Name: Rob Lytle
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, but please use Slack
Office Hours: As needed
This course introduces students to the basic methods of political science. It focuses on both statistical concepts (e.g., sample surveys) and computation (e.g., tidyverse). This course complements POS 5736 (research design) and 5744 (math). It serves as the foundation for POS 5746 (regression) and 5747 (maximum likelihood).
In taking this course seriously, you will:
I recommend buying a hardcopy of the following textbook:
FPP: Freedman, Pisani, and Purves. 2007. Statistics. (4th Edition).
You might also find the following textbooks helpful (but see me before buying):
Gerring: Gerring. 2012. Social Science Methodology: A Unified Framework. (2th Edition).
Healy: Healy. 2018. The Plain Person’s Guide to Plain Text Social Science. plain-text.co.
GW: Grolemund and Wickham. 2017. R for Data Science. r4ds.had.co.nz.
I assign your grade in the course based on a qualitative assessment of your participation in the course (accounting for quality and frequency), 13 weekly homework assignments (initial submission and re-submission), 13 reviews of another student’s homework assignment, weekly reading quizzes, a final exam, and one research project.
The class is built around weekly homework assignments. Each homework assignment has three phases: a initial submission phase, review phase, re-submission phase. Each week, each student will…
In my view, social science should be a collaborative activity. But in this class, I want you to learn how to do social science, not just do social science. With that somewhat different goal in mind, I want you to work on your own for the homework submission, with one exception. The exception is that I encourage you to seek help by asking questions on Slack. See below for more about getting help.
If you run into an problem with the materials or homework assignments, please start a discussion on Slack. This creates a written record of the conversation, promotes a more careful conversation, allows others to contribute, and enables me to improve the course materials in response.
At what point should you ask for help? In order to learn, you must struggle some. Ask for help when your struggle begins to turn into frustration. If you become frustrated, please reach out.
In general, I encourage broad sharing of ideas. The more complete and thorough, the better.
I want you to hold back, though, when discussing homework assignments prior to the initial submission (see my remarks above on collaboration). Remember, I want us to learn to do social science. With that in mind, please follow two guidelines (that I borrowed from the guidelines on Stack Overflow) when helping fellow students complete homework assignments:
Excused absences include documented illness, deaths in the family and other documented crises, call to active military duty or jury duty, religious holy days, and official University activities. These absences will be accommodated in a way that does not arbitrarily penalize students who have a valid excuse. Consideration will also be given to students whose dependent children experience serious illness.
The Florida State University Academic Honor Policy outlines the University’s expectations for the integrity of students’ academic work, the procedures for resolving alleged violations of those expectations, and the rights and responsibilities of students and faculty members throughout the process. Students are responsible for reading the Academic Honor Policy and for living up to their pledge to “…be honest and truthful and…[to] strive for personal and institutional integrity at Florida State University.” (Florida State University Academic Honor Policy, found at http://fda.fsu.edu/academic-resources/academic-integrity-and-grievances/academic-honor-policy.)
Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should:
Please note that instructors are not allowed to provide classroom accommodation to a student until appropriate verification from the Student Disability Resource Center has been provided.
This syllabus and other class materials are available in alternative format upon request.
For more information about services available to FSU students with disabilities, contact the:
Student Disability Resource Center
874 Traditions Way
108 Student Services Building
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4167
(850) 644-9566 (voice)
(850) 644-8504 (TDD)
I develop the course materials and website on GitHub. If you see find a problem (even if you don’t see a solution), please open a discussion on Slack.
Except for changes that substantially affect implementation of the evaluation (grading) statement, this syllabus is a guide for the course and is subject to change with advance notice.