Public Policy Program
Course Description

Public Policy 201
Introduction to Statistics

You encounter statistics of some sort nearly every day—in the news media, in your courses, in research reports, or in your job. A primary objective of this course is to make you a more critical thinker by making you a more discriminating consumer of statistical information. Another goal is for you to learn to use statistics to present information in a succinct, systematic manner. You will be able to use the analytic skills you develop in this course in both your private and professional lives. The savvier you are about statistics, the more critically you can evaluate the choices that confront you as a citizen and consumer.

In this course, you will learn about some of the challenges of collecting data by collecting some of your own. You will learn how to describe your data using standard statistical measures. You will learn about probability, hypothesis testing, and linear regression. By the end of the semester, you will be ready for a first course in econometrics, and you will also be ready for a course in corporate finance.

Another objective of this course is to teach you to use standard computer software to carry out statistical analyses and present the results. The use of Microsoft Excel – the most widely used program for basic statistical analysis – is an integral part of the course. Learning to use Excel to do statistics will strengthen your grasp of statistics, as well as give you a concrete job skill.

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P: 510.430.3173

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Last Updated: 3/15/18