Data science has become an increasingly critical tool for driving social change – and a great launch point for careers in this area.
This course will teach you to analyze a dynamic set of today’s most pressing social equality challenges, using data science to better understand and shape these issues. Throughout the course, you’ll discover how to use the programming language R to uncover patterns and insights in several big data sets related to current issues such as income; racial and educational inequalities; the COVID-19 pandemic; and crime, policing, and incarceration.
Course activities will give you the opportunity to practice statistical analysis on data, use R within the RStudio development environment to produce illustrative graphs of the data, and directly connect policy decisions to real-world outcomes.
You will also have the opportunity to work directly with Professors Fitzpatrick and Hall during live synchronous sessions where you will discuss current issues, practice R programming, and interact with your classmates.
By the end of this program, you’ll have gained the ability to examine key issues through economic, demographic, and sociological lenses; explore how big data is being used to address policy problems; and master valuable statistical and technical skills to begin using data to make an impact.
Professor; Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Maria D. Fitzpatrick’s research focus is on child and family policy, with a particular interest in the economics of education. Specific studies have focused on early childhood education policies, higher education, teacher compensation, benefits and labor supply, teacher pensions and retirement, child maltreatment, incarceration’s effects on children and mothers, and the effects of retirement on the health of older Americans.
Professor Fitzpatrick is also Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the Brooks School and Associate Vice Provost for Social Sciences in the Cornell Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation. Professor Fitzpatrick is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, as well as an Affiliate in the CESifo Research Network, the Cornell Population Center, and the Center for the Study of Inequality.
Before arriving at Cornell, Professor Fitzpatrick was a Searle Freedom Trust postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Economic Policy Research at Stanford University. After receiving an undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she earned her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia, where she was both an Institute for Education Sciences and Spencer Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellow.
Professor; Director, Cornell Population Center; Director, MPA Program, Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy
Matt Hall is a demographer whose research focuses on immigration, racial/ethnic inequality, population change, and demographic methods. He has contributed to research assessing the economic and social impacts of unauthorized migration, the emergence of Latino boom towns and other new immigrant destination areas, and the changing nature of racial stratification and segregation in housing and neighborhoods.
Current research projects focus on understanding the consequences of intensified interior immigration enforcement, the link between immigration status and child development, describing patterns of racial discrimination in US housing markets, and the development of data science tools for demographic estimation.
Professor Hall is the Director of the Cornell Population Center (CPC), Director of the Program on Applied Demographics (PAD), and Director of the MPA Program.
Professor Hall received his undergraduate degree from Western Washington University and his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University.