Computing and Methods Core

The purpose of the Computing and Methods Core (CMC) is to support computational and data collection needs of researchers, to facilitate collaborative projects, and to provide support for the application of cutting edge methodologies.

Desktop Computing Support

The CMC provides hardware and software support to CPRC faculty and affiliates. Hardware support includes troubleshooting problems, working with service providers for repairs covered by warranty, installation of replacement parts, consulting and assistance with the purchase of new systems. Software support includes coordinating purchases and managing license agreements, and installation and updating of software for virus protection, word processing, database management, and statistical analysis. The CMC also coordinates backup services for faculty and affiliates and their project computers and assists with retrieval of lost files.

Information hub for University wide computing services

The CMC helps researchers access Columbia University resources. CMC provides expertise and resources for population research by centralizing information about existing expertise, strengthening existing and developing new institutional connections, and assisting its faculty and affiliates in connecting with the methodological resources they need.

The CMC inventories and facilitates access to existing methodological resources throughout the Columbia University system; strengthens graduate student, post-doctoral, and junior faculty development in quantitative and qualitative methodologies for population research; provides an institutional home for ethnographic, community-based participatory research and mixed method approaches to population research; and supports the New York City Studies Initiative in developing a multilayered population health database for New York City.

For full details regarding computing services and support, please see the Computer Support section.

Methodological Consulting

The Computing and Methods Core provides consultation for CPRC researchers to connect them to other faculty who are familiar with the methodology they are seeking consultation on. For consultation, please email

Strengthen Training in Quantitative and Qualitative Methodologies

CMC sponsors colloquia and workshops that focus on methodological approaches (quantitative and qualitative) of relevance to population research.

Supporting Computing for Computationally Intensive Analyses

The CMC provides support for computationally intensive computing through a shared partnership with the departments of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Statistics, and Economics plus other groups represented in the Social Science Computing Committee (SSCC); Columbia University Information Technology (CUIT); the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research; and the School of Arts & Sciences. Under that arrangement, CPRC faculty have remote and secure access to a shared High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster.

Data Management

The CMC is dedicated to assisting with all levels of data acquisition and management. The CMC can provide assistance in negotiating licensing arrangements for use of restricted or proprietary datasets and configures secure sites that meet the most stringent data security requirements. The CMC helps researchers develop plans for the secure storage of confidential data and provides restricted Windows-based workstations for use of highly sensitive data.

Secure Data Enclave Pilot Project

The Secure Data Enclave (SDE) pilot system is a virtual computing environment for analysis of sensitive data, including HIPPA protected data. The platform allows remote access to authorized users. A wider deployment is scheduled for early 2016.