Remote Computing for Social Science
Our popular interdisciplinary remote-access research computing service continues to evolve,
mature, and grow. This year we request support from STF for server hardware, high-speed network switches,
and software licenses. As with every CSDE STF proposal we have submitted over the past 10+ years,
we will leverage previously funded infrastructure, equipment, and software licensing paid for by Art and Sciences,
CSDE, and the STF.
The Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology supports UW social science students with all matters
of technical assistance, training, space, and expert consulting in statistics and GIS. We are well known among
students in the social sciences and have a significant number of both undergraduate and graduate students
using our systems. Our partnerships with STF and the College of Arts and Sciences enables us to provide
these widely-used systems. Our broad-based computing platform gets students working on research early,
often in collaboration with faculty researchers and interdisciplinary teams.
Thank you for considering our proposal!
The equipment will be used to provide flexible remote computing services to students from
any location on the planet from a wide variety of mobile and desktop devices - all that is needed is Internet access.
Computing services are available 24/7 and 365 days a year (except for outages planned and unplanned)
The Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology (CSDE) is an interdisciplinary research Center,
supporting all University of Washington students and faculty with interests in demography and/or ecology.
Demographic research covers a broad spectrum of topics, including issues related to health, AIDS, crime, welfare
policy, family, sex roles, race, ethnicity, segregation, gender, inequality, poverty, family planning, and environmental
issues. At present, the Center has affiliate students from many departments and schools on campus including
Anthropology, Sociology, Economics, Geography, Political Science, the Evans School of Public Affairs, the School of
Social Work, the College of Education, the Jackson School of International Studies, Epidemiology, Business School,
and the School of Public Health.
The CSDE Computing Core provides computing infrastructure, technical support, and programming support to
our affiliates, most of whom are full-time graduate students. The Core's objectives are to provide the demography
research community with the following:
1. Secure sensitive data environments for research
2. Secure remote access
3. High-performance computing clusters
4. Demography and statistical software packages
5. In-house support and consulting
6. Training and seminars
7. Web and database programming services
8. Programming support and grant consulting
9. Internal and external communications
10. Bridges between operating system environments
11. System monitoring for high availability
12. Backup and archiving services
13. A Geographical Information Services (GIS) Core
As part of our mandate as a research Center, any student with an interest in demography can become an affiliate
and use CSDE computing services. Because of the lack of resources available at many students' home departments,
CSDE is often a primary source of computing support for graduate students in the Social Sciences.
CSDE's NIH Center Grant provides staff salary support and a small amount of equipment money. CSDE also receives
some computing support funds from UW College of Arts & Sciences and various faculty grants. However, these funding sources
are not sufficient to support our student computing infrastructure on an ongoing basis, so we request some assistance
from the STF Committee to help us support our student population with an exceptional computing infrastructure.
Benefits to Students and the University
CSDE's computing facilities are devoted to demographic research and the needs of students we serve.
The systems allow students to work on projects for their classes, theses and dissertations and other projects.
One thing that distinguishes CSDE from other campus units is that we offer remote access to student files and
statistical software via Windows Terminal Services. Students with CSDE network accounts have the ability to log
on to our servers from anywhere in the world with Internet access. This convenience and flexibility has made the
terminal servers very popular with students.
Funding from previous STF grants has allowed CSDE to offer students the option of working remotely on our
servers using the currently-available CSDE terminal servers. However, the terminal servers tend to become
overcrowded with users. During a typical day, there are between 60 and 100 people connected simultaneously
to *each* terminal server at any given time. Of these, the vast majority are students who are using the systems
for statistical analysis, writing papers, and doing research or field work.
The CSDE Remote access service is the most popular and successful offering from the CSDE Computing core.
So far, with STF's help, we have been able to stay ahead of the demand for capacity - both CPU cycles and
disk storage. This year's proposal is evolutionary, not revolutionary - we're just continuing the arc of expansion
to meet anticipated demand.
As we add server capacity and licenses for commonly used statistical software, we will be able to provide more
powerful computing resources to more students simultaneously. The many users of our terminal servers will notice a
substantial improvement in resource availability because usage will be spread across a greater number of CPUs
on more-modern servers. We believe this will enhance our students' ability to collaborate on research projects and
gain access to useful datasets.
We believe that it is of utmost importance that Social Sciences Students have access to the latest statistical software
packages and tools. These indispensable software packages give students a chance to learn what they will most
likely need for their work and research. The CSDE Terminal Servers provide a unique computing environment which
University of Washington students may use to work from anywhere on their own, flexible schedules. Many students
struggle with commuting and child care issues, and these services allows them to get their work done wherever and
whenever they have the time. The services have become increasingly popular over the years and we are now supporting
more students from more departments than ever before.
