Computing Resources

This page describes computing resources available to researchers in the department.

Getting Help

Our primary point of contact for desktop IT support is the Faculty of Science IT Support Team. You can submit a request for support here (click on the "Statistics and Actuarial Science" queue). Requests for support for the Unix network, including Fedora desktops, may be submitted by email to Requests can also be made at the eSupport page. (Note that eSupport is the newer Request Tracker system used by all of IT Services and various other groups on campus, replacing gripe.) See the Research Computing Group webpage for more information.

Unix servers

The departmental Unix computers are maintained by the IT Services Research Computing Group.  Our access to the research computing network is controlled by membership to the departmental mailing lists stat-fac, stat-grad and stat-visitors-sessionals. If you are a member of one of these lists, you have access to the network. Users new to Unix might consult a beginners Unix tutorial

Login server

Login, or "terminal" servers, are computers you can access using an ssh client, such as PuTTY. Use these login servers to copy files to and from the network, access the compute servers, etc. A new Linux terminal server was set up in January, 2020:


For more information see this webpage.

Compute servers

Researchers have access to high-performance computing and large-scale storage facilities. For the most up-to-date information, please visit the Research Computing Group’s High Performance Computing page as well as the Compute Canada website.

Software Modules

Software on the Unix network is maintained through so-called modules. For a list of available modules, type module avail  from the Unix command line. To use software such as R, you must first load the relevant module. E.g., typing

module load LANG/R/4.0.3

from the Unix command line loads the module containing R version 4.0.3. You can then type R from the Unix command line to start R. 

Statistics Software

SFU students, staff and faculty may download a copy of SAS, JMP, SPSS, and more for free from the SFU IT Services Software Download Page.