Big Data for Big Policy Problems

Lab Instructor, Cornell University, Policy Analysis and Management, 2020

This course introduces to substantive topics related to inequality, health and criminal justice while also providing students with exposure to the programming language R for conducting social science research. By learning theory about policy issues in parallel with technical skills for data analysis, Big Data for Big Policy Problems gives undergraduate students an opportunity to learn how economists and sociologists conceptualize research questions as well as turn them into empirical studies.

As an introductory-level course with no prerequisites, the technical portion of Big Data for Big Policy Problems focuses on:

  • teaching students the fundamentals for coding in R,
  • using the tidyverse libraries to jumpstart social science research
  • introducing statistical methods like correlation analysis and regression.