The Division of Science has two job openings currently listed on the Brandeis Careers website. Help us find the right candidates for these jobs!  Successful candidates will get to work with our diverse and dedicated staff, faculty and grad students. We're all about finding new and better ways to make science at Brandeis run smoothly and efficiently.

Jobs currently available:

  1. Personnel and Business Design Administrator (job ID 524231 at
    • Work with the Director of the Division of Science Personnel Group to oversee Personnel business functions to ensure secure, efficient and compliant administration of staff and postdocs involved in the research mission within the Division.
    • Work with the Director of the Division of Science Business Process Redesign to analyze and improve Business Processes. In this capacity, serve as project manager for initiatives and act as Division of Science liaison to other groups involved in the process improvements.
  2.  Undergraduate Biology Laboratory Supporting Technician (job ID 524183 at
    • The primary purpose of this job is to prepare media and material for the undergraduate biology teaching labs.  This person also needs to be highly organized, flexible, and efficient. Assisting in all other aspects of preparatory work and general lab maintenance is expected.

Part of the planned maintenance operation on the HPC cluster  is completed. 

Unfortunately we encountered  unexpected problems and this delayed the original plan.  
More things need to be done before the system is back to be fully operational. 
The login node and the fileservers are up and  functional. 
Feel free to login if you need access to your data.

For the time being the scheduler remains disabled and you will not be able to run calculations.

The system should be back to full operational mode by 8am tomorrow (Wed Aug 12th).
On Saturday Aug 8th and Sunday 9th, the University will have the yearly maintenance to the electric distribution system.
The power shutdown will involve also the machine room where our HPC cluster is hosted.
The system will be gracefully shutdown  before the global electric interruption, on Saturday Aug 8th at 4am, deleting all running jobs in the queue and shutting down and unplugging all the servers.  If any of your jobs needs to be stopped in special way by you, please make sure to take care of that before that time.
Once the power gets restored and the  server room is back to regular operation, we will need to perform some maintenance on the system, involving patches, updates, and a major reorganization of the scientific software and of the network layer.
The login node and the data server will be put back on line as soon as possible, in case you need to get access to your data.
In any case the system will be restored to regular operation on, or before, Tuesday Aug 11th at 8pm.
Matlab TAH License Renewed

Our Total Academic Headcount (site license) for Matlab has been renewed until Sep 2016. Brandeis students, faculty and staff can continue to use Matlab and install copies on any computers they own. 

For guidelines, see Obtaining Matlab (login required). The methods for installing depend on how you will obtain a license, which varies depending on if your computer stays on campus or if it travels, and if your computer that travels is owned by the university or by a student

I will update the network concurrent license server Monday morning Jul 27 at 6 am to avoid interfering with data acquisition. If that time causes problems, let me know. 

There are a couple of additions to the TAH license for the coming year. Use of

will now be covered under the TAH license. 

SPSS License Renewed

A new license for SPSS has been posted to the online WebStore.

  • Staff and faculty may simply "order" a free copy of SPSS Version 22 and use the new authorization code to re-license an already installed copy of SPSS v.22, or they may upgrade to SPSS v23. Licenses are no longer available for version 21.  
  • Students may obtain a single use license for SPSS v23. 
  • Details about licensing and support can be found on the LTS Website
  • If you have any questions, please contact the Technology Help Desk at x6HELP (781-736-4357). 

Heather Felton wrote (with a litte bit of paraphrasing)

I'm writing to notify everyone of changes for the Biology and Neuroscience office. To consolidate administrative functions, all of the Bio and Neuro support staff moved to Volen 206 as of early July, 2015. All of the non-finance functions that you are used to going to Bassine 119 (aka the "biology office") are moving to Volen. These include:

  • Mail
  • All key and swipe requests 
  • Time sheets - exempt and non-exempt
  • Reimbursements
  • Any Bassine building related problems, including autoclave and glass washer machine
  • Projectors, adapters, laser pointers

The Bassine office that historically housed both the Biology front office and the Biology finance office  now houses the Division of Science finance group, so if you have any financial questions you can take them to staff in Bassine 119.

Dear Mac-using Scientists,

There are a bunch of new Apple security updates out today. You should probably update your computer when it offers the updates to you, after checking to make sure your Time Machine backups to your external hard drive are working (you are doing this, right?).

Note, in the table below copied from Apple's security updates website, that there are NO updates for OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) or 10.7.5 (Lion) available. If you are using one of those versions of OS X, you really should be thinking about updating to a newer version of the OS (in general, going straight to Yosemite – OS X 10.10 – is the simplest path). If your computer is underpowered for Yosemite, maybe you need a new computer.

Although Macs are in some ways safer than Windows computers on the internet, there is no guarantee that your computer will stay safe if it is not updated, and if you act the way a normal person using the Internet acts.

