Political Data Analysis is a first course in modern
methods of data analysis for the social and behavioral sciences. Although
to the advanced statistics major this course will appear elementary, you
are not required to have any prior exposure to statistics and/or mathematics
except insofar as meeting the prerequisites – MATH 090 or MATH
092 or MATH 118. If you do not meet these prerequisites
you must obtain my written permission to take this course for credit.
In this course I have two goals: (a) to provide you with
a firm grounding in the rudiments of statistical theories and concepts,
and (b) to train you to analyze real world data via computer software routines
– chiefly SPSS for Windows. The tools you acquire in this class will become
the building blocks for any future interactions you have with statistics
in or out of academia. Thus, it is of utmost importance to both your sanity
and your post-graduation earnings potential that you inform me as soon
as you start feeling lost. Each session builds upon the preceding material
and hence missed class sessions and/or incomprehension of any section of
the material covered in class will cumulate and confuse you at an increasing
rate. Work hard to build a strong foundation and if you do, you will come
to see that data analysis can be fun, challenging and financially rewarding.
Of course, where would we be if it were not exasperating as well! Consequently,
patience, enthusiasm, an open and inquisitive mind, and a willingness to
work hard, and a sense of humor will stand you in good stead.
If you have any conditions or challenges that may make it difficult for
you to meet the requirements of this course or that may lead you to require
extra time on assignments, let me know so that we can make the necessary
arrangements. |