Of about 1,300 total accounts:
School and College # of Account
College of Arts & Sciences 417
School of Public Heath 306
Evans of Public Affairs 173
Business School 107
College of Education 57
School of Social Work 53
College of Built Environments 50
School of Medicine 29
College of Engineering 27
College of Environment 23
School of Nursing 18
School of Pharmacy 12
i School 9
Law School 7
College of Arts and Sciences Account Breakdown
Political Science 27
Jackson School 13
The Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology is grateful to the STF committee for entrusting us with the funds to provide students with the essential tools they need to work, learn, and be successful in their fields of study.
Thank you once again for your support of students in the Social Sciences!
--Matt Weatherford, CSDE Computing Core Director
As a faculty member at an affiliated department (Social Work), I'm grateful
to be able to refer students to the CSDE terminal server resources. Having
access to maintained and updated statistical software and enough storage
space for large data sets means that our students can pursue work on
multiple data sets and using different methodologies. Keep up the good
--Jennifer L. Romich, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
Several graduate students used the Terminal Servers to run data analysis for an advanced graduate class I taught last Winter. I'm teaching it again this Winter and expect students in that class will use it again. A graduate student and I have also used the Terminal Servers for research. I think the Terminal Servers are a great benefit to graduate students who do not need to purchase software, but are also not limited by free student versions. Having fast servers is an additional benefit to students because they might not otherwise have access to such hardware. I hope that this resource will continue to grow.
--Brian P. Flaherty, Assistant Professor, Psychology
Terminal server and file server resources are essential for the delivery of student computing in demography. Large datasets are the bread and butter of demography and these datasets are growing in number. In order to maintain student access to existing data and to offer access to new sources of data we must increase our file server capacity. Without this file server we may have to restrict future access and students may face a degrading of performance when many users try to access the same data. The terminal servers have become very useful tools for students to do remote computing. Many of our students work at home or do research in remote field locations. The existing terminal server facilities allow our students no matter where they are located to access their data and run analyses on them using our wide range of statistical and mapping software. Upgrading our oldest and smallest terminal server to a machine with much greater capacity will improve the speed of remote computing and allow more student users to run more programs simultaneously. I strongly encourage the STF committee to fund these needed server upgrades.
--Mark Ellis, CSDE Director (Geography)
I am writing to enthusiasticially support the CSDE Computing Core. My students heavily benifit from the services at CSDE. In fact, most research projects would be impossible without the help of the CSDE Computing Core that we use on a daily basis.
--Hendrik Wolff, Assistant Professor, Economics
I am more than happy to provide an endorsement to the STF Committee
regarding the importance our CSDE server resources. In short, these are
absolutely critical to my students, colleagues, and I being able to get both
our research and academic work accomplished. I work with a large number of
students across a range of projects. The data bases often require privacy
safeguards. Having the capacity for remote access to these data by different
students at different times from different places, all the while with
appropriate restricted access safeguards has proven to be incredibly
important to optimizing their productive time. This also facilitates our
communication; for example, being able to revise commonly used documents and
leave one another important updates, which reduces costly confusion and
error. Use of the server has also helped recently graduated students stay
productively engage in team work after they have moved to another
Another dimension of server resources are the applications that are
available. It is very difficult for students to be able to independently
purchase the range of software packages needed to get all our work done. The
ability to go on to the server and work at night or whenever flexible time
is available, for example, is a huge benefit. I want to add a special note
that we realized we were unable to undertake analysis on one dataset due to
its unique characteristics. CSDE recognized this need, and that it would
benefit other teams and students, and so acquired it in a very timely
manner. The technical support has been very high caliber—promptly dealing
with problems that arise with student and faculty affiliates alike.
In sum, I offer enthusiastic endorsement. Feel free to contact me if there
--Paula Nurius, Professor, School of Social Work
Evans School students make extensive use of the computing resources offered by the STF funded CSDE terminal servers. I strongly support this proposal to improve the CSDE terminal server hardware and software resources vital to UW student research.
--Kole Kantner, Evans School Technology Director
I am writing to support the CSDE Computing Core’s proposal on improving the computing power
and infrastructure of our computing resources. I am an assistant professor of economics and a
research affiliate of the CSDE.
