Course Number: 90-786
Intermediate Empirical Methods
Statistics is the science of summarizing, analyzing, and interpreting data. This
class is primarily intended to provide you with the tools to both comprehend
statistical analysis and perform it yourself. A strong emphasis will be placed on
understanding what the specific purpose of each statistical tool is.
It is important that you leave the class with the ability to do statistical analysis by
hand and on the computer. In class I will typically take a small data set and show
you how to do the statistical calculations by hand. During the review session you
will learn how to perform this analysis on the computer. To be sure that you have
gained mastery of both, you will have both hand calculations and computer
problems on your homework.
This course is divided into four distinct parts:
(I) The first part covers descriptive statistics, which involves calculating and
interpreting statistical measures to describe raw data.
(II) The second part covers introductory probability theory and key probability
distributions. This will be necessary for understanding the latter material.
(III) The third part will focus on the fundamentals of statistical inference, and
will provide you with the background for executing and interpreting
hypothesis tests and confidence intervals.
(IV) The final part of the course covers both simple and multiple regression,
one of the most widely used and powerful statistical tools for policy