The course is designed to teach students basic and advanced techniques for acquiring and transforming raw information into social and economic data. The 2016 version is particularly aimed at American Ph.D. students who are interested in using public-use and confidential U.S. Census Bureau data, and the confidential data of other American statistical agencies that cooperate with the Census Bureau. We cover the legal, historical, statistical, computing, and social science aspects of the data "production" process. Students will learn some of the statistical procedures necessary to handle the complex linked data sets increasingly available as confidential data, and will apply some of those techniques in class. New ways of accessing restricted access data will be both presented and sometimes tested. Major emphasis is placed on U.S. Census Bureau data that are accessible from the Federal Statistical Research Data Center network, which is adminstered by the Census Bureau on behalf of the collaborating statistical agencies. Graduate students and faculty who are planning to use RDC-based data, or are seriously considering it, should pay particular attention to the lab related to the proposal process. The course will be taught in a mixture of (a) web-based self-paced videos followed by online exercises and in-classroom discussion and additional materials (Sessions 3-8) (b) traditional classroom lectures (Sessions 1-2, 9-14) and labs.

Academic year: 
Feb-2016 to May-2016
Primary and cross-listed field of class or course: 
Number of students: