Course: POL245
Instructor: Lowe
SU 2017

Description of Course Goals and Curriculum

  • Analyze real world data with insight.
  • Work cooperatively on certain assignments by asking questions and attempting different methods.
  • Work Independently on assignments that require individual work. I.e. problem sets.
  • Finding patterns within a blizzard of  data.
  • Learn a new language of code- “R”.
  • Learn from real people that work with data analysis and visualization of data. Keynote lecturers that can range from employees from The New York Times to CEO’s of data recollection companies that provide data to presidential candidates.
  • Be expected to complete Problem sets on your own.
  • Be expected to show up to QuantLab, Lectures, and Precepts.

Learning From Classroom Instruction

  • Skim the book before going to QuantLab.
  • Place a bookmark on important functions before heading to precept/QuantLab.
  • Go back to slides whenever a topic is fuzzy. They are always posted after class.
  • Lectures might be difficult to keep up with depending on where you sit in the room, revisit slides if you miss an important topic.
  • Question the preceptor if you have a better method to the code or a better interpretation and analysis of the data. Your voice and opinion matter if they are supported with good evidence.

Learning For and From Assignments

  • Problems sets are different from the exercises done in Quantlabs and Precepts because they offer free reign on the program. There are a plethora of ways to approach and ultimately answer each question.
  • Quantlabs and precepts offer introductions to certain functions and R language topics. They are done as a class and are patient with everybody within the class.
  • Often times, there is not enough time to visit and look at all of the material within these classes, so going to Office hours right after precepts are a great tip to staying with the course load.
  • The assignments will become easier to do as the class progresses. Be patient with the errors you make throughout each Problem Set, if any, learn from them and move on.
  • Do not dwell on past assignments, move forward and ask about any issues that you may be having with the content.

External Resources

  • Office hours are a great resource. Show up early to them and show interest in getting help and you will receive more than enough help and support by people who know what they are doing.
  • Reverting back to the PowerPoint Slides and the answered Precept Questions always gives a deeper insight for clarity on the current topic at hand. Recommended to Download a Free PDF reader to ease through the Plethora of slides.

What Students Should Know About This Course For Purposes Of Course Selection

  • The first week is very strenuous, as in, it is a new type of learning, especially if one is new to "coding" or any programming language.
  • The lectures do not play a substantial role in terms of one’s understanding of the course, given that you do the roughly read/skim the textbook
  • Read the book and ask any questions that may be pending within your mind.
  • If you are too afraid to ask questions and aren’t interested in getting help from peers, this course may not be the one for you. However if you are willing to learn how to ask questions and for any help, this is a great course that can teach you that getting help is great.
Visualizing Data

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