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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Upgrading the Social Science Computing Cooperative’s “Linstat” Computing Cluster and Research Cyberinfrastructure


The Social Science Computing Cooperative (SSCC) has supported researchers at UW-Madison who use statistical analysis in their work for more than 30 years. Members choose to join the Cooperative to pool resources and share the services provided. Most SSCC memberships are sponsored by member units: Center for Demography and Ecology, Center for Demography of Health and Aging, Center on Wisconsin Strategy, Department of Economics, Institute on Aging, Institute for Research on Poverty, School of Human Ecology, School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Sociology, and University of Wisconsin Survey Center. Individual Memberships are also available.

The primary services provided by SSCC are:

  • Winstat, an easy-to-use Windows-based cluster of servers for running small to medium jobs
  • Linstat, a cluster of Linux servers for running large jobs
  • Condor, a small HTCondor pool specially configured for data analysis, for running large numbers of small to medium jobs
  • Silo, a secure computing environment for analyzing HIPAA and other sensitive data
  • Statistical consulting
  • Training on statistical computing and statistical software
  • General IT Support for users in the Sewell Social Sciences Building and the UW Survey Center, including support for desktops, laptops, etc.

This project supports purchase of four new servers for the Linstat system, upgrading of memory of the four existing Linstat servers and purchasing a replacement VMware host (virtual machines). SSCC’s Linstat cluster is designed for the largest jobs SSCC researchers run, in terms of both computation and working with big data. It is the capacity of Linstat that determines the limits of what SSCC researchers can do.


James Walker, professor of economics 


Andrew Arnold, director of the Social Science Computing Cooperative


Russell Dimond, associate director of the Social Science Computing Cooperative

Ryan Horrisberger, technical services manager of the Social Science Computing Cooperative

Dan Bongert, lead Linux system administrator for the Social Science Computing Cooperative


Social Science Computing Cooperative