Research Projects

The CS department has resources available for research projects. The following is a quick start guide to research projects in Computer Science Department. This quick start guide does not cover all topics and it is recommended that you consult the CS Guide for more information.

This guide is designed to help those beginning a research project by pointing to appropriate sections of the CS Guide for typical start-up tasks. Research projects typically need the following: storage space that can be shared by members of the research group, a web presence (possibly driven by a back-end database), mailing lists, code/document repositories. Here is how each of these are implemented and requested in the Computer Science Department.

  • Project Disk Space - We encourage projects (even single-person projects) to use disk space outside of the user home directory filesystem.  This has several benefits.  First, the quota is separate from any particular project member and can be much larger than we allow for home directories.  Second, project members can be added and removed to change access without moving the files themselves.  Third, users can collaborate and share files without having to give others access to their home directory.  Finally, by keeping projects in separate partitions, CS Staff can manage our storage more efficiently.  For more details, please see the Disk Space page.  To request disk space, use the "Project Disk Space" form link on the left.  Note that if you specify additional project members in the request form, we will automatically create a unix group consisting of you and the listed users and set the setgid flag on the project directory.
  • Project Web Space - To set-up a web page or web site for the project, first request project disk space and then use the "Project Web Space" form to the left to request that a subdirectory of the project space be mapped to a web URL. Project web space will give you the ability to host your research group or project-related content at its own subdomain (e.g.  Even if you are only requesting project disk space for the sole purpose of hosting a project web site, we recommend that you choose a subdirectory (e.g., public_html) within the project disk space.  This will give you the flexibility in the future to also use the project disk space for other purposes. 
  • Project Database - If your project needs a MySQL database (perhaps as a back-end store for a web site), use the "Database" request form at the left and specify a collaborative database.
  • Mailing Lists - Research projects typically create one or more mailing lists to manage their communication.
  • Source Repository - If your group will be collaboratively developing code or writing papers, you may want to request an SVN repository from OIT (requires Princeton OIT authentication).
  • Rack Space for Servers - If you have physical rack-mount servers, they can be housed either in Room 002 of the CS Building or at the University data center at 151 Forrestal.  Contact CS Staff for availability and additional details.
  • Role Accounts / Mail Aliases - please note that we do not create role accounts or provide email aliases.  By properly configuring access control, role accounts should not be necessary.  Email aliases can be mimicked by requesting a mailing list and selecting the "Mail Alias" type in the form.