Big Data for Big Policy Problems
Course Overview

Data science has become an increasingly critical tool for driving social change – and a great launch point for careers in this area.

This course will teach you to analyze a dynamic set of today's most pressing social equality challenges, using data science to better understand and shape these issues. Throughout the course, you'll discover how to use the programming language R to uncover patterns and insights in several big data sets related to current issues such as income; racial and educational inequalities; the COVID-19 pandemic; and crime, policing, and incarceration.

Course activities will give you the opportunity to practice statistical analysis on data, use R within the RStudio development environment to produce illustrative graphs of the data, and directly connect policy decisions to real-world outcomes.

You will also have the opportunity to work directly with Professors Fitzpatrick and Hall during live synchronous sessions where you will discuss current issues, practice R programming, and interact with your classmates.

By the end of this program, you'll have gained the ability to examine key issues through economic, demographic, and sociological lenses; explore how big data is being used to address policy problems; and master valuable statistical and technical skills to begin using data to make an impact.

To be successful in this program, you will need to have a New York Times subscription for the duration of the course. You may already have access through your high school or local library, or you can use one of the many subscription options from the New York Times website.

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