Introduction to Data Analysis for Sociology Graduate Students
rev: 7/30/2014
Syllabus
Fall Quarter, 2014
Mondays and Wednesdays
11A12:30P
Room TBA
Lab/Section once a week time and place TBA
Michael J. Rosenfeld
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
Building 120 room 124
The class website is my personal Stanford website
Office Hours by appointment
TAs:
TBA
Introduction:
In this class you will teach yourself basic statistics including regression, how do statistical analysis, and how to find flaws and problems with statistical analyses.
In the process of learning about data analysis you will also learn about demography and stratification in the U.S., because the dataset is the Current Population Survey of March, 2000, which is a nationally representative survey of more than 60,000 households, with lots of information about race, gender, income, occupation, place of residence, and so on. You'll also learn how to use one of the most powerful and flexible tools for data analysis, the statistical software STATA.
Most class materials will be posted on my website (www.stanford.edu/~mrosenfe). We will use Coursework for collecting homework and returning homework, collecting and returning presentation drafts, collecting presentation slides, posting grades, and sending group emails.
Readings and Grading Policy
Books required (available at Stanford Bookstore):
* Tufte, Edward. 2001. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Graphics Press. ISBN10: 0961392142. $30
* Treiman, Donald. 2009.
Quantitative Analysis: Doing Social Research to Test Ideas. JosseyBass. ISBN10: 0470380039. $59
* Silver, Nate. 2012. The Signal
and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail But Some Don’t. ISBN10: 1594204111. $16
Recommended
Books:
* Mathematical
Statistics and Data Analysis, by John Rice, Duxbury Press, 3rd edition
2006, ISBN10: 0534399428. $175
* Freedman,
David, Robert Pisani, and Roger Purves. 2007. Statistics. Fourth
Edition. W.W. Norton. $125. ISBN10: 0393929728
The most
important readings for the class are the Excel files, Stata logs, and PDF
documentation posted on my website. Aside from the Tufte book, which we will be
going over pagebypage in class, the other books are all supplementary. That
is, you don’t need the books. This is briefly why you should own the books anyway:
* Treiman is an
excellent book about social statistics (using Stata), which covers some
practical aspects of data analysis that we won’t get to in this class.
* Freedman is a
classic introductory text about statistics, with no math, but with very good
plain English explanations. If you don’t have a math background, Freedman’s
explanations may be helpful to you. If you do have a math background, the
Freedman may help you explain statistics to other people. And if you end up
teaching undergraduate statistics in the future, you may be teaching from
Freedman.
* Rice is a
classic introduction to statistics for readers who have at least a modest
familiarity with calculus. Rice offers outlines of proofs, a fairly deep
discussion of probability theory, and lots of great problems you can work
through on your own. Rice is a great reference book that you should have on
your shelf if you plan on doing any data analysis.
* Silver is a
brilliant book about some practical applications and misapplications of
statistical thinking in the everyday world.
Software
Required
* You will need
Stata in order to do the homework for Soc 381. You have several options:
1) The least
easy and the least palatable is to use Stata over Unix. This is free but very
cumbersome.
2) Stata is
installed in the graduate student computer cluster, running on Windows PCs.
This is a good solution, except that you won’t have access to Stata in class or
when you are home.
3) The option
that offers the most convenience, but also costs the most, is for you to buy a
license for Intercooled (IC) Stata, Version 13. Purchase a perpetual license
for $189 (the 1 year license won’t serve you for long enough). If you have some
extra cash, consider buying the Stata SE license, which is $395, but which allows
larger data sets to be loaded and manipulated. The software comes with a small
introduction to Stata book. Don’t bother buying Stata’s massive printed
reference book collection for this class. I will teach you the Stata commands
that you need to know, and the Stata online help is very good.
http://www.stata.com/order/new/edu/gradplans/campusgradplan/
Note that the
Graduate Student Computer Lab may run an earlier version of Stata. Different
versions of Stata work pretty much the same way.
Students
with Disabilities:
Students
with Documented Disabilities: Students who may need an academic accommodation
based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the Office of
Accessible Education (OAE). Professional staff will evaluate the request with
required documentation, recommend reasonable accommodations, and prepare an
Accommodation Letter for faculty dated in the current quarter in which the
request is made. Students should contact the OAE as soon as possible since
timely notice is needed to coordinate accommodations. The OAE is located at 563
Salvatierra Walk (phone: 7231066, URL: http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/oae).
Units:
This Course
justifies an additional unit of credit, beyond what would be expected based on
the typical assignment of class time and outside work. An additional unit
represents, on average, 30 additional hours of work expected of a student
during the quarter, devoted to homework and to the preparation of the student’s
research presentation.
Computer Use
Policy:
* Computer use by students during class is
strictly limited to following along with the data analysis examples being
presented by the professor.
Grading:
Project 2 (Data analysis and interpretation) homework 
4 homeworks, 10% each 
Regular section participation 
5% 
Inclass presentation (data analysis of dataset of your own choosing) outline 
5% 
Inclass presentation (data analysis of dataset of your own choosing) actual presentation to class 
20% 
Final Exam 
30% 
Project and
Reading Assignment Timeline
Week 
CLASS 
Class lecture Goals 
READING (Readings in bold are required and will be discussed specifically in that class. Other readings are supplementary) 
ASSIGNMENT 
1 
Sept 22 
Introduction to Stata and Data Analysis Section 

