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Using Big Data for Policy Challenges

Using Big Data for Policy Challenges

Term
Course Number
GAFL 590 001
Course Code
GAFL590001
Course Key
73245
Day(s)
Wednesday
Time
5:15pm-8:15pm
Instructor
KATES, SEAN
Course Description

"Big data" has become a ubiquitous buzzword, but what does it actually mean and what can it do in the social and political world? This class will help students understand what big data is and how it can be used to shed light on various policy issues. To do this, the class teaches students a set of computational tools (centered on the R statistical programming language), and shows them how to gather, analyze, and present data in useful ways. It does so by working through a number of important policy issues, including policing, campaign finance, public health, political polling, and many others. No prior statistical or technical knowledge is assumed, though basic statistical literacy is helpful. Fels and other graduate students receive registration preference, though undergraduate students may request registration via email: mcaloonk@sas.upenn.edu.