I taught "Introduction to American Politics" during Yale Summer Session 2018. In my role as lecturer, I designed the syllabus, delivered lectures, led interactive workshops, and evaluated all student works.
The course was an introduction to the study of American government and politics. In five short weeks, the course covered a wide range of topics, including the constitutional foundations of the U.S., political institutions, mass politics, the media, political parties, and interest groups. Students explored other topics of interest to them through essay assignments. Besides acquiring substantive knowledge about American politics, students also learned how to think like political scientists by reading and discussing contemporary works in the discipline.
The aim of this course is to provide students with the understanding and tools to critically consume and conduct statistical research. The theme is the challenge of drawing reliable causal inference. We will learn: how to use graphical methods to transparently analyze and present data; how to discipline our analyses against multiple-comparisons bias; how to use nonparametric methods to avoid implausible assumptions; how strong research design is essential to causal inference; how Bayesian inference provides the mathematical vocabulary for thinking about scientific inference; how causal graphs allow us to express and analyze causal assumptions, choose control variables, and think about selection bias; how placebo tests allow us to test assumptions; how to build and understand Likelihood and Bayesian models including Logistic and Probit models; how to think about and analyze time-series cross-sectional data. We will review instrumental variables methods and regression-discontinuity designs.
Public policy in the United States and the methodological and theoretical tools used to study the forces that shape it. Economic and political science perspectives on the policy process and contemporary American governance. Domestic policy issues such as health care, economic inequality, job insecurity, the federal debt, environmental protection, criminal justice, financial regulation, and primary and higher education.