Research Computing >> 2010 news archive

RESEARCH COMPUTING NEWS 2010

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


Recent announcements

December 15: Kellogg Atlantis in Qualtrics
December 7: Morning issue with logins to skew4 sorted out
November 30: Forrester Research Consumer Technographics Survey October 1: Updates on the behavioral labs
September 30: The RA database has been refreshed for current academic year
September 28: Latest Stata Journal (Vol 10, No. 3) is now available
September 13: Kellogg subject pools hosted by Sona Systems are down.
August 25: Scheduled downtime for TAQ on WRDS grid: September 2, 4PM to 7PM.
August 19: Scheduled downtime for skew4: September 10, 10AM to 1PM.
August 18: Failed hard drive on skew4.
August 11: Sheridan Cluster downtime on August 18, 9Am to 2PM

Announcements during previous years:


December 15: Kellogg Atlantis in Qualtrics

Dear faculty, PhD students and staff,

You might have noticed that a "Kellog Atlantis" log has appeared when you log into Qualtrics at the top of each Qualtrics page, under the survey tabs. The Kellogg Atlantis logo is not part of a system change and does not affect how Qualtrics or your surveys work. Furthermore, the logo is not shown when a survey is created and subsequently launched.

This logo is a shortcut to a Qualtrics library which contains a set of psychological measures (essentially, a collection of special surveys) typically used in academic research in social psychology and marketing.

For the time being, the use of the Kellogg Atlantis library is intended for research by faculty and doctoral students, although the library is accessible to anyone within the Kellogg brand.

Below is the announcement of the Kellogg Atlantis library we sent to behavioral researchers a few day ago. Access to the documentation on the research computing website via the links below is restricted to Kellogg faculty and doctoral students.


We are pleased to announce the launch of Kellogg Atlantis (faculty and PhD students only), a collection of ready-to-use measures in personality/social psychology and marketing.

The Kellogg Atlantis (faculty and PhD students only) database currently features seventy six scales and consists of:

  • Name, version and description of the scale;
  • APA-style citation to a downloadable version of a published paper in which the scale is used;
  • MediaLab and Qualtrics versions of the scale

For offline consultation, a print-friendly version of the current Atlantis database can be downloaded as a PDF (faculty and PhD students only).

Comments and requests to include new scales in Atlantis should be submitted via email to Alain Bonacossa. With your request, include the name and version of the scale you would like to see added in Atlantis, as well as the author(s) and year of publication, when known.

This announcement is the culmination of more than twelve months of work, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank the many of you who contributed to the list of scales.

December 7: Morning issue with logins to skew4 sorted out.

Earlier today, we experienced a problem with login in to skew4, whereby teh server would not authenticate users.The issue was related to work carried out by NUIT replacing the LDAP Registry service for authentication and attribute retrieval. The glitch was solved around 1:15PM, when NUIT system administrators configured skew4 to communicate with the new load balanced LDAP registry server (registry.northwestern.edu).

November 30: Forrester Research Consumer Technographics Survey.

The Forrester Research North American Consumer Technographics Survey & Data is now available to authorized faculty and doctoral students. This is an annual survey of more than 40,000 US and Canadian households, with questions that aim to analyze patterns in technology behavior. The Kellogg School has purchased the data between 1998 and 2010; the data is stored in skew4.

October 1: Updates on the behavioral labs.

As we are starting the new academic year, we would like to provide you with some updates that you might find useful to conduct your research at Kellogg:

Kellogg eLab

We launched Kellogg eLab in spring of 2009 because of the increasing demand for online data collection. After nearly a year, it has proved a great success. During the summer of 2009, 21 studies were run through Kellogg eLab. This past summer, the number of studies has doubled, adding the equivalent of an extra quarter of research to everyone’s academic year!

New Credit Granting procedure for online studies

During the summer we tested a new script that allows us to automate the credit granting process for online studies. The testing went well and we are now ready to apply this script to any online study in Kellogg eLab and the on-campus subject pools. From now on, please follow the steps below to grant credits for online studies:

  1. Download your survey data from Qualtrics and look for the "id" column in the data file.
  2. Send the "id" column as a .cvs file to the lab manager, (Simone Cavallaro, for Kellogg eLab and the Marketing and Economic subject pool; Stephanie Dixon for the MORS subject pool), who will then finalize the credit granting of your study for you.

New Breakout Rooms reservation policies

Until now, there was no cap on the number of hours for which breakout rooms could be reserved. In the past two years, however, we have seen a dramatic increase in the usage of the breakout rooms and we have been asked to implement a scheduling policy for this resource.

