Carnegie Mellon University

Center for Informed Democracy & Social - cybersecurity (IDeaS)

CMU's center for disinformation, hate speech and extremism online

IDeaS Center for Informed Democracy & Social-cybersecurity

36-200 Reasoning with Data
Units: 9.0
Instructors: Nugent, Rebecca; Weinberg, Gordon; Burckhardt, Philipp
Schedule: Summer One
MWF 10:10-11:00 PM CUC MCCNMY (additional times and lectures listed)


This course is an introduction to learning how to make statistical decisions and reason with data. The approach will emphasize thinking through an empirical problem from beginning to end and using statistical tools to look for evidence for/against an explicit argument/hypothesis. Types of data will include continuous and categorical variables, images, text, networks, and repeated measures over time. Applications will largely draw from interdisciplinary case studies spanning the humanities, social sciences, and related fields. Methodological topics will include basic exploratory data analysis, elementary probability, hypothesis tests, and empirical research methods. There is no calculus or programming requirement. There will be one weekly computer lab for additional hands-on practice using an interactive software platform that allows student-driven inquiry. This course is the credit-equivalent to 36-201 and will be honored appropriately as a pre-requisite for downstream Statistics courses. As such, this course is not currently open to students who have received credit for 36-201, 36/70-207, 36-220, 36-247, or any 300- or 400-level Statistics course.