The CSDE server resources have been essential for my students. While a lot of current students are
using the server computers, I would like to write about the experience of my two former Ph.D.
students. The first student, Nalina Varanasi, worked on economics of family, analyzing the
bargaining behavior between married couples. For this research, she had to use huge data sets which
were too large for personal computers. With help of the server resources, she successfully completed
her dissertation. The second student, Rodica Gilles, worked on health economics. She developed a
new estimation technique, and she needed to do a lot of simulation to demonstrate the accuracy of
her new methodology. Without the CSDE server resources, her simulation study may have taken
As a faculty member, I am a frequent user of the CSDE server computer exactly because of the two
reasons I stated above: its large capacity and high speed. For students, I believe that the CSDE
server computers are even more critical for their research.
--Seik Kim, Assistant Professor, Economics
I strongly endorse this proposal. CSDE computing resources for both undergraduate and graduate students are absolutely outstanding, and this proposal will allow CSDE to continue this level of support to students. The software and remote computing that CSDE provides has enabled students to function at high levels of academic scholarship and productivity, with access to a wide range of resources, in a collaborative and secure environment. Students who have worked in my lab, in particular, have enormously benefited from the statistical (and other software) programs available on CSDE terminal servers. Many of the undergraduate and graduate students who have graduated from our programs have gone on to prestigious graduate programs, post-doctoral fellowships, and professorships. I don’t think it is a stretch to say that CSDE computer support for students is among the best in the nation.
--Kathleen O’Connor, Professor, Anthropology
My research, as well as my student’s research and academics, would not be possible without CSDE computational resources and support. We have been using the MOSIX cluster for network modeling projects using the statnet suite of packages in the R programming language for about five years now. Matt Weatherford and Alan Li have been extremely helpful and supportive by helping my students learn how to use the MOSIX and UNIX resources as well as with troubleshooting problems. My students have also use the Linux environments that CSDE maintains, as well as the Windows terminal servers. Lastly, the laptop lending program has also been quite useful. Support from the CSDE computational core has been invaluable for my students.
--Susan Cassels, Assistant Professor, Epidemiology & Global Health
As soon as we receive funding, we will begin planning for acquisition and deployment
of the equipment and the software. When the equipment arrives, it will be set up, tested,
and made available for use in a timely manner and in line with available vendor promotions
Resources Provided by Department
CSDE WINDOWS DOMAIN:
Includes a variety of servers and other resources which provide secure file
storage and transfer, remote computing, web services, print services,
backup and authentication. Total current storage capacity is approximately
120 terabytes (TB). Multiprocessor servers connected
to a 10 gigabit backbone provide high performance remote computing
* Two Silicon Mechanics File servers
- project and home directory file server
- used for student user home directory storage
- used for scratch space for students
- used for roaming profile storage
- funded by previous STF grant
* 2 Silicon Mechanics zstax Disk Array
-used for home directory and project folders for students
-funded by previous STF grant
* IBM Bladecenter HS22 Blades
- used for UNIX / Mosix cluster, terminal servers, and virtual machine ESXi hosts
- supports remote computing sessions
- funded by previous student-initiated STF grant
- Supports virtual machines for student computing
- Special project virtual machines
- CSDE Web server
- Protected computing for student research and confidential datasets
* Dell M620 Blades
- used for simulation cluster
- supports remote computing sessions
- funded by previous STF grant
* Sun Unified Storage 7110 7410C NAS hosting roaming profiles, Virtual Machine disks, and UNIX user home directories, funded by a combination of CSDE and STF funds
*3 SiliconMechanics zStax disk array
- Student User home directories, project storage, etc
- funded by CSDE & STF
* Sun Fire x4100 dual 2.4GHz CPUs
- Windows domain controllers
- funded by CSDE
* Sun Fire x4170 dual 2.2ghz Nehalem CPU's, Quad ethernet, local RAID set, ILOM - (8 separate systems total)
- funded by CSDE
- supports Student UNIX system, administrative systems, firewall, log consolidator, splunk, etc
* Sun Fire T5420 SPARC
- funded by CSDE/A&S
- for Solaris computing/SAS/Stata
* SUN SL48 LTO4 backup tape autoloader
- used for tape backup of CSDE server network
- previous STF grant
* EMC NetWorker Enterprise Backup System
- used to specify and execute data backup and recovery for critical student user data
- funded by a combination of CSDE and STF resources
* 12 Dell Precision T1700 computers for Grad Students
-funded by previous STF grant
*Student Postpcr Lab:
Thin client Workstations with remote access to connect them to
a variety of terminal servers and virtual machines.
