Computing Facilities

The Harvard Chan School operates its own Instructional Computing Facility (ICF) dedicated to serving the dissertation, course work, and academic computing needs of students and faculty. It is located on the lower level of the Kresge Building in rooms LL-6, LL-15 and LL-19. The Administrative Office may be reached by calling 617-432-4357. The User Assistance line may be reached by dialing 617-432-3165.

ICF provides free academic computing and data processing resources in a distributed computing environment. Resources include 150 Dell PC’s running on a Novell Network and a wide array of software including Microsoft Office, PC-SAS, STATA, Smltree, Loglin, S-Plus, ARCView, Endnote and anit-virus software. Laser printing is available at a modest fee for service basis after an initial free quota is depleted. A fax machine and a scanner are also available in the ICF.

All of the Harvard Chan School buildings are wired for high speed data networking and wireless access, and connections can be made to the university’s data network, as well as to the INTERNET and the Web. The School utilizes Harvard branded Gmail accounts for students for e-mail and calendaring, and the system is provided at no cost. Students can access their e-mail through PC’s in the microlab, or kiosk stations located around the school. E-mail can also be accessed from home or anywhere on the internet using just a web browser on any PC or Mac.

The facility is open daily throughout the entire year. During the academic year, a knowledgeable staff of user assistants is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to advise and assist with computing questions and problems. Teaching assistants from courses which have computing assignments are also available. Telephone support, walk-in consultations, documentation, and short introductory courses and seminars are offered during the year on how to utilize available hardware and software.

Users of the facility should note that commercial software and databases are protected by copyright laws and license agreements. Users are expected to abide by the restrictions inherent in these contractual agreements. These restrictions include prohibitions against the following:

a) copying programs for use on other systems
b) distribution or resale of programs outside Harvard
c) use of programs for non-educational purposes or for financial gain
d) altering or disclosure of program source code

Illegal copies of software may not be used on machines owned by the school, and copy protected software owned by the facility may not be illegally duplicated.

Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA)

New DMCA laws have extended copyright protection to additional forms of electronic materials such as music and videos.All I/T users at HSPH should note that it is a violation of Federal copyright law to copy, share, or transmit these materials through the Harvard network utilizing mechanisms such as Napster, Gnutella, Morpheus, or other similar systems.

Harvard University Technology Resources Policy (excerpts)
1) Access to and use of technology resources at Harvard University are provided to members of the Harvard community to assist in fulfilling the education, research, and service missions of the university. Such resources include e-mail, telephone, voicemail, computer hardware and software, Internet access, and the campus computer network. All technology resources and their components or peripheral parts are the property of Harvard University. All users have the responsibility to use those resources in an efficient, ethical, and legal manner. Access to such resources is limited to authorized users and is for approved purposes only.
2) As has been the custom with the telephone, it is permissible to use these facilities for incidental personal purposes. Incidental personal use is permitted so long as it does not interfere with job performance, consume significant time or resources, interfere with the activities of others, or otherwise violate this policy, the rules of the Harvard Chan School, or other university policies.

3) University technology resources should not be used in connection with lobbying or political campaigns. In addition, such resources should not be used for private business or commercial activities, except where such activities are otherwise permitted under applicable university policies.
4) I/T users should note that distribution, storage, or viewing of pornography on university computers violates the Technology Resources Policy.


Harvard neither sanctions nor censors individual expression of opinion on its systems. The same standards of behavior, however, are expected in the use of electronic mail as in the use of telephones and written and oral communication. Therefore electronic mail, like telephone messages, must be neither obscene nor harassing. Similarly, messages must not misrepresent the identity of the sender and should not be sent as chain letters or broadcast indiscriminately to large numbers of individuals. This prohibition includes unauthorized mass electronic mailings. For example, e-mail on a given topic that is sent to large numbers of recipients should in general be directed only to those who have indicated a willingness to receive such e-mail.

You may find a more complete listing of the I/T policies of the Harvard Chan School and the university on the School web site at /information-technology/hsph-it-policies/ .Instructional Computing Facility information can be found under the Student Computing tab.

For further information about the Instructional Computing Facility, call the User Assistance office at 617-432-3165.

Additional Computing Resources

Many individual departments in the school provide additional computing resources for students in their department. Students should check with their department administrators to determine what resources are available to them.

Funded research computing accounts are available in Cambridge on FAS’s High Performance Computing Cluster for a fixed annual fee.

Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT) is Harvard’s central computing organization which offers members of the university many additional services (some for a fee), such as classes on various computer topics, user groups, technical support, and discounts on hardware and software purchases.