Hand out CPS HW #1 

Sept 24 
Basics of descriptive data analysis using STATA 
Read Treiman’s chapters 14. Read Rosenfeld’s online Stata guide



section 
Work on HW 1 and on using STATA 







2 
Sep 29 
Observational Studies and their limitations 
Freedman Ch 2, 4 


Oct 1 
Error and bias 
Freedman Ch 6 Silver Ch1, 4 
HW #1 due Hand out HW#2 

section 
Stata, and HW 2 







3 
Oct 6 
Probability sampling, Sample size and power, and standard errors 
Freedman Ch 20; read also Treiman Ch 9; Rice, ch. 6 


Oct 8 
More on sample size and power. 
Freedman Ch 21 Rice, p. 398411 


section 
Work on STATA, discuss the issues in HWs 2 and 3 







4 
Oct 13 
Introduction to regression with STATA 
Freedman Chs 9, 10 Treiman, Ch 56 
HW #2 Due Hand out HW#3 

Oct 15 
More on regression with STATA, interpreting coefficients 
Freedman, Ch 11; Rice ch. 14 


section 
Work on STATA, discuss the issues in CPS HW #3 







5 
Oct 20 
Problems with and difficulties in using regression, Graphing. 
Freedman Ch 12 


Oct 22 
More limitations of regression analysis 
Tufte, P. 187 Tufte, P. 90190, Treiman chapter 10 
HW #3 due Hand out HW #4 

section 
Work on STATA 







6 
Oct 27 
Proper and improper presentation of data; Regression analysis: residuals and outliers 
The Jasso v. Udry debate is required reading: 1)Jasso's original article on coital frequency. 2) Kahn and Udry's critique. 3) Jasso's response See also: Silver, Ch 2 and 6 


Oct 29 
Logistic regression 
Treiman chapter 13 Rice p. 253268 


section 
work on HW 4 







7 
Nov 3 
Other topics, including logistic regression and the likelihood ratio test 
Treiman
p. 264276; Rice
p. 253259; 303315 


Nov 5 
Other topics 

HW #4 due 






Sunday, November 8 


Presentation Proposals Due 
8 
Nov 10 
A little bit about Bayes 
"The Earth is Round" by Jacob Cohen (the Cohen article
is required reading). Silver Ch 8 


Nov 12 
Some additional, and advanced topics 







9 
Nov 17 
Some additional, and advanced topics/ Student Presentations 



Nov 19 
Student Presentations 








Nov 2428 
Thanksgiving break 







10 
Dec 1 
Student Presentations, and some Final Exam Review 



Dec 3 
Student Presentations, and some Final Exam Review 












Final Exam 

in class Final Exam at the regularly schedule time and place 

