SISRM Courses

Course Offerings Summer 2023

Students participating in the 10-week Summer Institute first enroll in a summer methodologies course. Each of the SISRM courses satisfies major or minor requirements in a number of programs. Information about the courses and their relationships with different majors or minors is below.

Course Credits

Summer Quarter courses carries the equivalent credit of one full-length (quarter-long) course in the College at the University of Chicago. Unless otherwise noted, each course offered at the University during the Summer Quarter is the equivalent of 5 quarter hours (100 credits per course).

The following course information is tentative and subject to change. Final course offerings will be posted in December. 

 

HIST 29806
Archival Methods and Historical Thinking


Instructor: Alexander Hofmann, Social Sciences, Department of History

June 12 – July 14, 2023

In-Person
Undergraduate

Course description:

In this course, students will be introduced to archival research methods and to the ways in which historians work with and interpret the sources they use in constructing historical narratives and arguments. We will visit Special Collections, explore digital archives, and consider the range of possible sources and archives, from texts held in national government archives to material objects, maps, audio or video recordings, and everything in between. We will also engage with the work of historians as they seek to make sense of the material they find in archives, considering questions of interpretation, narrative, and holes–that is, what is missing from archives. Students will gain an understanding of the mechanics of archival work and an appreciation for the complexity of historical thinking.

 

Learn more about the course from the instructor:

This course:

SOSC 26032 (or MACS 20500)
Computing for the Social Sciences

Cross-listings: SOCI 20278; SOCI 40176; ENST 20550; PLSC 30235; MAPS 30500; CHDV 30511; MACS 30500

June 12 – July 14, 2023

Virtual
Undergraduate; Graduate

Course description:

This is an applied course for social scientists with little-to-no programming experience who wish to harness growing digital and computational resources. The focus of the course is on analyzing data and generating reproducible research through the use of the programming language R and version control software. Topics include coding concepts (e.g., data structures, control structures, functions, etc.), data visualization, data wrangling, exploratory data analysis, etc. Major emphasis is placed on a pragmatic understanding of core principles of programming and packaged implementations of methods. Students will leave the course with basic computational skills; while students will not become expert programmers, they will gain the knowledge of how to adapt and expand these skills as they are presented with new questions, methods, and data.

By the end of the course, students will:

  • Construct and execute basic programs in R using elementary programming techniques and tidyverse packages (e.g. loops, conditional statements, user-defined functions)
  • Identify and use external libraries to expand on base functions
  • Apply Git and GitHub workflows for version control
  • Implement best practices for reproducible research
  • Understand how to debug programs for errors
  • Import data from files or the internet
  • Transform, visualize, and descriptively interpret data
  • Munge raw data into a tidy format
  • Scrape websites to collect data for analysis
  • Parse and analyze text documents
Learn more about the course from the instructor:

This course:

ECON 21020
Econometrics


Instructor: Christopher RoarkDepartment of Economics

June 12 – July 14, 2023

In-Person
Undergraduate

Course description:

Course Description: This course covers the single and multiple linear regression model, the associated distribution theory, and testing procedures; corrections for heteroskedasticity, autocorrelation, and simultaneous equations; and other extensions as time permits. Students also apply the techniques to a variety of data sets using PCs.

Course Objectives: The purpose of this course is to give a fundamental understanding of the liner regression model used on a variety of economic analysis. It also stresses the many issues that students may encounter when doing their own empirical analysis using the linear regression model as a tool. Prerequisite: ECON 20100, ECON 21010, or STAT 23400 and MATH 19620.

Plan Ahead for Summer 2023

Economics majors who want to take ECON 21020 Econometrics through SISRM can meet the course pre-requisites in one of two ways:

  1. Take ECON 21010 Statistical Methods in Economics in Spring Quarter; or
  2. Take ECON 20100 The Elements of Economic Analysis II in Winter Quarter and STAT 23400 Statistical Models and Methods in Spring Quarter.
Learn more about the course from the instructor:

This course:

GISC 28702/38702
Introduction to GIS and Spatial Analysis

 

 

 

Cross-listings: ARCH 28702; ENST 28702; SOCI 20283; SOCI 30283; GEOG 28702; GEOG 38702

June 12 – July 14, 2023

Virtual
Undergraduate; Graduate

Course description:

If you’ve ever been interested in learning more about spatial analysis or getting a geographic twist in computational thinking, this is the course to take. You may be interested in working with new types of spatial data to enhance a project in social science, economics, public health, crime, etc. You may be interested in learning some applied coding or extending the programming or statistical skills you already have. Or, you may just be curious about thinking about the world in a different way. The spatial perspective is a powerful conceptual and technical-scientific approach that facilitates new ways of viewing the world.

This course provides an overview of how spatial thinking is translated into specific methods to handle geographic information and statistical analysis, with a focus on research questions relevant in the social sciences. Basics of cartography, spatial data wrangling, and the essential elements of spatial analysis are introduced within this context. Examples include spatial data integration (spatial join), transformations between different spatial scales (overlay), the computation of “spatial” variables (distance, buffer, shortest path), geovisualization, visual analytics, and the assessment of spatial autocorrelation (the lack of independence among spatial variables). The methods will be illustrated by means of open-source software such as QGIS and R; this course does not teach a specific GIS software program.

