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Spring 2015 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 Spring 2015 Tutorials are:

Stata 1: Getting Started, Descriptive Stats and Do Files Jan 21 12:30 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
MATLAB 1: Introduction to MATLAB programming Jan 22 11:00 - 12:30 O'Neill 245
Introduction to the Linux Cluster Jan 26 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
Introduction to Regression Feb 17 12:00 - 1:30 Carney 33B
Stata 2: Graphing, Dataset Combining, Linear Regression, Stat/Transfer Feb 4 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
MATLAB 2: Data Analysis Jan 29 11:00 - 12:30 O'Neill 245
Introduction to Multi-Level Modeling Feb 3 12:00- 1:30 O'Neill 245
Linear Probability Model, Logit and Probit Models, and other Approaches to Limited Dependent Variables Feb 25 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
MATLAB 3: Graphs and Visualization Feb 5 11:00 - 12:30 O'Neill 245
Creating Web-based Surveys with Qualtrics Feb 6 12:00 - 1:30 Carney 033B
Introduction to R Feb 10 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 245
Introduction to GIS Feb 12 11:00 - 12:30 O'Neill 245
Introduction To Redcap Feb 13 12:00 - 1:30 Carney 033B
Online Survey Design For Quantitative, Qualitative, And Mixed Methods Research Feb 20 12:00 - 1:30 Carney 033B
Locating And Using Data For Secondary Research Mar 3 12:00 - 1:30 O'Neill 307

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.

February 13, 2015 12:00 - 1:30  Carney 033B

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. Strength of Qualtrics is its panel feature for repeated polling, built 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, 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.

BC community members who do not already have a Qualtrics account may contact Rani Dalgin at for a Qualtrics account.

February 6, 2015 12:00 - 1:30 Carney 033B

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 be also discussed.

No prior knowledge of GIS is required.

February 12,  2015  11:00 -  12:30  O’Neill 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, philosophy, how to connect and apply BC’s Linux cluster will be presented.  Currently we have two clusters (Scorpio and Pleiades) available.

The following topics will be covered in the hands-on tutorial tutorial class.

  • 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
  • Compile, debug and run programs

January 26, 2015 12:00 - 1:30  O'Neil 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.

February 17, 2015   12:00 -  1:30   Carney 33B

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.

February 3, 2015 12:00- 1:30   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.

February 10, 2015  12:00 - 1:30  O’Neill 245.

Linear Probability Model, Logit and Probit Models, and other Approaches to Limited Dependent Variables

Stata is a powerful, yet easy to use, statistical package. This hands-on tutorial is designed to provide an overview of how to implement sound statistical and econometric analysis in presence of limited dependent variables. The emphasis in this tutorial is on techniques to estimate model where the response variable is restricted to a binary choice, integer values or ordered values on a Likert-type scale, such as survey data. Basic knowledge of Stata is required.

  • Linear Probability Model, Logit and Probit Models
  • Marginal Effects
  • Ordered Logit and Probit Models
  • Count Data Models

February 25, 2015 12:00 - 1:30  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.

March 3, 2015 12:00 - 1:30  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

January 22, 2015 11:00 -  12:30  O’Neill 245

MATLAB 2: Data Analysis

This session explores numerical data representation MATLAB, with focus on matrix generation, operations and data analysis. MATLAB allows users to work with entire matrices quickly and easily. Examples illustrate input/output data, descriptive statistics, smoothing and fitting data. This workshop will discuss:

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

January 29, 2015     11:00 - 12:30  O’Neill 245

MATLAB 3: Graphs and Visualization

MATLAB offers a variety of data plotting functions and tools to create and modify graphic displays. 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.

February 5, 2015  11:00 -  12:30  O’Neill 245

Online Survey Design For Quantitative, Qualitative, And Mixed Methods Research: Methodological Considerations And Best Practices

There are methodological considerations for all types of online survey research whether quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods are being used. This  tutorial will discuss some of these  considerations for online survey research, how to design your online surveys to avoid a lot  of pre-analysis data cleaning and data manipulation, and demonstrate how to import the results of your online survey into both quantitative and qualitative software tools for analysis.

February 20, 2015  12:00 - 1:30  Carney 033B

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

January 21, 2015 12:30 - 1:30   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

February 4, 2015 12:00  - 1:30  O'Neill 245