Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Tutorials: Summer 2011

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 send email to with the names of the tutorials that you are interested in attending. 

The Summer 2011 tutorials are:

Creating Web-based Surveys with Qualtrics 1 - Getting Started

Qualtrics offers a way to create complex surveys without complicated programming.  It offers survey design functionality that is more extensive than that offered by Survey Monkey.  Qualtrics offers an extensive library of surveys and a number of options for encryption. Working within pre-defined templates, you can use several 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, 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, and LSOE 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 A&S, CSON, CSOM, or LSOE 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 LSOE) or to obtain a Qualtrics account prior to the tutorial.

June 28, 2011 12:00 - 1:15 pm O'Neill 245

Creating Web-based Surveys with Qualtrics 2 - Editing and Reporting

For people who are already familiar with Qualtrics or who have attended the earlier introduction, we will cover some Qualtrics "bells and whistles." Topics covered include customizing surveys with HTML, branching, and other logic. We will also go into more depth about Qualtrics generated reports and how to customize them. We will discuss how to prepare the data that you have gathered from your Qualtrics survey for exporting to other statistical packages. Specific questions or topics of interest may be sent to in advance of the tutorial. 

June 28, 1:30 - 2:45 pm O'Neill 245

Examining a Scale for Confirmatory Factor Analysis

This tutorial will explore the basic steps in constructing a model for confirmatory factor analysis with Lisrel 8.80. 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.

June 29, 2011 12:00 - 1:30 pm O'Neill 245

Introduction to Linux Cluster

 This tutorial is an introduction to the Linux cluster at Boston College. An overview, the primary components, and examples of how to use BC Linux cluster will be presented. This tutorial will cover:

  • Overview of the Linux cluster at Boston College 
  • Hardware architecture 
  • How to use the Linux cluster
  • PBS queuing system 
  • File and data backup system 
  • Application for an account 
  • Common Unix/Linux commands 
  • Compile, debug and run programs

July 28, 2011 12:00 - 2:00 pm O'Neil 245

Introduction to Qualitative Analysis Using Nvivo9, Atlas.ti, or HyperResearch

This tutorial will provide a general discussion of qualitative research and a demonstration of recently released Nvivo 9. We will also discuss and compare Atlas.ti 6.2, and HyperResearch 3. Each of these software products has strengths and weaknesses when used for coding and analyzing qualitative data. However they can all be used, with planning and rigorous qualitative research methodologies, to eliminate the problems of managing large amounts of qualitative data.  They can all be used to code and re-code qualitative data, keep an audit trail of the analysis process, and to support both individual researchers and research teams in thinking about coding and analysis issues. Specific topic requests may be sent to in advance.

June 21, 12:00 - 2:00 pm O'Neill 245

Introduction to SAS 

Statistical Analysis Software (SAS) is a powerful software which is widely used in statistical analysis. This hands-on tutorial is an introduction for beginning users. No prior experience with SAS software is needed. The following topics will be covered: 

  • Getting started with SAS
  • Temporary versus Permanent SAS data sets
  • Using SAS procedures
  • SAS data sets versus raw data, SPSS, and PC database files
  • Getting information about the SAS data set: PROC CONTENTS
  • Modifying a data set using the SET statement
  • IF-THEN/ELSE statements
  • Subsetting data in SAS: subsetting variables & subsetting observations
  • Stacking data sets by using the SET statement
  • Combining data sets using a one-to-one or one-to-many match merge
  • Simplifying programs with Arrays 
  • Using shortcuts for lists of variable names
  • Using basic statistical procedures: PROC UNIVARIATE, PROC MEANS, PROC FREQ, PROC REG

June 16, 2011    12:00-2:00 pm  O'Neil 245

Locating and Using Data for Secondary Research 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 in the Statistical Data Catalog
  •  How to download the data onto your desktop, including how to import  into quantitative analytical tools such as 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.

July 14, 12:00 - 1:30 pm   O'Neill 245

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 documentation and help
  • Starting and quitting MATLAB
  • How to use MATLAB on Linux cluster
  • Interaction and Script Files 
  • Distinctive Features of MATLAB 
  • Automatic Storage Allocation
  • Functions with Variable Arguments Lists 
  • Complex Arrays and Arithmetic
  • IEEE Arithmetic
  • Mathematical Functions

July 26, 2011   10:00 - 11:30 am    O'Neill 245

MATLAB 2:  Matrices

Matrices are fundamental to MATLAB, and even if you are not intending to use MATLAB for linear algebra computations you need to become familiar with matrix generation and manipulation. In the MATLAB environment, a matrix is a rectangular array of numbers. Scalar and vectors are particular cases of matrices and in the beginning, it is usually best to think of everything as a matrix. 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

July 29, 2011    10:00 - 11:30 am    O'Neill 245

MATLAB 3: Operators, Flow control, M - Files

MATLAB provides a powerful programming language, as well as an interactive computational environment. You can enter commands from the language one at a time at the MATLAB command line, or you can write a series of commands to a file that you then execute as you would any MATLAB function. Creating M-files and efficient use of operators, and flow control commands, are necessary for efficient programming.

This workshop will introduce: 

  • Relational and Logical Operators 
  • Flow Control
  • Scripts and Functions
  • Editing M-Files
  • Working with M-Files and the MATLAB Path

August 2, 2011    10:00 - 11:30 am    O'Neill 245

MATLAB 4: 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 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 basic use of MATLAB's  most popular tools for graphing two- and three-dimensional data. 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.

August 5, 2011   10:00 - 11:30 am    O'Neill 245

Microsoft Access

Access 2010 is a Windows database.  This tutorial will help you to get started with Access.  Topics will be covered:  

  • Basic fundamentals of Access 
  • Creating a database 
  • Creating tables and fields 
  • Saving data and information
  • Creating reports

August 4, 2011    10:30 - 11:30  am O'Neill 245

Stata 1: Learning the Package

Stata is a powerful and 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 following topics will be covered:

  • Getting started with Stata 
  • Creating and using "log" files 
  • Descriptive statistics 
  • Creating variables 
  • Labeling variables and values
  • Other introductory commands

June 15, 2011 12:00 - 1:30 pm O'Neill 245

Stata 2: Linear Regression

This hands-on tutorial is designed as an introduction for beginning users who know the basics of Stata. The following topics will be covered:

  • Simple regression models 
  • Significance tests for coefficients 
  • Using indicator variables in a linear regression model 
  • Using and interpreting interactions between regressors 
  • Creating and using "do" files

June 22, 2011 12:00 - 1:30 pm  O'Neill 245

Using Mixed Modeling in Stata & HLM

Mixed Modeling is known by many names, such as Hierarchical Linear Modeling, Generalized Linear Modeling, Multilevel modeling and has been used by researchers in multiple social science disciplines such as social work, education, sociology, and nursing to capture neighborhood effects.The contextual impact that particular forms of memberships has on the individual can be better explained by the techniques of mixed modeling, when these memberships make a difference to outcomes of interest. Examples of this can be found in the clustering of classrooms, schools, demographic regions, occupations, or family systems. This tutorial will begin with a discussion on some of the updates to HLM, including their newest release since March 2011 of HLM 7. Sample data will be examined using HLM to identify fixed and random effects based on group membership, and these results will be replicated on Stata using the xtmixed command.

 July 13, 2011 12:00 - 1:30 pm O'Neill 245