RCE Support

The Research Computing Environment provides free, remote, persistent access to a powerful cluster of servers to use statisticial software and perform other research computing tasks.  Our User Services team is ready to help you create an account or help you if you have any problems using the RCE.   Please contact us via email support@help.hmdc.harvard.edu

RCE Account and Affiliate Definition

Research Computing Environment (RCE) accounts - Provides access to the following resources:
        RCE desktop
        Other HMDC-managed login and computer servers
        Concurrent Versioning System (CVS) repositories

We are happy to provide account to qualified requesters; however, for purposes of accounting and administration, these accounts must conform to the policies described on this site. These policies are enforced programmatically during the account creation process and cannot be overridden by administrators.


Definition of Affiliates

Affiliates are defined as members of the following groups:

    Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS)
    Center for Government and International Studies (CGIS)
    Faculty members of FAS social science departments and research centers
    Faculty members from Harvard's other schools in social science research
    Sponsored, approved MIT faculty and their research assistants
    Sponsored visitors

If you are a member of an affiliated group but are pursuing research in a field outside of the social sciences, and are interested in using our services, please contact us. We can work with you to determine whether we can meet your research needs.

RCE accounts are subject to renewal requirements and password strength requirements.

Please contact us if you are interested in obtaining an RCE account.

RCE Accounts

When you request an RCE account, usernames will conform to the following specifications:

    Composed of the first initial followed by the first seven characters of the last name
    No more than eight characters in length
    No nonalphabetic characters
    No spaces
    All lowercase

RCE account passwords must conform to the following restrictions:

    At least eight characters in length
    Not based on any common dictionary word
    No spaces
    Contains at least two numbers
    Contains at least two special (nonalphanumeric) characters

The Harvard PIN Service has helpful guidelines for picking a strong password.

Please contact us for more information.

RCE Account Renewal

All RCE accounts have a renewal date; this is required by administrative and security best practices. Renewal dates are selected based on the estimated end times of users' projects. These can be adjusted as schedules change, though as a general rule accounts are up for renewal at least once every year. When you see an account renewal message, please respond to it. HMDC staff need to know whether you will require continued use of your account after the expiration date, and if so, for roughly how long.

Passwords to RCE accounts also have expiration dates, which are separate from the account renewal dates. Passwords expire every six months and must be changed to ensure uninterrupted access. When you see a password expiration message, please use the included link to change your password, or visit this link: HMDC Account Self Service

If you are unable to do so, please contact us and ask that your password be reset.

RCE Documentation

Extensive documentation is available on the Research Computing Environment (RCE) site.