Read the Syllabus
Sociology 500 is the first class in a two-semester statistics sequence for graduate students in Sociology. We also welcome undergraduates and graduate students from other departments. The course assumes some basic mathematical background (e.g. very basic calculus and matrix operations) as well as a basic working knowledge of R. These can both be obtained through the Princeton Sociology Summer Methods Camp. Soc500 covers probability, regression and basic causal inference. The second course in the sequence is Soc504 and covers maximum likelihood, generalized linear models and assorted topics.
Two Important Notes:
My personal philosophy on teaching preparation is that it is best to stand on the shoulders of giants; that is, I would rather spend several hours improving/tweaking/remixing a set of already strong slides than recreating some from scratch just so they are completely unique. Thankfully, I have access to a network of generous scholars who have been willing to share their materials. Many of the slides linked below are either taken directly from others or are adapted from their original design- I, of course, take responsibility for any errors that remain.
The Soc500 course design is in many ways a reinterpretation/combination of courses by Matt Blackwell, Adam Glynn and Jens Hainmueller. I have also drawn material from Joe Blitzstein, Justin Grimmer, Erin Hartman, Chad Hazlett, Kosuke Imai, Gary King, Kevin Quinn, Matt Salganik, Teppei Yamamoto and many more. All of these scholars have kindly allowed me to post here. Whenever material is drawn from someone they are credited at the bottom of the title slide or as a one-off on the individual slide where their material is used. If you believe your material was used here without attribution, please reach out to me and let me know so I can correct it.
This class is not sustainable without great teaching assistants. I was lucky this year to have two incredible teaching assistants: Ian Lundberg and Simone Zhang. I have posted materials from precepts (sections run by the teaching assistants or preceptors as we call them here). These materials have been developed by previous teaching assistants of mine (particularly Clark Bernier and Elisha Cohen). I also initialized these materials using material I developed while a teaching assistant at Harvard which in turn built on previous generations of teaching assistants at Harvard's Department of Government and Harvard's Statistics Department. It is often difficult to find the original source of these materials, but if you developed some of the materials you see here- please reach out and let me know.
2) Style and Form
This course was taught twice a week for an hour and a half. Each lecture is a week's worth of material except Lecture 1 (one class) and Lecture 9 (three classes) due to the nature of the schedule. I talk very quickly which is why we cover so much ground. Stylistically I see class as an opportunity to expose people to new ideas and it is through the weekly problem sets and precepts that the material is really solidified. So if the pace seems almost inconceivably fast, that's why.
I have included both slide and handout forms of the lectures. They are intended to be viewed in slide form and while I have tried my best, the handouts do not always do justice to what is intended on the slides. For precept materials there are typically slides and a zip file containing additional handouts, code or data.
If you see a typo or other error- please email me!
Precept 2: Random Variables - September 22
Precept 10: Causal Identification/Estimation - December 1
Precept 11: Unmeasured Confounding - December 8