Prospective PhD Students

PostGraduate Research

Resources for PhD Students

Computing Resources

PGR students will normally be provided with a desktop PC running either Windows 7, or Scientific Linux 6 (depending on personal preference and research needs). Students requiring alternative facilities should discuss these with their supervisor.

Students with a Linux desktop system will also have network access to a remote Windows environment, via the "citrix" command. Similarly, students with a Windows desktop system will have access to the department's Linux farm, via the Exceed application. In addition, all PGR students are free to use the Windows and Apple Mac facilities in the departmental computing labs, when these are not booked for scheduled teaching or practical classes.

Note that the main Linux farm provision is available to the whole department (including undergraduate and Masters students, as well as staff), and is used for some taught modules. These systems are therefore not suitable for CPU- or memory-intensive processing, unless this has been arranged in advance. Similarly, the two externally accessible systems are intended for general use by all members of the department. Hence it would not be appropriate to run intensive jobs on these systems.
There is a small farm of higher-specification Linux systems, intended for such intensive jobs. Contact the technical support staff for more information on using these systems.

Web/Database Provision

All students can develop and publish personal web pages (including dynamic pages using PHP, perl, python, ruby, etc) without requiring explicit activation by the technical support staff. Anything placed in a folder named public_html in your home directory, or H: drive, will automatically be visible on the web at the URL{username}/
Similarly, anything placed in the folder local_html will be visible within the local network (or to authenticated members of the department) at the URL{username}/
PHP scripts should have the suffix '.php', and will be processed automatically. CGI scripts should be placed in a folder 'cgi-bin' within the public_html or local_html folder, and accessed via the URLs{username}/
Note that the departmental Web service does not support ASP or .Net based pages. Students requiring pages based on Java-servlets, or additional software on the web servers should consult the technical support staff.

The standard web environment includes support for retrieving data from MySQL and Oracle databases. Personal databases are not created automatically, and students requiring such a database should contact the technical support staff. This would typically be a MySQL database unless there are specific reasons why this would not be appropriate.