Your grade in this course will be determined by a series of 5 weekly homework assignments (40%), lab submission (10%), quizzes (10%) and a final project (40%).
Weekly assignments will take the form of a single R Markdown text file: namely, code snippets integrated with captions and other narrative. Except where otherwise noted, assignments are typically due on Wednesdays at 1:30pm ET
on the dates indicated on Canvas.
Your assignment score for the course will be calculated by averaging your four (4) highest
homework scores. That is, your lowest homework score will not count toward your grade.
Each homework assignment will have 5 problems
, each of which may have several parts. Your score for each assignment will be assigned according to the scheme outlined in the rubric below.
Total: 10 points
Correctness : Each homework will have 5 problems, which will often have multiple parts. Each of the 5 problems will be worth 2 points. Deductions will be made at the discretion of the grader.
Style : Coding style is very important. With the exception of Homework 1, you will receive a deduction of up to 1 point if you do not adhere to good coding style.
- No deduction if your homework is submitted with:
- good, consistent coding style
- appropriate use of variables
- appropriate use of functions
- good commenting
- good choice of variable names
- appropriate use of inline code chunks
- -0.5 if coding style is acceptable, but fails on a couple of the criteria above.
- -1 if coding style is overall poor and fails to adhere to many of the above criteria.
The Lab session is scheduled for Fridays
. Lab attendance is encouraged, but is not mandated due to the challenges this would present for students in remote timezones. During the lab sessions, students will get hands-on practice with the week's material by working on assigned lab activities. Members of the teaching staff will be available over Zoom to introduce the activities and to answer any questions you may have. Tasks may include but are not limited to: running or modifying code from the lecture, pair coding, or completing short coding exercises. During weeks where Friday sessions are cancelled due to holidays, you are still required to submit the labs in order for them to count toward your "participation" score.
All thirteen (13) scheduled lectures will have an associated lab component. Your Lab participation score for the course will be calculated based on the number of labs that you submit, as indicated in the table below.
There will be 4 short quizzes scheduled during the later weeks of class. Dates and times will be announced in advance. The purpose of these quizzes is to assess your understanding of various concepts that are central to the class. Your score on the quizzes will count for 10% of your final grade.
The final project for the class will ask you to explore a broad policy question using a large publicly available dataset. This project is intended to provide students with the complete experience of going from a study question and a rich data set to a full statistical report. Students will be expected to (a) explore the data to identify important variables; (b) perform statistical analyses to address the policy question; (c) produce tabular and graphical summaries to support their findings; and (d) write a report describing their methodological approach, findings, and limitations thereof.
While students may work in small groups to decide on appropriate statistical methodology and graphical/tabular summaries, each student will be required to produce and submit their own code and final report
Regardless of grading basis, students must receive a score of at least 50% on the final project in order to pass the class.