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Fall 2017 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 2017 Tutorials are:

Introduction to Regression Sep 5 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
Introduction to Multi-Level Modeling Sep 6 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
Introduction to R Sep 7 10:30 - 12:00 O'Neill 245
Introduction to MATLAB Sep 8 11:00 - 12:30 O'Neill 307
Introduction to SAS I Sep 11 12:00 - 2:00 O'Neill 245
Creating Web-Based Surveys with Qualtrics Sep 12 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
Introduction to SAS II Sep 13 12:00 - 2:00 O'Neill 245
Introduction to GIS Sep 15 11:00 - 12:30 O'Neill 307
Primary Data Collection: Best Practices for Researchers Sep 19 10:30 - 12:00 O'Neill 245
Introduction to RedCAP Sep 19 12:00 -1:30 O'Neill 245
Introduction to Stata 1: Getting Started, Descriptive Stats and Do files Sep 20 12:00- 1:30 O'Neill 245
Introduction to Stata 2: Graphing, Dataset Combining, Linear Regression Sep 27 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
Introduction to BC's Linux Cluster Sep 28 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
Introduction to Qualitative Analysis Software Tools Oct 4 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

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. Qualtrics also offers built in social media sharing functions and an accessibility checker. Working within pre-defined templates, you can use many different types of questions, including text, multiple checkboxes, sliders, single-answer radio buttons, and 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. Boston College faculty, students, researchers, and administrative staff may create their own Qualtricsaccounts in advance of the tutorial by logging on at this website: with their BC credentials.

September  12, 2017 12:00 - 1:30, 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, and how to connect will be presented. Currently we have two clusters available. This hands-on tutorial covers
the following topics:

  • Overview of the Linux clusters at Boston College
  • The hardware/software architecture
  • How to access the BC clusters
  • PBS queuing system and common commands
  • How to submit jobs to clusters
  • Basic Linux
  • Compile, debug and run programs

September 28, 2017 12:00 - 1:30 pm O’Neill 245

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

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 also be discussed. No prior knowledge of GIS is required.

September 15, 11:00 - 12:30, O’Neill 307

Introduction to MATLAB

This seminar introduces 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 presents:

  • MATLAB Help
  • Interactive Session
  • Editing Script Files
  • Flow Control
  • Scripts and Functions
  • Read and Write Excel and Text Files
  • Toolboxes
  • Graphics

September 8, 11:00 - 12:30, O’Neill 307

Introduction to Multi-Level 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 6, 2017 12:00 - 1:30 pm O’Neill 245

Introduction to Qualitative Analysis Software Tools

This workshop provides introductory demonstrations of a number of Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS) tools. Based on participant interest we will discuss and demonstrate NVIVO 11, HyperResearch 3.7.3, and Atlas.ti 8. These tools may be used to manage large amounts of qualitative data, to code and re-code qualitative data, may be used in mixed methods projects, and may be used to keep an audit trail of the analysis process, and to support both individual researchers and research teams in discussing coding and analysis issues.

October 4, 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 7, 2017  10:30 - 12:00 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 is part of 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
  • Recent improvements in BC’s newest release of REDCap including offline survey capabilities, text to voice capability, potential for using SMS services (for an additional fee), improved field calculations, repeating forms and more
  • How to enter data into RedCAP
  • How to control RedCAP user access rights
  • How to export your data

Research Services staff are also available to meet with members of the Boston College community to discuss individual REDCap projects.

September 19, 2017 12:00 1:30, 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 5, 2017   12:00 - 1:30 pm  O’Neill 245

Primary Data Collection: Best Practices for Researchers

There are methodological considerations for all types of data collection whether quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods data are being used. Our emphasis will be on survey design for quantitative analysis (although the principles discussed will also be applicable to qualitative and mixed methods research and direct data input into an analytical tool). We will discuss how to design online surveys and databases to avoid a lot of pre-analysis data cleaning and data manipulation.

September 19, 2017 10:30 am - 12:00 0 ’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 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, 12:00 - 1:30 pm O’Neill 307

Introduction to SAS I

This tutorial is an introduction to SAS. It is designed for people with a basic knowledge of statistics who are beginners of SAS. We will talk about basic steps of SAS and structure, and demonstrate the internet resources to get started programming in SAS, including not limited to: Students are encouraged to bring in their own data problems and SAS questions into the tutorial.

  • What is SAS system
    • Introduce SAS work environment
    • Write, submit, debug, and save SAS programs
    • SAS data steps and proc steps
    • Manage SAS libraries and files
    • How to run descriptive statistics
    • How to run basic regressions and other models
  • Internet resources
    • SAS online documents, technical support websites
    • Good SAS learning websites

September 11, 2017 12:00  - 2:00 pm O'Neill 245

Introduction to SAS  II

This tutorialis designed for existing SAS users who have already known the basics of SAS but looking for more advanced tips and skills. We will focus on data manipulations, analytics and data management aspects, including not limited to the following, Students are encouraged to bring in their own data problems and SAS programming questions into the tutorial.

  • SAS data types, and data type conversions
  • Combine and subset SAS datasets
  • SAS functions
  • Import/export data from other data sources
  • SAS SQL procedure and its comparison with DATA step
  • Program efficiency issues with large datasets
  • Most widely used statistical procedures
  • Other questions raised by audience

September 13, 2017 12:00 -  2:00 pm O'Neill 245

Introduction  TO Stata 1: Getting Started, Descriptive Statistics 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

September  20, 2017  12:00  - 1:30, O’Neill 245

Introduction  to Stata 2: Graphing, Dataset Combining, Linear Regression

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

September 27, 2017 12:00 - 1:30, O’Neill 245