Basic Social Statistics
Data science needs social science. Sociologists often want to understand big trends across time, space, and groups of people. Statistics is a powerful tool for our research, but a blind faith in big data overlooks important questions about how knowledge gets made and how inequality happens. By focusing on an introduction to data science, this class provides students with the practical skills to understand statistics and bring it into conversation with sociological theory and method. We think critically about where and when these skills are best put to use, preparing students for careers where they will contribute meaningfully to teams working on applied research, analytics, and machine learning.
Politics in the Digital Age
From fake news to Facebook feuds, politics can seem like a big mess. In this course, we work to make sense of it. We cover classic and current work in political sociology that speaks to the big questions of the day, like how think tanks and lobbying work, how social movements happen, and whether people are becoming more polarized online. We focus on what sociology contributes to the study of political life and how the social sciences can inform and improve public policy. Students will:
Improve their understanding of political institutions and civil society
Engage current events with evidence-based analysis
Research and write more effectively about matters of public concern