- All thin client workstations and equipment were funded by previous
CSDE Fellows & Graduate student offices in Raitt Hall
Library and meeting room in Raitt Hall
Projector for meetings/presentations
- Six HP T5565 Thin client workstations with keyboard/mouse & Widescreen LCD
* LCD monitors
* Epson Document scanner with autofeeder
* HP LaserJet 9050N high-volume network printer
* HP ColorJet 4600N color printer
Access Restrictions (if any)
Any student on campus with an interest in demography will be given access to the Windows domain by simply filling out a web-based form at (http://csde.washington.edu/services/computing/access.shtml). Students will be using their NETID to logon to CSDE Windows terminal servers. One of the primary benefits of the terminal server systems are their availability, which is 24/7, from almost any network-connected computer in the world.
The services I have used through CSDE have been invaluable in grad school.
-Amanda Gilman, School of Social Work
I have been a CSDE terminal server user for more than 5 years. CSDE is invaluable as a resource because it provides up-to-date licenses for multiple statistical software (R SAS STATA) plus linkage to my UW server folder where all my projects are store
-Amy Cizik, School of Pharmacy
The CSDE Computing core has been essential to my graduate school experience. I deeply value the access to expensive yet essential analysis programs -- such as Atlas.ti and Stata -- which I rely on for my graduate school coursework and analyses.
-Anjuli Wagner, Epidemiology
CSDE provides excellent resources for both qualitative and quantitative analysis that can be accessed remotely and utilized regardless of your Operating System. CSDE resources and expertise have proved highly influential throughout my research and studies
-Bourke Betz, Epidemiology
Having access to the CSDE terminal servers has been immeasurably valuable to me in my dissertation work. I value the secure storage and remote access to current software (I mostly use Atlas) which I otherwise would necessarily have to purchase with scar
-Brandon Derman, Geography
We are using the CSDE computing to securely store our research study data and share files among our study team for the Mobile Study. We rely on these resources for the management of documents and data for our research.
-Joanna Bove, Global Health
My personal research in archaeological demography as well various collaborative research involvements requiring common access to shared data have benefited greatly from remote access to CSDE's resources.
-William Brown, Anthropology
CSDE allows me to do research on larger datasets than my department'server can handle. It also allows me to effectively collaborate with individuals outside of my department.
-Chasya Hoagland, Economics
I used CSDE computing service to do my research due to its large computing power and terminal server. I can work from different computers and access my research data easily.
-Yi-An Chen, Economics
CSDE terminal server is vital for me as a graduate student to keep doing a research project in an efficient and effective way. It provides me to get access to many statistical programs that are essential for my work.
-Chiho Song, School of Social Work
CSDE helped me produce and present my senior thesis on EU election effects on public policy. Access to SPSS was invaluable in my research.
-Christopher Cunningham, Business School
Access to CSDE terminal servers is a critical part of my research from use of storage space to access to programs which otherwise would be cost prohibitive to obtain personally. I used CSDE computing services in my time as a graduate student at UW and co
-David Sharrow, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
It's beyond crucial to my graduate school education to be able to access STATA remotely
-Eli Lieberman, Evans School of Public Affairs
CSDE computing support services have been invaluable to my doctoral education and research. I have been able to utilize statistical software (e.g. Stata v. 13) to conduct structural equation modeling that I would have been unable to do on my own.
-Charles Hoy-Ellis, School of Social Work
The CSDE computing has been a critical part of finishing my dissertation research. Specifically this includes access to critical software not only on campus but also from my home or field location.
-Erik Gjesfjeld, Anthropology
CSDE Computing has been essential to my work as an Epidemiology graduate student. I can't imagine how I would be able to complete my coursework without their terminal servers offering access to statistical software.
-Griffith Bell, Epidemiology
I have used the CSDE terminal server throughout graduate school. The server has provided me excellent statistical software to work anywhere around the world. Using the software provided by this server I published 8 manuscripts and over 30 presentation
-SHARON HSU, School of Medicine
Csde computing service is very important and helpful for my research and I would be continue using it for research purpose.
-Hui Mai, Economics
CSDE has been instrumental in completing several assignments remotely. I use the software on their servers regularly and they are fast and reliable. It would be very difficult to work and attend school simultaneously without CSDE computing.
-Jacob Brett, Evans School of Public Affairs
The software the CSDE provides me is invaluable as I work through my doctoral program. I would be unable to conduct the statistical analysis and have easy access to shared projects without this service.
-Jessica Rodriguez-Jenkins, School of Social Work
I use the CSDE terminal servers for all of my research. The software and data storage provided by CSDE are critical to my research. I also use the SIM clusters for more complicated models and larger datasets.
