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Re: st: experience with STATA for student use

From   Russell Dimond <>
Subject   Re: st: experience with STATA for student use
Date   Tue, 25 Mar 2008 14:28:25 -0500

On our Windows servers and lab PCs we put a in the Stata program directory which sets the PLUS and PERSONAL directories to locations in the user's home directory on the network. This allows students to install packages at will without causing trouble for other users. (Linux Stata does this by default.) We have to run the official updates though.

Our servers are faster than most student computers, accessible from anywhere, backed up every night, and cost students nothing. I don't see any reason for them to buy their own software until they leave and thus lose access to us, and most don't.

Stata gets a lot of use in undergrad courses here.

Russell Dimond
Research Computing Specialist
Social Science Computing Cooperative
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Alan Acock wrote:

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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