Goals and Objectives: We’ll be using the R programming language and additional open-source software packages to learn and practice spatial analysis, and use various (old and new) types of data in applied labs to put newly learned concepts to the test. Favorite labs include working with raw crime data from multiple U.S. cities; learning about how coal mining impacts West Virginian towns across time; and developing and visualizing a bike network using millions of Divvy data points.

 

Learn more about the course from the instructor:

This course:

SOSC 20112/30112
Introductory Statistical Methods and Applications for the Social Sciences


Instructor: Yanyan Sheng, Committee on Quantitative Methods in Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences

June 12 – June 20, 2023

Virtual
Pre-College; Undergraduate; Graduate

Course description:

This course introduces and applies fundamental statistical concepts, principles, and procedures to the analysis of data in the social and behavioral sciences. Students will learn computation, interpretation, and application of commonly used descriptive and inferential statistical procedures as they relate to social and behavioral research. These include z-test, t-test, bivariate correlation and simple linear regression with an introduction to analysis of variance and multiple regression. The course emphasizes on understanding normal distributions, sampling distribution, hypothesis testing, and the relationship among the various techniques covered, and will integrate the use of SPSS as a software tool for these techniques.

Goals and Objectives: This course introduces descriptive statistics and basic inferential statistics that can be pre-required for more advanced applied statistics classes, such as multiple regression, experimental design, multivariate statistics.

The primary goal of the course is to assist the student in learning to perform descriptive and inferential analyses of data from single and multi-factor experiments. After completion of the course, the student will be able to (1) differentiate, utilize and apply statistical description and inference to applied research in behavioral sciences or other disciplines, (2) understand and be able to utilize various forms of charts and plots useful for statistical description, (3) understand and utilize the concept of statistical error and sampling distribution, (4) use a statistical program (e.g., SPSS) for data analysis, (5) select statistical procedures appropriate to the type of data collected and the research questions hypothesized, (6) distinguish between Type I and Type II errors in statistical hypothesis testing, (7) understand the concepts statistical power and the influence of sample size on inference, and (8) interpret SPSS output so that it can be written up and understood by a non-statistician. These specific goals and objectives will be reached through lab sessions, assigned homework problems, in-class quizzes and exams.

Course Notes: This course is equivalent to SOCI 20004/30004 (Statistical Methods of Research), CHDV 20101/3010 (Applied Statistics in Human Development Research), PSYC 20100 (Psychological Statistics), SOSC 26009/36009 (Introductory Statistical Methods), and other introductory level applied statistics courses.

 

Learn more about the course from the instructor:

This course:

PSYC 20200
Psychological Research Methods


Instructor: Kerry Ledoux, Department of Psychology

June 12 – July 14, 2023

Virtual
Undergraduate

Course description:

This course introduces concepts and methods used in behavioral research. Topics include the nature of behavioral research, testing of research ideas, quantitative and qualitative techniques of data collection, artifacts in behavioral research, analyzing and interpreting research data, and ethical considerations in research.

 

 

Learn more about the course from the instructor:

This course:

SOSC 26031/36031
Survey Data Analysis

Instructors: Jaesok Son,  NORC at the University of Chicago, and Benjamin Schapiro, NORC at the University of Chicago

June 12 – July 14, 2023

In-Person
Undergraduate; Graduate

Course description:

This course overviews the way scientific surveys are conducted, the survey data structure, and common techniques to analyze survey data. Students will explore the actual survey data (using major surveys such as the General Social Survey) and look for answers to their research question. Students will learn where to find information about survey data sources and how to conduct analyses for their research project. The course also introduces some online tools and statistical software.

Pre-requisites: Some knowledge of statistical analysis and familiarity with statistics software are helpful but not required.

This course is limited to rising second-, third-, fourth-year undergraduate students, and graduate students.

 

 

This course:

SOSC 20224/30224
Virtual Ethnographic Field Research Methods


Instructor: Patrick Lewis, Division of the Social Sciences

Cross-listings: ANTH 21432; ANTH 31432; ENST 20224; GLST 26220; SOCI 20515; SOSC 30224

June 12 – July 14, 2023

Virtual
Undergraduate; Graduate

Course description:

“Virtual worlds are places of imagination that encompass practices of play, performance, creativity and ritual.” – Tom Boellstorff, from Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method

This course is designed to provide students in the social sciences with a review of ethnographic research methods, exposure to major debates on ethnographic research, opportunities to try their hand at practicing fieldwork virtually, and feedback on a proposed study that employs ethnographic methods. By way of analyzing and problematizing enduring oppositions associated with ethnographic fieldwork – field/home, insider/outsider, researcher/research subject, expert/novice, ‘being there’/removal – this seminar is a practicum in theoretically grounded and critically reflexive qualitative methods of research. By introducing students to participant observation and interviews in virtual worlds, ethics, data analysis and writing up, the course offers an opportunity to make sense of the current pandemic we’re all experiencing in real time. An emphasis will be placed on multimedia, digital, and virtual ethnography.

Learn more about the course from the instructor:

This course:

I’m more aware of what it takes to be a social scientist, and of the various fields of social science I could go into. Specifically, I know more about how to conduct future research properly, both technically and personally.

Cooper K.
SISRM 2021