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RE: st: RE: experience with STATA for student use

From   "Verkuilen, Jay" <>
To   <>
Subject   RE: st: RE: experience with STATA for student use
Date   Wed, 26 Mar 2008 11:15:05 -0400

Alan Acock wrote:

>>We now teach Stata first. Some students work with faculty who insist
they use SPSS. The students who learn Stata first tend to have a similar
response to yours. They think SPSS is complicated, tedious, and the
output is badly designed.<<

There are a few programs that SPSS has that are really good (PROXSCAL is
the only really "modern" MDS program based on the work of Willem Heiser
and Patrick Groenen, and there are a few other "gems" including the
syntax-only MANOVA and some of the data management facilities), but by
and large "complicated, tedious and the output is badly designed" is a
fine description. It's also *expensive* and, in their infinite wisdom,
SPSS corporation feels that grad students aren't entitled to the full

It's got facilities to make things sensible, e.g., journaling to save
syntax, but most people don't know about it. 

I know this is preaching to the choir here, but weaning students off a
program that is becoming more and more unavailable to academia at a
reasonable price when there are solid alternatives like Stata which have
top-notch tech support. 


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