Introduction to Political Science Research Methods

syllabus [pdf]
assigned exercises from FPP [pdf]
data sets [zip]

Office Hours

Allen 2051, MW, 11am-12pm. Please reserve your slot here.

Schedule

Tasks (bullets) below the date should be completed before the next class (unless a due-date is listed).

August 30: Introduction
. Read the syllabus carefully.
. Install R and RStudio (complete by Sep 6).
. Order textbook (have by Sep 11).
. Obtain a pocket calculator (have by Sep 11).

Sep 1: Questions
. Review Notes on Questions [pdf]. Complete exercises.

Sep 4: Models
. Review Notes on Models [pdf] (and slides from lecture [pdf]). Complete exercises.
. Install R and RStudio.

Sep 6: Model-Building Exercise

Sep 8: Computing in R

Sep 11: Computing in R, part 2
. Read Notes on Computing in R [pdf]. Complete exercises.

Sep 13: Loading Data in R . Review your notes from my Lecture on Data Frames [pdf].
. Review Notes on Loading Data in R [pdf]. Complete exercises.
. Complete Computing Assignment 1 [pdf].

Sep 15: Causal Inference and Histograms
. Have textbook and calculator.
. Read chs. 1-2 of FPP. Complete assigned exercises (remember that assigned exercises are [at the top]).
. Review your notes from my Lecture on Causal Inference [pdf]. Complete exercises at the end.
. Read ch. 3 of FPP. Complete assigned exercises.

Sep 18: Histograms in R
. Review Notes on Histograms in R [pdf]. Complete exercises.
. Begin to work on Computing Assignment 2 [pdf] (due Sep 22).

Sep 20: Average and SD
. Read ch. 4 of FPP. Complete assigned exercises.
. Submit Computing Assignment 2 [pdf].

Sep 22: Catch-Up Day
. Begin working on Writing Assignment 1 [Dropbox]. Come prepared with questions.

Sep 25: Average and SD in R
. Review your notes from my Lecture on Average and SD in R [pdf].
. Review Notes on Average and SD in R [pdf]. Complete exercises.
. Begin working on Computing Assignment 3 [pdf].

Sep 27: Normal Approximation
. Read ch. 5 of FPP. Complete assigned exercises.
. Finish the leadership extremity exercise we began in class [pdf].
. Submit Computing Assignment 3 [pdf].

Sep 29: Measurement
. Read ch. 6 of FPP. Complete assigned exercises.
. Prepare for Exam 1. Focus on the review exercises from notes, slides, and textbook.

Oct 2: Review for Exam 1
. Study Guide [Google Doc]

Oct 4: Exam 1 (bring pencil, pocket calculator, and small green Scantron)
. Read “Politics and the English Language” [pdf]. Expect a reading quiz.

Oct 6: Discussion of “Politics and the English Language”Scatterplots and Correlation, Part 1
. Read chs. 7-8 of FPP. Complete assigned exercises.
. See this sheet for p. 137, #9(a) [Google Sheet].

Oct 9: Measurement, Part 2
. Review your notes from my Lecture on Measurement [pdf]. Complete exercises at the end.

Oct 11: Scatterplots and Correlation in R
. Review Notes on Scatterplots and Correlation in R [pdf]. Complete exercises.
. Read ch. 9 of FPP. Complete assigned exercises.
. Play this game [web] and track your performance.
. Don’t forget to submit Writing Assignment 1.

Oct 13: Regression, Part 1
. Read ch. 10 of FPP. Complete assigned exercises.

Oct 16: Regression, Part 2
. Read ch. 11 of FPP. Complete assigned exercises.
. Note that I accidentally assigned ch. 11 on the 13th as well. I meant to assign ch. 10. Make sure you’ve finished both ch. 10 and 11.
. Begin Computing Assignment 4 [pdf].

Oct 18: Regression, Part 3
. Read ch. 12 of FPP. Complete assigned exercises.
. Submit Computing Assignment 4 [pdf].
. Submit peer review for Writing Assignment 1. Details on eCampus.

Oct 20: Regression in R
. Review Notes on Regression in R [pdf]. Complete exercises.

Oct 23: Multiple Regression, Part 1

Oct 25: Multiple Regression, Part 2
. Review your notes on my lecture on econometric notation. Make sure you can explain the similarities and differences between FPP’s simple notation and the more complicated econometric notation. What are the two advantages of econometric notation?
. Review your notes on my lecture [pdf] on regression for prediction.
. Read these notes [pdf] for more detail on prediction and BIC.
. Complete Computing Assignment 5 [pdf].
. Read “5 Steps toward Constructing a Better Sentence” [web].
. Read “5 Steps toward Writing an Effective Paragraph” [web].
. Use this example response memo [pdf] when writing your own response memo.

Oct 27: “Breakfast with Ben”

Oct 30: Exam 2 Review
. Study Guide [Google Doc]

Nov 1: Exam 2 (bring pencil, pocket calculator, and small green Scantron)
. Final submission of Writing Assignment 1.

Nov 3: Probability, Part 1
. We’ll look at the Federalist papers [web] in class.
. Read ch. 13 of FPP. Complete assigned exercises.

Nov 6: Probability, Part 2
. Read ch. 14 of FPP. Complete assigned exercises.
. Submit peer review by noon on July 26.

Nov 8: Law of Averages
. Read ch. 16 of FPP. Complete assigned exercises.

Nov 10: Expected Value and Standard Error
. Read ch. 17 of FPP. Complete assigned exercises.
. Begin Writing Assignment 2 [Dropbox]

Nov 13: Normal Approximation for Probability Histograms
. Read ch. 18 of FPP. Complete assigned exercises. . In class, fill in this table [Google Sheet].
. In class, use these slides as needed [Google Slides].

Nov 15: Sample Surveys, Part 1
. Read ch. 19 of FPP. Complete assigned exercises.

Nov 17: Sample Surveys, Part 2
. Read ch. 20 of FPP. Complete assigned exercises.

Nov 20: FSAB Panel Day
. Catch-up on any review exercises you haven’t done.
. Writing Assignment 2 due.

Nov 22: No Class (Reading Day)

Nov 24: No Class (Thanksgiving Holiday)

Nov 27: The Accuracy of Percentages
. Read ch. 21 of FPP. Complete assigned exercises.

Nov 29: The Accuracy of Averages
. Read ch. 23 of FPP. Complete assigned exercises.

Dec 1: Tests for Averages, Part 1 . Read ch. 26 of FPP. Complete assigned exercises.

Dec 4: Testing Averages in R and Problems with Significance Testing
. Read ch. 26 of FPP. Complete TBA exercises.

Dec 6: Final Exam Review

Dec 8 or 11: Final Exam
. For 901 (8:35-9:25am), 10am-12pm on Dec 8 . For 902 (9:45-10:35am), 8-1am on Dec 11