Statistical models help us to understand the world. This class explores the use of models for analysis in the social sciences broadly, and in political science specifically. Does a history of slavery in a county influence contemporary political views? Does perceived demographic change impact policy preferences? Does having daughters affect a judge’s rulings? We use the R programming language, RStudio, Git and GitHub. Each student will complete a “replication” as their final project, an attempt, successful or not, to reproduce the results from a published article in the academic literature. This class provides an introduction to data science and is designed to lay the groundwork for an empirical senior thesis.

Prerequisites: Gov 1005 and an introductory course in statistics (Gov 50, Stat 104 or the equivalent) . You must have a laptop with R, RStudio and Git installed.

Logistics: Class meets from 12:45 to 2:45 on Wednesdays in K-031 in CGIS Knafel. (Room may change depending on enrollment.) You should be available for work with your classmates on at least one evening prior to class, presumable either Monday or Tuesday.

Course Metaphors