Computing Resources


For a recent overview of the computing resources, see the slides from the 2014 computing seminar.

Getting Help

Our primary point of contact for desktop IT support is the Faculty of Science IT Support Team. You can submit a request for support here. Requests for support for the Unix network, including Fedora desktops, may be submitted by email to See the Gripe Helpdesk page for more information on submitting a gripe.

Unix servers

The departmental Unix computers are part of FASnet, a computer network maintained by the IT Services Research Computing Group.  Our access to FASnet is controlled by membership to the departmental mailing lists stat-fac, stat-grad and stat-visitors-sessionals. If you are a member of one of these lists, you have access to the following login and compute servers. Users new to Unix might consult a locally-hosted Unix tutorial.

Software modules

Software on the Unix network is maintained through what are called modules. For a list of available modules, type module avail from the Unix command line. To use software, such as R, you must first load the relevant module; e.g., typing

module load LANG/R/3.3.1

from the Unix command line loads the module containing R version 3.3.1. You can now type R from the Unix command line to start R. 

Login servers

Login, or "terminal" servers are computers you can access using an ssh client, such as PuTTY. Use these login servers to copy files to and from the network, access the compute servers, etc.


Compute servers

FASnet users have access to the Colony Cluster for high-performance computing. For the most up-to-date information on the Colony Cluster, please visit the SFU HPC Wiki. There is also a getting started with the cluster page with some examples of potential interest for statistics.


Statistics Software

SFU students, staff and faculty may download a copy of SAS, JMP, Splus, SPSS PASW, and more for free from the SFU IT Services Software Download Page.

Other computing related links

  • Using IMSL on the FASnet (obsolete guide)
  • SFU IT Services
  • WestGrid, a high performance computing (HPC), collaboration and visualization infrastructure across western Canada.