Big Data for Big
Policy ProblemsCornell Course
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.
To be successful in this program, you will need to have a New York Times subscription for the duration of the course. You may already have access through your high school or local library, or you can use one of the many subscription options from the New York Times website.
Key Course Takeaways
- Explore the roots of inequality in the United States, examining how data is used to inform policy decisions in racial, housing, income, and educational inequality
- Explore how the COVID-19 pandemic affects different groups of people as well as the ways data can inform our understanding of the risks, spread, treatment, and impact of a novel disease
- Analyze recent trends of crime, policing, and incarceration, and examine the different ways that big data might be used to understand and even prevent crime
- Use the statistical programming language R to uncover and describe patterns in data to understand relationships and gain insights into how data and data representations are linked to policy decisions
Download a BrochureNot ready to enroll but want to learn more? Download the course brochure to review program details.
How It Works
Who Should Enroll
- High school students interested in data science or social change
- Rising high school seniors
- Students aged 16 and older
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