Eduardo Fernandez-Duque, Anthropology, Spring 2019

Courses in Political Science, Statistics and Data Science

For a long time I had been interested in further developing my expertise on Research Design, Quantitative Analyses and newer statistical approaches to the analyses of behavioral data (e.g. Bayesian, information-theory, as opposed to frequentist).  I knew that two of the courses that I regularly teach would benefit from extending my training on these topics.  My own grant writing and research would also benefit from being more prepared on these topics.

It was very interesting to experience as a student the shopping period during which I visited 6 different courses.  I eventually decided to take an undergraduate course (S&DS 230) and a graduate one on Causal Inference (PLSC 508).  They were of course very different experiences, the first allowed me to understand first hand how undergraduates are being taught statistics at the introductory level and to appreciate the demands of taking a course (I attended all lectures, completed all assignments, and even went to office hours which was fascinating!).  The graduate course forced me to read literature outside my area of expertise but on similar topics that I do consider daily in my research. 

All in all it was a fantastic opportunity.