Research Computing >> 2005 news archive

RESEARCH COMPUTING NEWS 2005

Please check here regularly for updated news and information on research computing.


Recent announcements

October 3: Workshop - Using MATLAB and Optimization Tools
September 27: Stata Journal Vol. 5, No. 3 available; new version of X-Win32 (7.0) available
September 22: Skew3 new disk installation and scheduled downtime Oct. 3-4
September 1: X-Win32 license renewal
August 26: Stata 9 available on skew3
August 25: New dataset - Compustat Global.
July 21: Check "Einstein", a new library service from the NU Library
June 24: Emergency shutdown of skew3 and SSCC
June 21: Stata Journal Vol. 5, No. 2 available
June 20: SSH server upgrade in skew3
June 14: MathWorks seminar on Data Analysis and Development with Matlab products
May 27: New datasets - First Call Historical, IRRC Directors, R&C Futures and Value Line.
May 25: skew3 maintenance on June 25th
February 23: Latest issue of Stata Journal

Announcements during previous years:


October 3: Workshop - Using MATLAB and Optimization Tools

Engineers from Mathworks will provide a demonstration of Matlab's tools for optimization at Kellogg, on the afternoon of October 19. If you are already a Matlab user, please take advantage use this opportunity to discuss problems or bugs that you may have encountered in Matlab. Below is the agenda and the link to sign up for this seminar. While signing up is not necessary, it provides Mathworks with a head count necessary to bring photocopies and materials for distribution.

That same day, in the morning, there will also be a workshop on how to use MATLAB and Simulink for Model-Based Designing. This workshop will take place in te Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center (2145 Sheridan Road). There is a separate sign up page for this seminar (see below).

Using MATLAB and optimization tools

Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: Jacobs Center, Room G05

To register, please visit: www.mathworks.com/seminars/nwoptim or call (978) 659-6104.

Please join MathWorks engineers as they demonstrate how to quickly define, solve, analyze and iterate on Optimization problems. We will cover command line tools and algorithms for:

  • Linear and nonlinear programming
  • Quadratic programming
  • Nonlinear least-squares, data fitting, and nonlinear equations
  • Multi-objective optimization
  • Binary integer programming
  • Standard and large-scale algorithms

Agenda:

1:30 p.m.Welcome and Introductions
2:00 p.m.The MATLAB Development Platform
2:30 p.m.Demonstrations of the Optimization Toolbox and the Genetic Algorithm and Direct Search Toolbox
3:30 p.m.Questions/Answers and Wrap-Up

Check-in will begin at 1:30 p.m.

We look forward to seeing you at this event.

Best regards,

Peter Sheridan
Senior Account Manager, Education Department
508-647-7176
The MathWorks, Inc.
3 Apple Hill Drive, Natick, MA 01760

Using MATLAB and Simulink for Model-Based Design

Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Location: Northwestern University, The Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center (2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL)

To register, please visit: www.mathworks.com/seminars/nwmbd or call 978-659-6104.

Please join MathWorks engineers as they discuss how university professors, researchers, and students can use MATLAB and Simulink for Model-Based Design.

  • Model and simulate complex systems, including electromechanical devices and wireless systems
  • Design signal processing, communication, and control systems
  • Implement embedded systems through automatic code generation
  • Systematically verify designs and test them in real-time
  • Exchange data, develop algorithms, and perform post-simulation analysis with MATLAB

Model-Based Design with MATLAB and Simulink lets you quickly and accurately model, simulate, and implement complex systems, including real-time control and signal processing applications, in an environment that fosters innovation, shortens development time, and improves quality. Engineers use Simulink to design embedded systems in industries such as aerospace and defense, automotive, communications, electronics, and semiconductors. Students who work with Model-Based Design have a competitive advantage when starting their careers.

Agenda:

8:30 a.m.Registration and complimentary breakfast
9:00 a.m.Welcome and Introductions
9:15 a.m.Simulink Development and Deployment Platform: Learning Model-Based Design
10:15 a.m.Break
10:30 a.m.Demonstrations of MathWorks Products for Signal Processing and Communications
11:15 a.m.Demonstrations of MathWorks Products for Control Design
12:00 p.m.Questions/Answers and Wrap-Up

Check-in and complimentary breakfast begin at 8:30 a.m.

