Joseph H Cook
PB AF 527
Two-quarter sequence explores how to formulate research questions, gain experience with conducting research, and learn how to assess which statistical tools or research methods are appropriate to answer different types of policy or management questions. Covers probability, descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, and confidence intervals. Prerequisite: graduate status in School of Public Affairs or permission of instructor.
This course is the first in a two-quarter sequence aimed at helping you to become a critical consumer and competent producer of research and statistical analysis.
Our goal is for you to understand enough theory and have enough experience to intelligently use data to arrive at reasonable conclusions. Furthermore, you will be able to digest and critically assess empirical evidence and understand what analysis you need in order to make decisions. Throughout the course, we will examine policy questions and related data in order to learn how to apply analytic techniques.
Student learning goals
Gain an understanding of research and statistical analysis as ways to explore, describe, and explain management or policy issues;
Use descriptive statistics and statistical inference to understand policy or management problems;
Understand the meaning of analyses using confidence intervals, test statistics, and p-values;
Recognize the implications of the qualities and quantities of data;
Demonstrate your ability to manipulate data to produce informative analysis;
Communicate about statistical results for a non-technical audience.
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
Homework assignments (credit for complete and on time) 15%; Midterm (take home—open book and notes) 25%; Policy Report Proposal 10%; Final paper 25%; Final (open book and notes) 25%