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Re: st: experience with STATA for student use

From   Alan Acock <>
To   <>
Subject   Re: st: experience with STATA for student use
Date   Mon, 24 Mar 2008 08:30:36 -0700

We have State IC, SE, and ME(4 processors) on servers. For most instruction
the IC version is fully adequate and Stata lets us put it on a server at a
very low cost compared to other comprehensive statistical packages. We
recently removed SAS from our server and SPSS is outrageously expensive on a

One potential problem is that the server's administrator needs to restrict
access to any areas that could cause a problem for other users. This means
that an end user cannot use ssc install xxx, adoupdate, update, etc. to save
to the original locations. A work around this for ado files is to show
students how to change where the ado files are stored so they are in an area
where the user has read/write access. This is important because students who
discover useful user written Stata commands really get into the excitement
of learning using Stata.

I have a lab where 25 students work on analysis using real datasets (about
1,000-5,000 observations and there do not seem to be any problems with
delays. This same server is opened to many other potential users and I don't
know how many are on it at the same time.

The menus make Stata easy for students (& often myself) who can't remember a
command option. 

We also participate in the grad plan which is really priced competitively. I
was surprised that most students, even graduate students, seem to prefer
working on the server rather than buying their own copies through the grad
plan. One reason is a lot of students are cheap. Another reason is that a
lot of students find it easier to use an available computer than to carry a
laptop around all the time. I've find students at coffee shops and at
international professional meetings using Stqta on our server. They may also
like the way their data is backed up properly on a server.

I think my students like to work with real data and this limits Small Stata.
As long as your students are happy with the restrictions of small Stata, it
certainly does all the statistics you will need.

Alan Acock

On 3/24/08 6:12 AM, "P. Rao Sahib" <> wrote:P. Rao Sahib

> Dear Stata users, I am exploring the option of using STATA for teaching
> for a senior bachelor level/master level course. I am curious about the
> experiences of others at universities  with using STATA for teaching.
> EVIEWS (an econometric software package) is already installed in the
> student computer labs so acquiring any additional competing software
> needs justification. I prefer STATA as my students work mainly with
> panel data models and EVIEWS seems very time-series oriented (and has
> fewer internet resources to learn more about the program).  I would
> happy for any tips/advice regarding using STATA on student networks,
> Gradplan or using small STATA.
> Dr. Padma Rao Sahib
> Department of International Economics and Business
> Faculty of Economics and Business
> University of Groningen
> Groningen, The Netherlands
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