-Jennifer Laird, Sociology
I use CSDE terminal servers software and storage for my major academic projects -- MA thesis PhD dissertation.
-Jeanine Schmitz, Sociology
CSDE has been integral in allowing me access to statistical programs so I can run and finish data analyses related to my dissertation and other research projects. They are necessary for so many students and their services are much appreciated.
-Jacquelyn Harvey, Communication
I have benefited tremendously from the use of the terminal servers. Without this access I would need to spend a considerable amount of money purchasing the software needed to complete my dissertation.
-JACQUELINE MEIJER-IRONS, Evans School of Public Affairs
I appreciate the access to expensive and highly specialized software available on CSDE servers. As a student it is useful to learn to use software before committing the resources to buy my own licenses.
-Kristjana Asbjornsdottir, Epidemiology
The CSDE computing services have been incredibly helpful for my research. It has made it much easier to coordinate work across our team and has every software that I could need to conduct my analyses. I really appreciate this resource for students.
-Logan Kendall, School of Medicine
I work with a research center affiliated with the UW. The CSDE Computing center is vital in allowing us to store access share and analyze sensitive data in an IRB-approved way.
-Lindsey Aitcheson, Sociology
It is a huge benefit that I can access to MATLAB installed Linux machine which is hard to find compared to other os. This will help to share compiled matlab data with other collaborators.
-MISAKI OUCHIDA, Anthropology
CSDE Computing provided me with essential tools to conduct my research. The variety of software packages allowed me to run complex statistical model in a reasonable timeframe.
-Florian Muenkel, Business School
The CSDE computing services is a valuable resource for students to utilize software that is often beyond their means for research. I greatly appreciate their willingness to share their resources amongst all other schools.
-Michael Nguyen, School of Medicine
CSDE computing infrastructure is pivotal to the work I do in educational and sociological research. The ability to access software using the remote desktop connection permits flexibility and convenience.
-Nathanael Brown, Center for education data and research
Organization analysis and security of my dissertation research has been made possible through CSDE computing. They provide priceless resources to doctoral students. I am very grateful.
-SHANNON PETZ, School of Nursing
CSDE Computing has aided my work on research projects by allowing me to access GIS and statistical software on the terminal servers that I will occasionally need for my own projects that I don't normally have access to and don't have the additional fundin
-Isaac Rhew, School of Medicine
Thank you very much using the terminal services from abroad allowed me to work with sensitive criminology data when studying in Beijing. The web hosting services allowed the Vignette Survey project research group to add features to a social science surve
-Richard Callahan, Sociology
I could not complete my dissertation research without CSDE. Not only do they provide secure storage for the data but they have the statistical programs that I need to analyze the data.
-Amelia Derr, School of Social Work
CSDE Computing provides an opportunity to conduct long-term research projects without the expense of setting up and maintaining a dedicated server. It is a highly valuable tool for social science researchers particularly those interested in opportunities
-Kevin Shotwell, College of Arts and Sciences
I cannot imagine completing research projects without the CSDE computing services. The terminal servers allow me to work on several team projects that use multiple types of analytic software. I greatly appreciate knowing my work is password protected and
-Sara Green, School of Social Work
I could not do my research without the computing power and statistical software provided by CSDE.
-Stephanie Lee, Sociology
It has helped me be able to work remotely with software that is not offered in my departments computer lab. It has saved a lot of time and stress.
-CHARLES BOWERS, College of Forest Resources
CSDE computing has been instrumental in providing access to cutting edge resources that have enabled me to complete several research projects in addition to my dissertation.
-Tiffany Brown, College of Education
Although I have access to two additional terminal servers housed at the University of Washington's main campus I would be lost without access to the CSDE server. It is consistently reliable and contains a host of up-to-date statistical analysis packages
-Brian Serafini, Sociology
CSDE Terminal Server and SIM Cluster is a very useful resource for many Economics Graduate students. They have essential software and the computational capacity.
-WunHo Lee, Economics
I could not possibly be as productive or as accomplished of a researcher without the support and tools provided by CSDE. The computing services provided by CSDE Computing are invaluable.
-Tyler Scott, Evans School of Public Affairs
|Social Science Software Package||$15,000.00||1||$15,000.00|
|Software License for Services||$15,000.00||1||$15,000.00|
software uses compression to tunnel X11 graphical content via an SSH connection across the internetJustification
Allows remote users to connect to a full GUI desktop Linux session on a powerful remote host
|zState Sales Tax||$26,415.00||1||$26,415.00|
Total requested: $301,575.00
Total funded: $0.00
Are you sure you want to discard votes and partials for this proposal?