & Sciences, CSON, CSOM, LSOE, and GSWW have purchased annual Qualtrics licenses that are available for use by faculty, staff, and students in those schools.  People not in these schools are also welcome to attend this tutorial. Those community members not in those schools may register for a limited free Qualtrics account at They may also obtain free access to Qualtrics online tutorials and help articles. It is recommended that you contact your school (A&S (, CSON (, CSOM, ( or GSSW ( to obtain a Qualtrics account prior to the tutorial.

October 23, 2012  12:00 - 1:30 pm O’Neill 245

Data analysis with ArcGIS

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used for visualizing, managing, creating, and analyzing geo-referenced data. Such applications are widely used in academia, private industry and government agencies. ArcGIS Desktop software is an integrated suite of advanced GIS applications and interfaces, used to perform various GIS tasks, including:  mapping, geographic analysis, geostatistics, data editing, compilation, management and visualization. ArcGIS Desktop is scalable to meet the needs of many types of users.

This session will introduce users to: 1) ArcGIS software, license and training options, data and technical support at Boston College; 2) Main ArcGIS features and capabilities; 3) Demos and examples using Census data with focus on the 2010 US Census results. No prior knowledge of ArcGIS is required.

October 11, 2012     2:00 - 3:30 pm  O’Neill 245

Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analysis

Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) emphasizes the use of theory in measurement hypothesis testing, which is informed by the researcher’s applied theoretical framework and empirical evidence from reliability analysis and exploratory factor analysis (EFA). This session will discuss the interpretation of reliability and EFA results on SPSS, and then examine CFA results from Lisrel. The goal of this tutorial is to introduce some of the methodology behind CFA analysis and provide some resources for beginning users to expand their knowledge on the topic.

October 10, 2012   12:00 - 1:30 pm O’Neill 245

Introduction to GaussView & Gaussian

Gaussian is a widely used electronic structure programs and computational chemistry package.  GaussView is a graphical use interface (GUI) designed to be used with Gaussian to make calculation preparation and output analysis easier, quicker and more efficient.   Topics discussed:

  • History of Gaussian and GaussView
  • GaussianView and Gaussian Capabilities
  • Input file preparation and keyword specification
  • How to access and use GaussView 5.0 
  • Basic Linux Cluster knowledge
  • Running Gaussian 09 at Scorpio

November 8, 2012 12:00 - 1:30 pm O'Neil 245

Introduction to the Linux Cluster

This tutorial is intended to be an introduction to the Linux cluster at Boston College.  An overview, the primary components, how to connect and apply BC’s Linux cluster will be presented.   This hands-on tutorial will cover:

  • An overview of the Linux cluster at Boston College
  • The hardware architecture 
  • How to access of the cluster
  • Common Unix/Linux and PBS queuing system commands
  • Software modules in the BC cluster
  • Compilers and computational libraries
  • How to compile, debug and interactively run programs

September 26, 2012 12:00 - 1:30 pm O'Neil 245

Introduction to Power Analysis

The Power of a test tells us how likely is that a significant effect will we detected when it exists.  It is influenced by a number of factors including sample size, level of significance and effect size. This tutorial will discuss the theoretical considerations for using power analysis for determining sample size for a research study and examples of how to use programs such as, GPower, Power and Sample Size from SAS & Stata for power analysis for a number of statistical models.

October 18, 2012   12:00 - 1:30 p.m.     O’Neill 245

Introduction to Statistical Analysis for the Social Sciences (Stata for SPSS users)

This tutorial presents an introduction or review on the use of statistical methods and software in disciplines such as social work, psychology, education, nursing, and sociology. The workshop will begin with an overview of research resources at Boston College, such as statistical packages supported by the university and consultation services available from Research Services.

The workshop will use examples of commonly used procedures from Stata, including descriptive analysis, bivariate analysis, and linear regression.

October 16, 2012  12:00  - 1:30 pm O’Neill 245

Introduction to Statistical Analysis Using Excel

Excel functions and the Excel Analysis Toolpak allow Excel users to perform fairly sophisticated statistical analyses without having to use another statistical software package. This is an advantage for students or organizations working on limited budgets.

This tutorial will:

  • Show you how to enter your data
  • Introduce you to worksheet functions
  • Demonstrate some basic functions for descriptive statistics (average, standard deviation, count, sum of squares, squared deviation, correlation coefficient)
  • Discuss functions useful for calculating probabilities (binomial, Poisson, normal)
  • Discuss functions for hypothesis testing and confidence intervals
  • Discuss functions useful for linear regression
  • Discuss goodness-of-Fit tests
  • Show you how to download the Excel Analysis Toolpak

October 17, 20112 –12:00 - 1:30 pm O’Neill 245

Locating and Using Data for Secondary Data Analysis at Boston College

Boston College offers many sources and repositories of data for secondary research in the social sciences, education, nursing, economics, business and other disciplines. This workshop is particularly geared to researchers who need to access, analyze and manipulate data from BC's subscription data repositories. This
tutorial will help you:

  • Find the data you need for your research or class project
  • Learn about the Boston College collection of data resources
  • How to download the data onto your desktop, including how to import into quantitative analytical tools such as Stata and SPSS.
  • Tour of the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, a data archive that includes over 5,000 datasets.
  • We will also discuss the library's guides to key Business, Economics, Education, Health, and General U.S. and cross-national data sources.

Topics may be customized based on attendees' research interests. Please contact for more information.

