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Fall 2014 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.

Please note that the locations of the tutorials varies.

The Fall 2014 Tutorials are:

Introduction to Regression Sep 16 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
MATLAB 1: Introduction to MATLAB Programming Sep 16 2:30 - 4:00 O'Neill 245
Microsoft Access Sep 17 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 246
MATLAB 2: Graphs and Visualization Sep 18 10:00 - 11:30 O'Neill 245
Introduction to BC's Linux Cluster Sep 18 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
Introduction to GIS Sep 22 10:00 - 11:30 O'Neill 245
Introduction to Mixed Modeling Sep 23 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
Data visualization with Google Earth Sep 25 10:00 - 11:30 O'Neill 245
Introduction to R Sep 30 12:00- 1:30 O'Neill 245
Stata 1: Getting started, Descriptive Stats and Do Files Oct 2 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
Locating and Using Data for Secondary Research at Boston College Oct 6 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 307
Stata 2: Graphing, Dataset combining, Linear Regression, Stat/Transfer Oct 7 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
Creating Web-Based Surveys With Qualtrics Oct 9 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
Introduction to Qualitative Analysis Using NVIVO 10 Oct 16 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
Introduction To REDCap Oct 23 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245

Creating Web-Based Surveys with Qualtrics

Qualtrics offers a fairly intuitive Graphical User Interface to create complex surveys without complicated programming or coding.   Qualtrics offers extensive documentation, free online tutorials, an extensive library of surveys and options for encryption and anonymity, and excellent customer support. A strength of Qualtrics is its panel feature for repeated polling, build in social media sharing functions, and accessibility checker. 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 offers extensive branching functionality.

Once the survey is completed, data can be downloaded into a format that can be used with a variety of quantitative and qualitative analysis programs. Qualtrics also offers foreign language functionality.

This tutorial will demonstrate how to create a survey in Qualtrics and also include a section on research protections and informed consent with respect to online survey development, distribution, and analysis.

BC community members who do not already have a Qualtrics account may also register for a limited free Qualtrics account at After the seminar, we can reassign the account to your respective school or department.

October 9, 2014   12:00 - 1:30 pm O'Neill 245

Data visualization with Google Earth

Google Earth enables exploration of the world through a virtual globe and view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, and other geographical content. With Google Earth we can experience a realistic view of the world, Explore the Sky, Dive in the Ocean, Walk on the Moon, or Visit Mars.

This introductory session will focus on:

  • Getting to know Google Earth, illustrating features such as: Search panel, 3D Viewer, Toolbar buttons, Navigation controls, Street View, Places panel, Search in Places, Layers panel
  • Fly to any location in the world, learn about a city and it's geographic features, find local businesses and annotate a map
  • Use  Fusion Tables to create maps
  • use KML (Keyhole Markup Language) files to visualize a wide range of available data sets, and discuss how Google Earth can be used in teaching and research.

 No prior knowledge of Google Earth is required.

September 25, 2014    10:00 - 11:30 am  O’Neill 245

Introduction to BC’s Linux Cluster

This tutorial is intended to be an introduction to the Linux cluster at Boston College. An overview, the primary components, philosophy, how to connect and apply BC’s Linux cluster will be presented.  Currently we have two clusters (Scorpio and Pleiades) available. This hands-on tutorial covers the following topics:

  • Overview of two Linux cluster system at Boston College
  • The hardware/software architecture 
  • Management of Linux Cluster
  • How to set your local machine and access of BC clusters
  • Linux, PBS queuing system common commands
  • Basic Linux commands
  •  How to submit jobs to clusters
  • How to compile, debug and run programs

Sepember 18, 2014 12:00 - 1:30 pm O'Neil 245

Introduction to GIS

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used for visualizing, managing, creating, and analyzing geographic data. Such applications are widely used in academia, private industry and government agencies. Available GIS technologies are used to perform various tasks, from simple to advanced, including:  mapping, geographic analysis, geostatistics, data editing, compilation, management and visualization.

This session will introduce users to:

  • GIS data and technical support at Boston College
  • Examples and demos using Census and Environmental data
  • Options to get data and training will be also discussed.

No prior knowledge of GIS is required.

September 22, 2014  10:00 - 11:30 am O’Neill 245

Introduction to Mixed Modeling

Mixed modeling, also known as multi-level modeling or sometime hierarchical linear modeling, is an essential tool in many research areas.  In biomedical research most designs are longitudinal, in social sciences there are often clusters of data such as students within classrooms within schools.  Many familiar methods such as ANOVA or regression assume that all observations are recorded independently.  Having clusters of correlated data violates this assumption and makes these methods invalid.  Mixed Modeling is an extension of regression that allows us to correctly model correlated data.  This tutorial is designed to give an introduction to linear mixed modeling.  We will focus on situations and designs where these methods are required, the dangers of using the wrong methods, and interpretation of the results that are standard across most statistical software packages.