Starting from the current quarter, the breakout rooms will be considered a separate resource in Meeting Room Manager. Researchers will have 10 or 20 prime time hours (9AM-5PM; depending on whether you are junior/senior faculty member, PhD student or Post-Doc) plus up to 10 additional prime time hours that may be scheduled starting two weeks prior to a scheduled study date.

MediaLab and DirectRT 2010

As you know, MediaLab and DirectRT are essential tools for our studies. However, the current version of this software has some big limitations: DirectRT 2008, for example cannot be installed on machines that run Windows Vista or Windows 7.

Unfortunately, the 2010 version of MediaLab and DirectRT has not been officially released yet - Empirisoft expects to release it by the end of the year. This means that we cannot upgrade the lab machines to the 2010 version yet. However, we are aware that many of you have upgraded your personal computers to Windows Vista or Windows 7, so we have purchased a site license to the 2010 version of both programs and we can now provide you with the beta version of DirectRT 2010. The 2008 and 2010 versions are fully compatible, so you can keep programming on your personal machines and run your study in the labs.

We are purple, with a green touch

There is always something we can do to help the environment, save energy, and reduce waste. We currently turn off all the lab machines when the lab is not used for an extended period (i.e., during the summer, winter and spring breaks). More recently, we have changed the font of the payment forms (both the Authorization Charge form and the research participation logs) to Century Gothic, which is proven to reduce toner consumption by up to 30%.

If you want to help, please turn off the lab machines after running the last session of the day and during the weekend.

We wish you a productive year.

September 30: RA database refreshed for current academic year.

As you may know, the Research Support team maintains a database of prospective research assistants that are interested in working with Kellogg professors and doctoral students since 2007. The RA database is currently advertised through flyers in university halls and dormitories and email messages to selected department and program coordinators for release to their students (MMSS, economics, sociology, psychology, computer science among others). Next week, printed ads will circulate in the Daily Northwestern.

As of today (September 30), the RA database already has more than 50, fresh, applicants and it will be updated frequently during the fall quarter and regularly throughout the year. To access this list, please point your web browser to:

RA database (faculty access only)

This page is linked from the Research Computing page on "Grants and RAs" (faculty access only). Both this page and the spreadsheet are password protected.

We would like to point out that, following suggestions by some interested faculty members, a couple of questions have been added to the survey this year, including one about students’ enrollment in the Kellogg Certificate Program for Undergraduates. The revised survey is available for your review in the "Grants and RAs" (faculty access only) web page.

Contact these prospective RAs as appropriate -- both their email and phone numbers are listed in the spreadsheet. If you hire one or more of them, please let us know and we will record this in the spreadsheet for the benefit of your colleagues. If students contact you regarding work opportunities, you may direct them to our page on research assistantships so they can fill the RA survey and be part of the RA database.

We hope this facilitates your research.

September 28: Latest Stata Journal (Vol 10, No. 3) is now available.

The latest electronic copy of the Stata Journal are available online .

September 13: Kellogg subject pools hosted by Sona Systems are down.

UPDATE 11:15am: The subject pools are back online.

Kellogg eLab, the Marketing and Economics, and MORS subject pools are down. Sona Systems is working to resolve the issue.

Date: Monday, September 13

Time: 10:30AM CT.

Check for updates on the status of the emergency maintenance.

August 25: Scheduled downtime for TAQ on WRDS grid: September 2, 4PM to 7PM.

WRDS has scheduled downtime for the WRDS Microstructure Data Computing Platform.

Date: Thursday, September 2

Time: 4:00pm-7:00pm ET.

This downtime will affect TAQ usage on the WRDS grid only. Access to TAQ data through the WRDS website will be unaffected.

Please contact wrds-support@wharton.upenn.edu with any questions.

August 19: Scheduled downtime for skew4: September 10, 10AM to 1PM.

The school's Linux server, skew4, will be offline between 10AM and 1PM on Friday, September 10, for maintenance work. Please plan your work accordingly.

August 18: Failed hard drive in skew4.

One of the hard drives in the school's Linux research server, skew4, has failed and it will be replaced today. The rebuild process will take around 8 hours, and users may see some I/O performance degradation during this time. Work can continue uninterrupted in the server.

4PM update: The failed drive finished rebuilding.

August 11: Sheridan Cluster downtime on August 18, 9Am to 2PM.

The Sheridan Cluster will be unavailable on Wednesday, August 18th from 9AM to 2PM to allow us to add new software and carry out upgrades to new versions of current software.

Based on faculty input, we are adding the following software to the Cluster:

  1. SPSS
  2. ArcGIS
  3. ABBYY FineReader

You can view the complete list of available software on the Sheridan Cluster at the following web page: www.wcas.northwestern.edu/sheridan/software.htm

To prepare for this upgrade, you should save all work and log off the Sheridan Cluster by 8AM on the morning of Wednesday, August 18th.

© 2001-2010 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University