Software Help

The links below lead to the websites for various software packages used in courses. Click on your software of choice.

Data Desk

Data Desk is a user friendly statistical package with special facilities for exploration and visualization. It is used in "Introduction to Statistics" courses. Student copies come bundled with courses texts. Check the Data Desk web site for trial copies and more information about Data Desk. This software is supported by our teaching assistants and is illustrated in the introductory Statistics sequence. When using Data Desk in more advanced courses, check the Data Desk web site to be sure it offers the capabilities needed.


Many people use the functionality provided in Excel's Analysis Toolpak for basic statistical analysis. Excel's native capabilities will not handle all the assignments in the Introduction to Statistics courses, particularly those concerned with visualization and exploration of data. If you are going to continue with more advanced statistics, you will need to supplement Excel with a dedicated statistical software program, or a statistical add-in for Excel that is suited to your needs. Several courses in resampling and data mining also use Excel add-ins.

R (and the S family)

R is free implementation of the S language for statistics. It does basic statistics, resampling, regression, logistic regression, GLM and GEE (this list includes available user-written routines). To obtain a free copy or to receive more information about R visit the R Project website: R uses a command-line interface. R Commander is a free graphical user interface for R and can also be obtained from the R Project website. It does basic statistics. To obtain a free copy or to receive more information about R Commander visit the R Commander website. S-PLUS is a commercial graphical user interface for S. To receive more information about S-PLUS visit the S-PLUS website. At this time we offer only enough examples to get you through Introduction to Statistics for Beginners using R Commander or S-PLUS. You can use these GUIs to get a gentle introduction to the S language.



MINITAB is a general statistical and graphical analysis package. It can do various general analyses including time series. A free 30 day trial version of this software (version 15) is available to students enrolled in certain courses at To download the 30 day trial version of Minitab 15, click here and carefully follow the on screen instructions. For more information about MINITAB, visit the MINITAB website: . This software is supported by our teaching assistants.

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