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Research Computing Support

Research Software

The names of each software package in the table below are linked to descriptions of what it is, where you can run it, how you can learn it, and where you can get support.

Type of Software Full Support Minimal Support
Data Acquisition & Web Surveys NVivo, Qualtrics LabVIEW
Data Mining R, SAS, SPSS KNIME
Graphics & Visualization ATLAS.ti, MATLAB, NVivo, R, SPSS Graphics, SAS/Graph Origin, SAS/IML Studio, SigmaPlot, Stata
Image Analysis ATLAS.ti, ImageJ, MATLAB, NVivo, RQDA Miner
Mapping & Geographic Information Systems ESRI ArcGIS
Qualitative Analysis
(see also Text Mining)
ATLAS.ti, NVivoQDA Miner
Scientific, Engineering, Mathematics ChemDraw, Mathematica, MATLAB Maple, Origin
Statistics JMPR, SAS, SPSSAmos HLM, LISREL, Mplus, SamplePower, Stata
Text Mining NVivoWordStat, R SAS Text Miner, SPSS Text Analytics for Surveys
There are four ways you can use research software at UT: licensed on your computer, in the OIT Computer Labs running on a PC or Mac computer, from our Windows Terminal Server called Apps@UT (, or our high performance Newton Linux Cluster.

If you own a computer and the software you need is available at a price you can afford, you may prefer running software on it. See a comprehensive listing of software available for departmental purchase through OIT.

The OIT computer labs have an extensive selection of software available on PCs and Macs and are open to students, faculty, and staff for free. Faculty can also reserve labs for class use from that web page. See a list of software, hardware, and locations in OIT computer labs.

Our Apps@UT system lets you run software as if it was installed on your own computer or on a computer in the labs. Actually, the software runs on a powerful server, and it only displays an image of it on your computer. You can open and save files on your local disk drive and print to your local printer. You can learn the simple steps to use this system by reading How to Use Apps@UT. This server is free for students, faculty, and staff on the UT Knoxville campus.

Our Newton Linux Cluster is our most powerful system with over a thousand processors. However, it does require learning a way of working that is generally considered harder than using a desktop computer.

Choosing a Package

When you have a research problem to solve, you will of course want to find the software best suited to the problem itself and to your computing resources.

A very important consideration in choosing software is the type of computer you prefer. Due to the wide popularity of Microsoft Windows, all of the packages above are available for it. However, many of the packages are either not available on Mac and Linux computers, or are available with a limited feature set. Any computer you use can run the software we make available on our Windows Terminal Server and our UNIX systems. On the Mac, both VMware Fusion and Parallels usually run Windows software well. Booting a Mac or Linux system directly into Windows usually guarantees full compatibility.

When using a complex software package, sooner or later you will have questions about how to get the most out of it. You should ensure that the package you choose has support available at the level of depth, cost, and timeliness to meet your needs. You may get support from colleagues, Internet discussion lists, vendor web pages or support lines, or from our consultants.

Finally, cost is an important factor. Much of the software described below is centrally funded at UT. That means it is free as long as you are using it for internal teaching and research. Using any proprietary software (i.e. not free and open source) for the benefit of outside organizations, even non-profits or any government agency, requires a commercial license. The only exceptions to this rule are federal agencies whose only purpose is to fund scientific research, such as NSF, NIH, and DOE. Commercial licenses often cost between $500 and $15,000.

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