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Computing Resources

CEE Computer Teaching Cluster

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering supports a shared computing teaching cluster with Windows PCs.

The teaching cluster is available to students currently enrolled in the department's courses. This cluster is ONLY for use with courses taught in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. It is NOT for other university classes or research use or general engineering use or personal use. Please use other clusters/computers available around the campus. Computer Cluster FAQ (PDF)


Additional computer resources

Stanford users also have access to a variety of central computing resources provided by other university units.



Q. I will be a new student at Stanford in the Fall. What computer should I get?

A. Students in Structural Engineering and Geomechanics (SEG), and Construction Engineering and Management (CEM) mostly have Windows computers to be consistent with those computers used for teaching. Students in Environmental & Water Studies mostly favor Macintosh computers.

Q. What is the minimum configuration for personal computers on the network?

A. Stanford University has a number of websites with suggested configurations:

Q. Should I buy a Mac or a PC? Should I buy a laptop or a desktop?

A. Both Macs and PCs are used and supported on campus. About 70 percent of undergraduates have PCs, about 35 percent have Macs (some have both). Laptops are overwhelmingly more popular than desktops because of their mobility and the widespread availability of wireless networking on campus.

Q. What features should I get on my computer?

A. Different users have different needs, and the features of your computer (like screen and hard drive size) will depend on what you want and how you work. If you’re buying a laptop, you may want to consider an external monitor and keyboard. In our experience, memory is more important than processor speed. These days, even slower processors are more than fast enough for most purposes.

Backups can be done locally onto drives (USB flash drives, external harddrives, and rewritable CDs and DVDs) or through a third-party vendor such as Iron Mountain or the MozyPro service. Each solution has advantages and disadvantages. Remember, restricted and/or prohibited data should be encrypted both in transit as well as at rest to meet HIPAA standards.

Due to security concerns and incompatibility with our campus computing infrastructure, IT Services does not recommend the Home version for Windows. As for software, a few basic applications for Macs and PCs (email, anti-virus, anti-spyware, etc.) are freely available to the campus community at Essential Stanford Software.