Computing Overview

The departmentmental network supports computing for both research and teaching purposes. Our main servers, fresco and prism, provide disk, e-mail, password and other services to the rest of the computers in the department. A third system, gate, provides access to your account when you are outside the department.


The main servers and workstations run the Linux operating system on an x86 platform. Desktop systems run a variety of systems including Linux, Mac OS, and Microsoft Windows.

Points of Access:

All offices in the department are equipped with network jacks for personal use by professors and graduate students posessing their own computer equipment. There are also computer labs for use by staff and students at the following locations with some restrictions:

  • Burnside Hall Room 1006 - Graduate Computing Lab
    For general use by graduate students and staff members. Consists of several Windows PCs, as well as a number of Linux workstations and NCD X-Terms. Printing is provided by one high capacity laser printer, and one color laser printer.
  • Burnside Hall Room 1229 - Graduate Statistics Lab
    For use by staff members and graduate students in statistics. Consists of a small number of PCs and Linux workstations as well as a laser printer.


The department makes many software packages available for use by students and staff. The Linux workstations provide access to literally hundreds of freeware programs including word processors, email clients, web browsers and many more. Windows PCs include a standard compliment of productivity sotware. The department also provides access to both commercial and open source mathematical software.

Commercial software packages include Maple, Matlab and SAS. They should be available on every system in the department. Open source packages such as pari, R, octave and many others are available on all of our Linux systems. They are installed on Windows when a port exists.


Graduate students and staff have the option of using e-Mail provided by the department. Departmental e-Mail is IMAP based and is also accessible via a webmail server from anywhere in the world with an Internet access.

Your e-mail address is based on your username and is of the form:

The easiest way to access to your e-mail is through our webmail service located at:

You can also use GUI mail clients such as Microsoft Outlook, Netscape and Eudora but they require a small amount of setup on your part.

Specify the following servers:
IMAP (incoming) server:
SMTP (outgoing) server:

We recommend using an IMAP server but support POP for incoming.mail as well :
POP (incoming) server:

In addition to your departmental e-mail account you also have a McGill account. It's important to check your McGill e-mail regularly. The university considers e-mail sent to-that address as "official".

It is possible to forward your McGill e-mail to your math account (or vice versa) so that you can read all your mail in one place. See the system administrators for help in setting this up.

You can find out more about your McGill e-mail account on the web at:

Remote Access:

Graduate students and professors who frequently find themselves away from the department can access the local network over the Internet with a special remote access account. Alternatively, access to the local network can be gained by dialing in to McGill's Internet service, DAS. All students and staff members are given a free DAS account when they first enter the University.


Web Pages:

Department members are eligible to set up and maintain a personal website if they wish. The department also provides a standard page for each professor accessible here.

Last edited by on Fri, 08/12/2011 - 14:53