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DSS lab consultation schedule
Sep 1-Nov 1By appt. here
Nov 4-Dec 13Walk-in, 2-5 pm*
Dec 16-Jan 31Walk-in/appt. here
Feb 3-May 8Zoom/WASE virtual walk-ins
May 11-Aug 31By appt. here
For quick questions email
*No appts. necessary during walk-in hrs.
Note: the DSS lab is open as long as Firestone is open, no appointments necessary to use the lab computers for your own analysis.

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DSS lab schedule, Zoom consultation hours (subject to change without prior notice).

Please reserve your time on the WASE link for the day (Zoom video link included in the WASE reservation).

Consulting services during the COVID-19 pandemic

Given the current situation regarding the COVID-19, DSS services are moving to online-only through email and Zoom consultations.

Email consultations have proven to be the best way to provide remote assistance. You can email your questions at Consider the following when requesting assistance through email:

  1. Please indicate the software you are using.
  2. Please make sure to be as detailed as possible on what you need.
  3. If you are running a procedure and got an error, please include the error message or a screenshot of what you were trying to do (make sure to include the code).
  4. If your question is about regression interpretation, make sure to include a screenshot of the regression output, and a brief description of the variables in the model.
  5. If your question is about model design/selection, please include your research question and a brief background of what you are trying to do.
  6. If your question is about data visualization, please provide a brief description of what you are trying to display (include a screenshot of the model or descriptive statistics if possible).
  7. Please consider that response time may vary given the volume of requests, the earlier you can contact us, the better.

Make sure to check DSS online resources at

Stand-alone short-term Stata license

OIT, and some departments, have made available short-term Stata licences that can be installed on laptops. To get your license contact OIT at

Having your own Stata installed in your hard drive allows you to keep working with your data without any VPN connection to the University, but you might need to copy your data from the H drive to your hard drive. Here are some steps to connect to your H drive:

  1. VPN to the University using GlobalProtect, see here The portal address is
  2. If you have a Mac, see instructions here
  3. If you have Windows, see instructions here

Once you connect, most of you should have an icon with your username and the word ‘alias’, that is a shortcut to your H drive, click on it and the H drive folder will open. Once opened, just copy what you need to your hard drive. Just make sure you will have enough space in your hard drive as some of you have big datasets already.

If you do not have enough space in your hard drive, you can either copy them to an external hard drive or stay connected the network and work as usual. The only difference you won’t have the issues you had with the Nobel version but, depending on your WiFi, you may have speed issues.

If you do not see the alias icon, then the H drive is in your ‘finder’ or Windows Explorer as a drive that starts with something like ‘files//:….” or "files.princeton...", click on it and copy the files.

On using Stata from Nobel server

For those students using Stata from Nobel server consider the following:

  1. Make sure you have installed GlobalProtect (VPN connection), see here The portal address is This will also allow you to access DSS data sources restricted to Princeton students, faculty, and staff.
  2. If you are running out of space in your H drive, send a request for more to OIT by email them at This is important, because you won't be able to run Stata from Nobel if you do not have enough space in your H drive, you will get the following error message:
    • "X11 connection rejected because of wrong authentication.
    • (xstata-se:42220): > Gtk-WARNING **: 20:05:35.756: cannot open display: localhost:12.0" [Source: Research Computing]
  3. Before leaving campus, visit the OIT Tech Clinic at 112 Frist Campus Center (M-F, 9-5 pm) to make sure your Stata setup is working properly or to set it up if you do not have it.
  4. Before login to Nobel make sure to have installed and/or running XMing (if Windows) or XQuartz (if Mac), see bullet point 5.a below.
  5. For additional instructions for Stata on Nobel see:
  6. If Stata through Nobel is not available, you can use Stata through Adroit, see here for instructions
  7. For those using R, Adroit also offers an option
  8. Python and MATLAB are also available through Adroit (see access instructions in the links above).

Remote desktop connection

For those who need to do remote desktop connection, once you are in the Princeton network:

  1. If you have a Mac visit this site for instructions:
  2. If you have a Windows laptop use "Remote Desktop Connection" app already installed

When using remote desctop connection, you will need the name of the PC you are trying to access.

Please do not hesitate in contacting us for any questions regarding data sources, data analysis, or data visualization.

Consulting services

Statistical consulting services are available to currently enrolled/employed members of Princeton University. DSS consultants provide statistical and software assistance in quantitative analysis of electronic data as part of independent research projects, such as junior papers, senior theses, term papers, dissertations, and scholarly articles. We advise about the choice and application of quantitative methods, the conversion of data from one format to another, and the interpretation of statistical analyses. The statistical packages supported are Stata, SPSS, and R.

The lab is very crowded from February to April with primarily juniors and seniors working on their junior paper or senior thesis. Please plan ahead if you need extensive assistance.

NOTE: We do not provide assistance with homework assignments, problem sets or take-home exams but students are welcome to use our online resources, tutorials and computing resources.


The DSS computer lab is located at A-12-G (A-floor, click here for a map) in Firestone Library


The lab is open when Firestone Library is open. If you would like to use lab computers and do not need assistance, you may come in anytime when the library is open. Assistance is provided according to the staffing schedule posted on the sidemenu on the left. If you need assistance but can not come during the staffed hours, please email . When requesting an appointment, and to make the most out of it, please provide as much information as possible so we can better plan a way to help you.

Making the most from the consultation

Before coming to the lab:

    At an earlier stage in your research:

  • Have a feasible research question, click here for some tips on crafting research questions
  • Try to locate the data you need, click here for some tips on finding data
  • Identify the variables relevant your research question.
  • Use the coodebook to understand your data
  • Unlike homework assignments independent research can't be done overnight. JPs, senior theses, term papers, dissertation take time and resources. Once you define your research question you need to get the data, select the variables, clean and prepare them for analysis, select the model, interpret the results, write the conclusions. So, plan ahead and start as early as possible.

  • During or at a later stage in your research:

  • Make sure your advisor is on board and approves what you want to do. Remember, he or she will grade your work!
  • DSS consultants can guide you throughout your research but you are responsible for what goes into your paper.
  • Have a plan for your project as a whole. A written time-line and "to-do" list will be veryhelpful. During busy times, consultants may not be able to give as much personalized attention, so knowing specifically what you need to ask will make your time more efficient.
  • Keep a log of everything you do related to your research, even steps that did not work. This will come in handy by the time you write the final version of your paper and, most importantly, the methodology section.


DSS Computing resources


  • 13 PCs w/Windows 7 and 28" monitors
  • 1 Scanner (click here for instructions on how to use. Must bring USB to extract scanned files)
  • Printer

Statistics software

  • Stata 9-14 (32/64 bit) (also available in all OIT clusters)
  • SPSS 18 (PASW), click here for more info
  • SAS
  • R, RStudio
  • Python 2.7/3.6 (Anaconda suite)

Conversion software

  • Stat/Transfer (click here for instructions on how to use)

Compression software

  • 7-Zip (freeware)

From PDF to Excel/Word

  • OmniPage 18 (OCR text recognition, only in the computer attached to the scanner. Must bring USB to extract files). Click here for instructions on how to use.
This page was last updated on March 18, 2010