Basic Social Statistics

Data science needs social science. Sociologists often want to understand big trends across time, space, and groups of people, and statistics are a powerful tool for our research. We also see how a blind faith in big data can overlook important questions about how knowledge gets made. This class provides students with the practical skills to understand statistics, but we also work to think critically about where and when these skills are best put to use. 

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. Throughout the course, we will focus on what sociology contributes to the study of political life and how the social sciences can inform and improve public policy.

In this class, 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