September 23, 2014 12:00 - 1:30 pm  O’Neill 245

Introduction to Qualitative Analysis Using NVIVO 10

This workshop provides an introductory demonstration of how to use NVIVO 10 for qualitative analysis. NVIVO 10 can be used to manage large amounts of qualitative data, to code and re-code qualitative data, to keep an audit trail of the analysis process, and to support both individual researchers and research teams in discussing coding and analysis issues. This course is intended for beginning Nvivo users. and intermediate users who have had some exposure the methodologies and theories of qualitative analysis.

This workshop will include a demonstration (non-hands on) format:

  • Qualitative research design
  • Source Preparation
  • NVIVO 10 Project Views (List, Navigation, Detail)
  • Nodes
  • Models
  • Queries
  • Journals
  • Starting a project in NVIVO 10

Additional information on qualitative software and resources at Boston College will be presented as well.

October 16, 2014    12:00 - 1:30 pm  O'Neill 245

Introduction to R

R is widely used  free statistical  software. To take advantage of R’s flexible output and graphics, packages are actively being developed to that interface R with other programs such as M-plus.  The rapid growth of R means that knowledge of this software will be essential to researchers doing complex statistical analysis.  This tutorial will explain how to download and install R (it’s free!!), learn basic operations.  We will focus on a couple concrete examples so that attendees will get familiar with the R environment.

September 30, 2014 12:00 - 1:30 pm O’Neill 245.

Introduction to REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture)

This tutorial is geared towards Boston College Principal Investigators, researchers and research project team managers. REDCap stands for Research Electronic Data Capture. REDCap is a web based, data collection, database management system that was originally developed at Vanderbilt University, initially for medical research. REDCap is now overseen by a consortium of academic research partners in the United States and throughout the world. Boston College has recently joined the REDCap consortium.

In this introduction to REDCap we will discuss:

  • How to request a REDCap project at Boston College
  • How to make sure that your RedCAP project complies with the mandates of your project's IRB approval
  • How to create basic data collection forms
  • An introduction to best practices for setting up your REDCap project
  • How to enter data into RedCAP
  • How to control RedCAP user access rights
  • How to create ad hoc reports and export your data

Prior to the class, Research Services will create a test project for teaching and learning purposes for each class participant.  Research Services staff are also available to meet with members of the Boston College community to discuss individual REDCap projects.

Thursday October 23, 2014  12:00 - 1:30 pm  O'Neill 245

Introduction to Regression

As the most common methodology in statistical analysis regression is an important tool for any modern researcher.  This course is intended as an introduction to standard or linear regression.  We will focus on estimation methods, identifying and validating model assumptions.  We will also focus on hypothesis testing for regression estimates and statistical model building.  We will use R software but the goal of the course is to learn concepts and is not intended as a tutorial any specific software.  Note:  The mixed modeling course is a natural sequel to Introduction to Regression.

September 16, 2014   12:00 – 1:30 pm  O’Neill 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; and how to download the data onto your desktop, including how to import  into quantitative analytical tools such as SPSS.  Get a 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. We will also discuss best practices for curation of both primary and secondary research data. Topics may be customized based on attendees’ research interests. Please contact for more information.

October 6, 2014  12:00 - 1:30 pm   O’Neill 307

MATLAB 1: Introduction to MATLAB programming

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 16, 2014 2:30 - 4 pm  O’Neill 245

MATLAB 2: 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
  • Saving and Printing Figures

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

September 18, 2014 10:00 - 11:30 am O’Neill 245

Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access is a window based database management system, it uses for data storage, analysis, research, and report.  Access 2010 comes with Microsoft Office 2010.  This tutorial will introduce the fundamental of the Access, includes creating database, table, data entry form, and report.  This tutorials will help you get started with it. 

September 17, 2014  12:00 - 1:30pm  O'Neill 246

Stata 1: Getting started, Descriptive Stats and Do Files

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, and generating descriptive statistics

  • Loading data
  • Data manipulation
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Do-files and log files

October 2, 2014  12:00 - 1:30 pm  O'Neill 245

Stata 2: Graphing, Dataset combining, Linear Regression, Stat/Transfer

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 basic graphing, merging data, and linear regression.

  • Basic graphing and graph editor
  • Combining multiple datasets
  • Linear Regression in Stata
  • Stat/Transfer, importing and exporting

October 7, 2014 12:00  - 1:30 pm  O'Neill 245