October 3, 2012    12:00  -1:30 pm  O’Neill 307

MATLAB 1: Fundamentals

MATLAB fundamentals and the following seminars provide a working introduction to the MATLAB technical computing environment. MATLAB can be used with all aspects of Mathematical computation, analysis, visualization, and algorithm development. This workshop is intended for beginning and intermediate users. No prior knowledge of MATLAB is required. Themes of vector and matrix data analysis, graphical visualization, data modeling, and MATLAB programming are explored by example.

This MATLAB workshop will present:

  • MATLAB Help
  • MATLAB on Linux Cluster
  • Interactive Session
  • Editing Script Files
  • Flow Control
  • Scripts and Functions
  • Read and Write Excel and Text Files

September 26, 2012   3:00 - 4:30 pm O’Neill 245

MATLAB 2: Matrices

Matrices are fundamental to MATLAB, and familiarity with matrix generation and manipulation is important in many applications. The most basic MATLAB data structure is the matrix: a two-dimensional, rectangularly shaped data structure capable of storing multiple elements of data in an easily accessible format. The operations in MATLAB are designed to be as natural as possible and MATLAB allows you to work with entire matrices quickly and easily. This workshop will discuss:

  • Matrix Generation
  • Subscripting and the Colon Notation
  • Matrix and Array Operations
  • Matrix Manipulation
  • Data Analysis

September 27, 2012    3:00 - 4:30 pm O’Neill 245

MATLAB 3: Graphs and Visualization

The MATLAB environment provides a wide variety of techniques to display
data graphically. Interactive tools enable you to manipulate graphs to achieve
results that reveal the most relevant information about your data. You can also
annotate and print graphs for presentations, or export graphs to standard
graphics formats. In this workshop we cover the main MATLAB functions for
two- and three-dimensional graphics. We illustrate:

  • Two-Dimensional Graphics
  • Basic Plots
  • Axes and Annotation
  • Multiple Plots in a Figure
  • Three-Dimensional Graphics
  • Specialized Graphs for Displaying Data
  • Saving and Printing Figures

Examples presented (m files) can be easily modified and applied to your specific  experimental or model data.

October 3, 2012    3:00 - 4:30 pm O’Neill 245

Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access 2010 is a database management system; it is combined with Microsoft Office 2010.  Access includes personal data, survey, data analysis, and reports.  This tutorial will help you get started with Access.  This tutorial will introduce the fundamental of the Access including,  creating databases, table, how to save data and how to extract data from the database to create reports

October 25, 2012 10:30 - 11:30 pm  O’Neill 245

SAS 1:  Introduction to SAS

SAS is a powerful and the most widely used statistical software.  This tutorial introduces some of the basic steps in using SAS language to a new SAS user.  The following topics will be covered:

  • Getting started:  How/Where to start?
  • About SAS: Preliminary concepts and rules; structure of SAS programs
  • Data Step: Creating  datasets; inputting and reading data
  • Modify the data: Creating or redefining variables
  • Procedure Step: introducing simple procedures, such as, print, freq, and means
  • Output:  reading/understanding log and output files

October 24, 2012   12:00 - 1:30 p.m.     O’Neill 245

SAS 2: Introduction to SAS, Part 2

This tutorial builds on what was introduced in the previous tutorial SAS 1. Topics to be covered will include:

  • Importing/Exporting data: Handling data from other databases. e.g. Excel, Stata
  • Operators in SAS: Working with SAS operations such as, arithmetic and Boolean.
  • Functions: Using commonly used functions, including, mean, length, and put.
  • IF-THEN: Using IF-THEN or ELSE statements
  • More Procedures:  Procedures for regression, anova, and other frequently used.
  • Merging and Subsetting:  Sorting, Creating, or subsetting  dataset, and merging multiple datasets.

October 25, 2012 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.     O’Neill 245

Stata 1: Descriptive Analysis

Stata is a powerful, yet easy to use statistical package. This hands-on tutorial is designed as an introduction for beginning users who are just getting started using Stata. The emphasis in this tutorial is on exploring the data, cleaning the data for research purposes, using graphs, employing descriptive statistics and running simple regressions.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Getting started: open data files, use variable manager.
  • Exploring the data: check variables, use labels and filters, describe data.
  • Modifying the data: create new variables, recode data, examine and impute missing values.
  • Working with datasets: append and merge datasets.
  • Producing output: log-files, label book, codebook, graphs, and simple regressions.

October 9, 2012  12:00  - 1:30 pm O’Neill 245

Stata 2: Regression Analysis

This hands-on tutorial is designed for novice users who are familiar with the basics of Stata. The emphasis in this tutorial is on linear regressions and the basics of analysis with discrete data, where categorical variables are regressors or the dependent variable. Basic programming concepts are introduced.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Linear regression: OLS, significance tests, postestimation analysis.
  • Categorical variables: factor variables, interactions and interpretation.
  • Categorical outcomes: logit and probit models, multinomial and ordered logit, interpretation.
  • Programming skills: creating and using do-files; documenting work to ensure reproducibility.

October 11, 2012  12:00 -1:30 pm O’Neill 245

What’s new in Atlas.ti 7

Atlas.ti is a software package for the analysis of qualitative data particularly on large projects that require collaboration between multiple sites and multiple coders.

This overview of what's New in Atlas.ti 7 is appropriate for both new and existing Atlas.ti users. Topics will include:

  • Review the new V7 Interface
  • Demonstrate new tools for the management of qualitative analysis projects in V7
  • Demonstrate the new functionality in the Atlas.ti managers (primary document, memo, and code managers)
  • Demonstrate new code related options
  • Demonstrate new data analysis options
  • Demonstrate importing surveys into Atlas.ti

October 30, 2012 12:00 - 1:30 pm O’Neill 245