Demographic Research Methods, SOC/CS&SS 533
Office: Padelford C-019 (CSSS)
Demographic methods are the set of tools used in population science and many allied disciplines. In this course, we examine the fundamental concepts, measures and models that demographers use to understand human population dynamics. The course covers how demographers measure and estimate population growth, mortality, fertility, marriage, and migration. We will examine both empirical and model-based methods for description, hypothesis testing and forecasting.
Objectives: After completing this course you will have familiarity with the concepts and major tools used for demographic analysis, as well as experiencing applying many of the tools to demographic data in exercises and by conducting a research project.
Tuesday and Thursday at 2:30 pm-3:50 pm in Smith Hall (SMI) 309.
Office hours: I will typically be available after class for office hours on Tuesdays, and sometimes on Thursdays. Other times can be arranged. Call (3-7586) or email me with questions or to set up an appointment.
The textbook is
- Preston SH, Heuverline P, Guillot M (2001) Demography: Measuring and Modeling Population Processes. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
Additional readings supplement the text. These readings will illustrate principles discussed in lecture and the text, and will also be used as the basis for some class discussions.
Grades: There will be 6 problem sets (11% each) that will make up 66% of your final grade, and a final research poster (34%). There are no exams, but attendance at the poster session during exam week is required.
Problem sets: The six problem sets will consist of analytical exercises and other short problems. Frequently, the problems will require (or be easiest) using computer software. Data sets for homework problems will be available on the course web site. You can use books, readings, notes, and web pages to help you work on the problems. In fact, you can work in groups on most exercises. Grades for late problem sets are reduced by 10% per day, including any fraction of a day late. I strongly prefer that homework be turned in on paper. In exceptional cases, I can accept pdfs or scans/photos of homeworks through email. If you turn in your homework in my mailbox or via the CSSS staff, please send me an email to let me know.
You can use any software that works for you and gets the job done. I strongly encourage you to do most of your work in a statistical programming language like R, Matlab, or Gauss. Most of the coding examples in this class will be in R, so it will be easiest for you to work in R unless you have excellent skills in another language. If there is sufficient interest, we can offer a tutorial on using the R programming language early in the quarter. Short courses introducing R are given by CSSCR during the first two weeks of the quarter (see: http://csscr.washington.edu/courses.html) and occasionally by CSDE.
34% of your course grade will be based on a project in the form of a completed poster with original research, analysis, and presentation using the methods covered in this course. I encourage you to work in a team of two on this project. You will present your poster at a poster session during finals week. The poster session will be a joint event with other CSSS and Statistics courses, and will be widely advertised to faculty and graduate students. A one paragraph description of your project will be due during week 6. If you don't already have a data set in mind, start early locating one. CSSCR has a data consultant who can help identify and procure relevant data sets. CSDE may be a useful resource as well. Feel free to discuss other sources of demographic data with me.
- PHG Ch 2
- PHG Ch 3
- Gehan (1969)
- PHG Ch 4
- PHG Ch 6
- PHG Ch 7, 8
- PHG Ch 10
- Vaupel and Yashin (1985).
- Poster Session: Tuesday, 19 March 2019, HUB 145, Set-up: 2:00pm-2:30pm, Session: 2:30pm-5:00pm, Teardown: 5:15pm-5:30pm
- Poster presentation handout
- CSSCR poster printing instructions
- Example Poster in Powerpoint format
- Resources for creating scientific posters:
- Michael Alley: Scientific Posters
- NYU: Poster Basics
- UC Berkeley: "Scientific Poster Design" presentation (pdf)
- NCSU: Creating effective poster presentations
- Colin Purrington: Poster design tips
- Making a better research poster (video)
- U of Guelph: Dos and Donts of poster design (video)
- Gerry Overmeyr: Making an academic research poster using Power Point
- Adam Read: How to produe an academic poster (video)
- Michael Alley: Scientific Posters
- Presenting your poster: