Students in the Department of Economics are given accounts on one of the Unix servers managed by the Department, which provides support for computationally intensive applications such as Stata, MATLAB, Ox, RATS and the Fortran-90, C, C++ and perl languages.
Graduate students in economics are introduced to the use of econometric software and data resources in the first-year econometrics course. They may utilize the Department's Apple Macintosh OS X workstations, more than a dozen of which are located in departmental facilities dedicated to graduate student use. These workstations run Stata, MATLAB, DYNARE, Ox, Mathematica, TeXShop/teTeX and Microsoft Office applications, and provide access to Internet resources. Several locations in the computing labs and graduate lounge are equipped with Internet connections for students' laptops, and the entire campus supports WiFi wireless networking.
Prospective students should take note that the Department of Economics, like many departments at Boston College, does not provide support for Microsoft Windows-based personal computers. Software which is only available for the Windows platform is not supported. Although most up-to-date personal computers may be used to connect to the University's systems from off campus, on-campus support in Departmental facilities is limited to Apple Macintosh hardware and Mac OS X software. The resources of the Boston College network and the Department's xServe fileserver are accessible to students' appropriately configured home computers, either Mac or PC. Prospective students should evaluate the suitability of Mac OS X Unix-based systems for their needs (and consult with the Department's Faculty Technology Coordinator) before investing in personal systems.
A number of important data resources are also available to students through Academic Technology Services and the University Libraries. On-line access to the DRI-WEFA Basic Economics, International Financial Statistics, and World Development Indicators economic databases and the COMPUSTAT and CRSP financial databases is provided. Boston College is a member of the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), which makes a number of large economic databases available without charge.
The O'Neill Library houses a comprehensive collection of economics volumes and leading journals in economics and related fields. Boston College participates in the JSTOR project, giving on-line access to the entire runs of leading economics journals. Access to the Library's holdings is provided by the Quest system, accessible from any web browser. A number of online databases (such as EconLit) may be used to assist research. Boston College is a member of the Boston Library Consortium which enables graduate students to use library facilities at MIT, Boston University, Brandeis, Northeastern, Tufts, Wellesley, University of Massachusetts, and the Boston Public Library.
The Department plays a prominent role in the RePEc (Research Papers in Economics) initiative, which provides free access to working papers, journal citations, software and contact information. The Boston College Working Papers in Economics are downloadable and searchable via RePEc's user services (http://repec.org).