For driving directions and parking information, please visit: fmcedc.mccormick.northwestern.edu/building.html

We look forward to seeing you at this event.

Peter Sheridan
Senior Account Manager, Education Department
508-647-7176
The MathWorks, Inc.
3 Apple Hill Drive, Natick, MA 01760

September 27: Stata Journal Vol. 5, No. 3 available; new version of X-Win32 (7.0) available

The latest electronic copy of the Stata Journal is available online. The Stata Journal replaces the Stata Technical Bulletin series.

Access to the STBs and the Stata Journal is by request only. Send a message to Research Computing to have your netid added. Hard copies of all issues are available in the research computing library (Jacobs 4219) for short-term borrowing by Kellogg faculty and doctoral students only.

Also, a new version of X-Win32 (version 7) has been released and is now available for download. X-Win32 is an X emulator -- it allows users to connect to UNIX/Linux hosts and emulate the X windows environment on their PCs.

September 22: Skew3 new disk installation and scheduled downtime Oct. 3-4

To: skew3 users

Skew3 will be off-line from 8:30 am Monday, October 3rd through 5:00pm on Tuesday, October 4th, for the installation of a new disk array.

This new disk has more than 1 terabyte of space (which will be added, as needed, over time) and provides faster read/write access. All files in skew3 will be moved to this new array.

skew3 will be fully backed up starting at 7pm on Sunday, October 2nd.

At 8:30am, October 3rd, all running jobs will be terminated. NUIT hopes to finish the entire upgrade and migration by 5:00pm Tuesday, October 4th, if not sooner.

We know this is a short notice, but this upgrade is important and will benefit all skew3 users. Please plan your work accordingly.

Please direct any questions to Research Computing

September 1: X-Win32 license renewal

The new license strings for StarNet's X-Win32 are available. Users on the Evanston campus (non VPN users), please use 54495-8461-13275-30233. Users in the Chicago campus or VPN users, please use 5950-61242-27673-60776. To apply the license, launch X-Config and click on the License tab; replace the old license string with new license string.

August 26: Stata 9 available on skew3.

Stata/SE 9 has been installed in Kellogg's UNIX server, skew3. Stata version 8 will be disabled at the end of October. To make the transition, until the end of September, to start Stata version 9, use the stata9 or xstata9 commands (xstata9 requires using X-Win32), while the stata or xstata commands still point to Stata version 8. During October, to start Stata 8 you will need to type stata8 or xstata8. Stata 9 will become the default version then (responding to stata or xstata).

Stata/SE 8 and Stata/SE 9 share the same dataset format, except that Stata 9 accepts value labels of up to 32,000 characters (Stata/SE 8 will truncate value labels beyond 244). Stata 9 introduces a matrix programming language (MATA) that uses LAPACK routines.

August 25: New dataset - Compustat Global.

As we announced back in May, Kellogg has subscribed to Compustat Global, a dataset that includes corporate financials and stock market data for publicly listed companies in about 80 countries, for the last 12 years.

Other datasets that provide financial and market data for companies listed in stock exchanges around the world are:

July 21: Check "Einstein", a new library service from the NU Library

The Northwestern University Library has developed a new resource, "einstein.library.northwestern.edu" that allows the user to search across several scholarly databases and journals. By login in, a user can also create a list of favorite databases and journals that can be searched simultaneously. For more information, refer to the NU Library announcement and try Einstein.

We have added links to Einstein under the data page (at the top of the page) as well as under the reference & papers page (among the links to library pages).

June 24: Emergency shutdown of skew3 and SSCC

From NUIT:

"At approximately 10p.m. last night the Northwestern University Information Technology (NUIT) Datacenter experienced extreme cooling difficulties. To avoid permanent damage to the equipment located in the facility, staff effectively implemented their disaster recovery plan which required the expedient shutdown of all of the equipment within their care. The situation was stabilized at approximately 1:30a.m. at which point the process to restart the equipment began.

The Library Voyager system restart has been delayed as a result of further challenges. We are working to resolve any remaining issues as quickly as possible.

