Department of
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101 Gowen Hall, Box 353530
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-3530
Ph: 206-616-3584

POLS/CSSS 501: Advanced Research Design & Analysis (Grad Stats I)

Winter 2014: Monday 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm, Smith Hall 220 lab

                                                      501 Syllabus PDF

Professor: Matt A. Barreto
Office: Gowen 148
Office Hours: By appt

Teaching Assistant: Sergio Garcia
Office: Smith 002
Office Hours: Friday 1:30 - 3:20pm

Course Description:

This is the second course in a graduate sequence on research design and data analysis. Building on the foundations in POLS 500, this course will teach you how to test your hypotheses in a rigorous and appropriate scientific manner. Even if empirical data analysis and statistics are not at the forefront of your research agenda, they play a very important role in social science research, books and articles today – so it is very important that everyone of us has a basic understanding of data analysis and regression models so we can read, write, understand, and critique the existing literature and scholarship in our subfield.

This course will be taught primarily using the statistical software package Stata, and as such, we will spend considerable time learning how to use Stata, and how to manage our various datasets. Knowing the math and statistics behind the analysis is essential, and you will learn this in is class, however if you can not put it to practice correctly in a statistical package, that knowledge is not very useful. Thus, you will learn not only the statistics behind the curtain, but also learn, in-depth, how to create, use, manage, analyze and present the data. Throughout the quarter, we will also replicate all our work in a second statistical software package, R, so you can learn the basics of R which will be used in the following sequence, POLS/CSSS 503, and POLS/CSSS 510. You should plan to have both of these programs installed on your own personal machine, and you should also sign up for a CSDE login, so you can remote access to Stata and R and other software. Request a CSDE account here:

Finally, we will spend a considerable amount of time learning and practicing how to present your data analysis findings. If you can not present your research findings in a coherent and compelling way to your audience/reader, it doesn’t matter how sophisticated your methods are. One of the most important things you can master as a scholar is being able to give a high quality presentation of research findings, including bullet points, data tables, charts and graphs.

Books / Articles:

There are four books we will be using in this class for different degrees and purposes. The first book, Wonnacott & Wonnacott is REQUIRED. All four are important starting points in learning how to apply statistical analysis to political science research questions, and also how to implement and manage your data in Stata. Other readings may be found online, or academic journals, as necessary, and I will notify you of those, if and when we use additional materials.

  • Wonnacott and Wonnacott. 1990. Introductory Statistics, 5th Edition. Wiley.
  • Lawrence Hamilton. 2009. Statistics with Stata, version 10. Cengage.
  • Stata Press 2011. Getting Started With Stata for Windows/Mac, 12th Edition
  • Michael Mitchell. 2010. Data Management Using Stata. Stata Press.


    Research outline (1 page)		Cr/NC
    Extended outline (5 pages)		Cr/NC
    Lab Section					25 points
    Homeworks					25 points
    Research presentation			25 points
    Final Stats Paper (20 pages +/-)	25 points
    TOTAL					100 points

    Tentative Course Outline: (subject to change)
    Week 1:	Welcome and Introductions
    Week 2:	W&W Chapters 1 – 2 – Descriptive Statistics and Probability
    Week 3: W&W Chapters 3 – 5 – Distributions of Variables (MLK Day - To be rescheduled)
    Week 4: W&W Chapter 6 – 8 – Samples and Point Estimates
    Week 5:	W&W Chapter 9 & 17 – Hypothesis Testing, Chi-Squre
    Week 6: W&W Chapters 15, then 11 – 12 – Correlation and Intro to Regression
    Week 7: W&W Chapters 13 – 14 – Regression Part II (Presidents Day - To be rescheduled)
    Week 8: Data management tips and tricks in Stata
    Week 9: Using Interaction terms, and post-estimation techniques
    Week 10: Final Presentations in class (PowerPoint)
    Finals Week: Mon or Tues: Poster Presentations (Gowen 1A)