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Research Computing

Wesleyan provide a rich set of tools for computing-based research, including high-end linux compute servers and a centralizd high-performance computing cluster, and tutoring services focused on the use of these resources. Faculty interested in using any of these services can consult with their Academic Computing Manager.

  • Windows and Macintosh Desktop Systems

    • The research computing environment provided at Wesleyan is diverse. Academic Affairs provides all faculty with desktop computers (Macintosh or PC) for performing everyday desktop computing tasks (e.g., email, word-processing, student advising). For most faculty, these computers are quite sufficient for research purposes. Read more about Wesleyan's computer replacement policy here.

      In addition, faculty with research labs are free to obtain (with their own funding) computers for their labs and for their graduate and undergraduate lab employees to use. We suggest that you consult with your Academic Computing Manager or Desktop Support Specialist before purchasing equipment so as to ensure maximum compatibility with the services and support provided by Information Technology Services. Wesleyan provides network support and general troubleshooting for lab computers, although they are given lower priority in the request queue than faculty and staff desktop/office computers. Problems relating to the interfacing of lab computers with specialized lab instrumentation are the responsibility of the researcher and the vendor of the equipment.

  • Support of Unix Systems in Academic Departments

    • Unix systems are eligible for support by regular ITS staff, according to the terms listed below. Users are required to have a Local System Administrator for any Unix system. The Local System Administrator is responsible for account and disk management tasks, software installations, and hardware upgrades. Except for emergencies, requests for support should in general come from the assigned Local System Administrator.

      ITS encourages users to consider Linux for their research platform. Staff can provide hardware and operating system purchasing advice for this platform, as well as assist in the initial configuration of the machine.

      • ITS will provide assistance to the Local System Administrator in the initial configuration of a newly acquired Linux/Unix box.
      • The Local System Administrator is responsible for disk management support, software installations, or hardware upgrades.
      • Because of the variety and complexity of scientific Linux/Unix applications, ITS cannot provide application support.
      • If a system has chronic problems, ITS will work with the Local System Administrator to develop a plan to address those problems, but will not take over administration of the system.

      The Unix Systems Group can, on a per-incident basis, be assigned to work with the Local System Administrator on issues of OS upgrades, security patches, and backups, as well as other more advanced issues that are beyond the abilities of the Local System Administrator.  Academic support will be scheduled as time permits.  Central administrative tasks must take precedence over academic support issues.

      1. To schedule assistance with any of the above tasks, send email to the Unix support request queue at acsunix@wesleyan.edu.  Response will be within one business day to determine the extent of the problem and to estimate the time that will be involved in addressing it.
      2. The problem may be addressed immediately, or if that is not possible due the complexity of the issue or other time constraints, an appointment will be scheduled to work on the system.
      3. Support requests are fulfilled on a per-incident basis. Only the issue reported will be addressed. If it is found that a system has chronic problems, ITS will work with the owner of the system to develop a plan to address those problems.

       Requests should be made by email in advance.  In an emergency, contact Henk Meij, Unix Group Manager, 860-570-3783.

  • Central Linux Compute Servers and Accounts
    • Information Technology Services maintains 2 linux compute servers, rintintin and chloe, for high-end research computing. Both systems respond, in random order, to the hostname woodstock.wesleyan.edu.

      These servers run a number of computational applications such as MatLab, Mathematica, SPSS, SAS, IDL and ENVI. Most of these applications use graphic interfaces via X-windows sessions. The campus academic computing labs have cygwin-x available on the Windows systems for display remote clients via SSH. These compute servers to not support XDMCP sessions.  Macintosh OS X supports X11 natively.

      Scratch space is available for transferring large files. Files are automatically deleted from scratch after 3 days of inactivity.

      More information about these systems and how to access them is available at http://condor.wesleyan.edu/woodstock.html

  • Software for Research
    • With a few exceptions, research software, unless it is directly used in teaching, should be purchased with faculty or departmental funds. The commercial software available on the Linux compute servers, described above, are widely used on campus, and are supported financially by ITS. See your  to request software related to instruction.

      One exception though is the campus Qualtrics license. Qualtrics is an easy-to-use but powerful web-based survey tool. For instructions on setting up your own Qualtrics account, please see this document Qualtrics Account Setup Instructions (09192013).