BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana University Vice President for Information Technology and CIO Rob Lowden has announced that as of July 1, 2022, certain commonly used statistical, mathematical, and qualitative analysis software available at IU will be available for students, staff, and faculty to install at no additional cost. Overall, the initiative to cover licensing costs for this large set of software applications is unique within Big 10 universities and is expected to save the university community around $500,000.
“We long have provided access to great software like the Microsoft and Adobe suites,” said Lowden. “Math and statistics software are critical to a wide variety of disciplines that cross every school, so we are pleased to make these important tools even more easily accessible to students.”
Historically, if an individual or department wished to install the software on their own systems, they were required to purchase a one-year lease from the Research Applications and Deep Learning (RADL) group, part of University Information Technology Services (UITS) Research Technologies. Prices ranged from $50 to $175 per license. Alternatively, the IU community could access most software at no charge in the Student Technology Centers, on IU’s research systems, and on IUanyWare.
“Students are by far the most numerous consumers of statistical and mathematical software at IU,” said Scott Michael, UITS director of research software and solutions. “By making the software available to install at no additional cost, we’re allowing them to use the platform that is best for them, or one that’s recommended by their instructor or mentor. We expect to see wide adoption—a similar move with Matlab several years ago saw around a 700 percent increase in local installations.” In 2021, nearly 3,600 undergraduate students used statistical or mathematical software, but fewer than 50 purchased licenses.
Being able to install the software at no cost doesn’t benefit just students, but also departments, who may have been required to budget funds annually to provide the software for their students. This initiative frees up those funds for other purposes, such as research. It will also enable new education, training, and workshop events that were previously cost prohibitive for departments.
“This access to statistical and qualitative analysis software will be a game-changer for the Social Science Research Commons and the social scientists we support,” said Emily Meanwell, director of the Social Science Research Commons at IU Bloomington. “The initiative will make software accessible to researchers who need to work without an internet connection, such as while conducting field research, and make it possible for them to attend our hands-on workshops remotely. We will be able to reallocate resources to supporting other areas of research, rather than using those resources to purchase these basic, but critical, tools.”
In all, the 500+ individuals who currently purchase software, along with departments and schools, will no longer need to pay to access the software. Additionally, the nearly 10,000 people accessing the software on IU’s central systems will now be able to install the software on their own devices at no additional cost.
These applications will be available for installation at no cost to IU students, staff, and faculty:
- SAS JMP
Access to the software installers and license codes will continue to be provided via IUware. There will be no changes to the software available in the STCs or on IUanyWare and the research systems. An IU network ID will be required to access installers and license keys.