If you have a problem child Mac that can't be upgraded but is critical to your lab's continued function, let one of us in the Div Sci Tech group know about it and we'll work with you towards a solution. email divscitech at lists dot brandeis anotherdot edu


Safari 8.0.7, Safari 7.1.7, and Safari 6.2.7OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.5, OS X Mavericks v10.9.5, and OS X Yosemite v10.10.330 June 2015
Mac EFI Security Update 2015-001OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.5, OS X Mavericks v10.9.530 June 2015
OS X Yosemite 10.10.4 and Security Update 2015-005OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.5, OS X Mavericks v10.9.5, OS X Yosemite v10.10 to v10.10.330 June 2015
iOS 8.4iPhone 4s and later, iPod touch (5th generation) and later, iPad 2 and later30 June 2015
Offices moving

There will be a bunch of physical office reshuffles in the Division of Science over the next few months. More info here when the moves occur. Cleaning out a desk in the Volen Center office, found these pictures from before construction started on Volen (must be ca. 1992)

Goldsmith, Bassine and Kalman Buildings loom above the Gerstenzang Science Library entrance. Note the stairs leading up to Red Square.


Reaxys now available

Melanie Radik writes:

Hi all,

Brandeis now has the chemistry database Reaxys!  There is a new page about it in the Chemistry research guide.

Reaxys is built on a foundation of three main components: the Beilstein (Organic), Gmelin (Inorganic and organometallic), and Patent Chemistry databases.  The next largest chemistry database after SciFinder, the two are complementary resources.  Although there is some overlap they are quite different in their respective literature coverage and the ways they register compounds and index reactions.

 Thanks to the generosity of the chemistry department co-funding the subscription, and the hard work of our contract negotiators at the library, we are able to subscribe to this excellent resource for the next 12 months.  So please use it, evaluate it, send me feedback!  We will need to re-commit to keep the subscription after this year.


May 28, 2015: This position has been filled, but inquiries about future positions that might open are welcome.

Title: IT Assistant

How to apply: got to and look for job ID 523816

The DiviSciTech group is looking for a student who wants to build a portfolio of IT skills working on a variety of projects to support staff.

Applicants must be motivated to learn new technologies, punctual, and able to write clearly and concisely. Good people skills a plus. The ideal candidates will have one or more of the following:

Fluency in technical writing
Experience in Filemaker or other databases (eg SQL)
Experience administering OSX, Win7, and Linux operating systems
Experience troubleshooting technical problems
Graphic design skills
Mastery of a programming or scripting language
Ability to politely and helpfully interact with staff, faculty and students

We are looking for someone who is interested in working with us for at least a year, who will build a set of technical skills that will be an asset on a resume. This student will work on projects from the tech group’s portfolio which includes:
* scientific computing (running the High Performance Computing Cluster, troubleshooting networking and hardware)
* administering file servers, groups and user computers
* user interface design (both in databases and on the web)
* documentation and how tos intended for a general audience
* management of critical systems
* supporting Division of Science labs (communication, websites, etc)

Wage Rate:11.00/hour
Hours:5-10 hours a week, more during breaks and summer

Length of Employment:At least a year, summer included

Please note that we encourage students of all majors/grad programs to apply. Some experience with computers is necessary, but most skills will be learned on the job. Please include a section in your resume with relevant skills and experience (including any coursework).

Matlab R2015a available

Matlab R2015a has been released and is available for use through our site license. I have upgraded our concurrent license server with the new license. You should join the matlab-users mailing list if you are a Brandeis Matlab user.

Also, Michael Meyer Ghen from LTS will be holding an Introduction to Matlab workshop on Mar 17.

For many years Brandeis has been providing Symantec Antivirus or Symantec Endpoint Protection software to help protect Windows computers from viruses. Many of you may have installed this on your lab computers, your laptops, or your home computers. We don't want ANY of those to get infected.

If you installed the software more than about a year ago, odds are it needs replacing with a new version -- otherwise it may not be getting new virus definition updates, and will therefore be ineffective.

We urge you to follow the instructions at (login required)

to check your version of Symantec to see if it OK, and then to replace it if it isn't.

If you have a Windows computer that currently has NO antivirus software, we recommend you follow the instructions to install some.

If you have questions contact your favorite member of the Division of Science Technology group

 - Steven Karel
 - R Lynn Rardin

Tech Workshops Announced

We are going to start 2015 with some tech workshops meant to introduce Brandeis scientists to IT and computing tools they may not have used before.

The HPC Workshops for users of the compute cluster will kick off with Introduction to Xsede resources on Jan 22.

The Tech Introductions series will start with a quick Introduction to Python on Jan 28 (repeat session on Jan 29).

There is a calendar you can subscribe to that will list future events as they are added.

Mathematica 10.0.2 Update

The Division of Science Tech Group will use this blog to communicate information about IT issues, outages, and software updates. 

Version 10.0.2 of Mathematica is now available from as part of our site license.

The release notes claim there are bug fixes and that this update is required for OS X 10.9.5 and 10.10