If you experience difficulty with any of the systems that are housed at the Datacenter, please contact your local technical support person or call the NUIT Support Center at 847-491-HELP (4357)."

June 21: Stata Journal Vol 5, No. 2 available

The latest electronic copy of the Stata Journal is available online. The Stata Journal replaces the Stata Technical Bulletin series.

Access to the STBs and the Stata Journal is by request only. Send a message to Research Computing to have your netid added. Hard copies of all issues are available in the research computing library (Jacobs 4219) for short-term borrowing by Kellogg faculty and doctoral students only.

June 20: SSH server upgrade in skew3

On Friday, June 24, at 4:00pm. we will upgrade the Secure Shell server to its most recent version (3.2) on Kellogg's UNIX server, skew3. The upgrade will take a few minutes, and it will not affect established connections and the associated running jobs. However, new connections (made after the server upgrade) will be affected if you do not have the most recent version of the Windows SSH client (version 3.2) installed on your PC.

To check what version you have, open an SSH client window, click "help" and click "About Secure Shell". If you run into version incompatibly errors after 4:00 pm this Friday, you need to upgrade the client on your PC. The latest version of Windows client can be downloaded from the following web site: charlotte.at.northwestern.edu/bef/sshdist.html. Setup instructions for the SSH client are available in www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/researchcomputing/ssh.htm.

Contact research computing if you have any questions.

June 14: MathWorks seminar on Data Analysis and Development with Matlab products

Mathworks (Matlab's vendor) will provide a short, free seminar for advanced data analysis in the Chicago area (in Lisle, Naperville) on June 21 between 8:30am and noon. If you are interested in attending, please point your browser to www.mathworks.com/company/events/seminars/seminar8657.html?ref=mlcross and register for this event.

Of particular interest, the seminar will discuss how to distribute the execution of algorithms in a cluster of computers. As some of you know, Academic Technologies at NUIT has set up a Linux cluster for high end social science computing (Kellogg faculty and doctoral students are eligible for an account on the cluster). The discussion might shed light on how to efficiently improve your MATLAB code on the cluster.

May 27: New datasets - First Call Historical, IRRC Directors, R&C Futures and Value Line.

During the last few months we have subscribed to following datasets:

  • IRRC Directors Data: This dataset includes information on the composition and demographics of about 1700 companies included in the various S&P indexes.
  • First Call Historical Database (FCHD): These data include time-stamped estimates, actuals, company issued guidelines, price targets and recommendations, among other items. We are still awaiting for the recommendations data; the price targets will not be updated beyond 2003 (this is a decision of the vendor).
  • R&C Futures: This data includes intra-day data for futures on six different stock indexes.
  • Value Line Historical Estimates & Projections File: Includes a variety of analysts estimates and 3-5 year projections (since 1987), with the same coverage as the "Value Line Investment Survey" publication (which is available in electronic format through the NU Library).

Funding for IRRC Directors was provided by the Finance Department, professor William Ocasio and the Dean's Office. The subscription to First Call and Value Line was funded by the Financial Institutions & Markets Research Center and the Dean's Office, while R&C Futures is a courtesy from the vendor.

Last, but not least, starting in July, we will have access to Compustat Global (the international version of Compustat). Documentation is not yet available on our web site.

May 25: skew3 maintenance on June 25th

Skew3 will be off-line for quarterly maintenance beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 25th and ending at noon on Sunday, June 26th. All running jobs will be terminated when the server is taken off-line, so please plan ahead accordingly. This shutdown period is in coordination with maintenance of NU's Datacenter in 2020 Ridge for the installation of a generator and un upgrade to an uninterruptible power supply.

As always, we appreciate your cooperation. Please do not hesitate to contact Research Computing if you have any questions.

February 23: Latest issue of Stata Journal

The latest electronic copy of the Stata Journal is available online. The Stata Journal replaces the Stata Technical Bulletin series.

Access to the STBs and the Stata Journal is by request only. Send a message to Research Computing to have your netid added. Hard copies of all issues are available in the research computing library (Jacobs 4219) for short-term borrowing by Kellogg faculty and doctoral students only.

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