Skip over navigation

Course Offerings

Course Evaluation Results

Course Details

Fall 2017-2018
* POL 345 / SOC 305 (QR)   No Pass/D/Fail

Introduction to Quantitative Social Science

Marc Ratkovic
Matthew J. Salganik

Would universal health insurance improve the health of the poor? Do patterns of arrests in US cities show evidence of racial profiling? What accounts for who votes and their choice of candidates? This course will teach students how to address these and other social science questions by analyzing quantitative data. The course introduces basic principles of statistical inference and programming skills for data analysis. The goal is to provide students with the foundation necessary to analyze data in their own research and to become critical consumers of statistical claims made in the news media, in policy reports, and in academic research.

Sample reading list:
Imai, Kosuke, Quantitative Social Science: An Introduction
OpenIntro: Statistics,

Reading/Writing assignments:
Weekly problem sets that include both analytical questions and computer programming. This course requires students to keep up with materials each week through frequent problem sets and quizzes.

Take Home Mid term Exam - 20%
Take Home Final Exam - 20%
Programming Assignments - 10%
Quizzes - 10%
Lab Reports - 20%
Class/Precept Participation - 10%
Problem set(s) - 10%

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
(1) High School algebra. Familiarity with elementary probability theory and computer programming is useful, but not required. (2) The course also serves as the prerequisite for students who wish to learn more about statistics in POL 346..

Equivalent Courses:
POL 345, POL 345 are considered equivalent courses and cannot be taken multiple times for credit.

Other information:
This course satisfies a requirement for Politics, Sociology, and WWS majors. It also satisfies the foundations of statistics requirement for the Certificate Program on Statistics and Machine Learning. NOTE: Precepts will meet for 80 minutes, once a week.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
21997 L01 3:30 pm - 4:20 pm M W        Enrolled:80 Limit:
22003 P99 TBA        Enrolled:80 Limit: