Demographic Research Methods
Office: Padelford C-019 (CSSS)
Note: This course is being held on-line via Zoom. Registered students have received an email with the meeting information. Access to handouts, course notes, etc. require a UWNetID login. If you cannot access these items, contact the instructor.
Recorded lectures and other course links are indexed here.
Scope: Demographic methods are 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 the ability to apply many of the tools to demographic data. The tools will be applied in exercises and by conducting a research project.
Tuesday and Thursday at 2:30 pm-3:50 pm online.
Office hours: I will typically be available after class. I will hold office hours Wednesdays from 11am until 12pm. See the course media web page for a Zoom link. Other meeting times can be arranged. Call (3-7586) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 paper (34%). There are no exams.
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. Homework will be handed out and turned in through the course Canvas site.
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. Short courses introducing R are given by CSSCR during the first two weeks of the quarter (see: http://depts.washington.edu/csscr/courses/) and occasionally by CSDE.
34% of your course grade will be based on a project in the form of a data analysis paper using the methods covered in this course. I encourage you to work in a team of two on this project. 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 (Tina Tian) 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. The final project is due on 16 Mar 2021 by 6:20pm.
Academic misconduct: The university policy on plagiarism and academic misconduct is a part of the Student Conduct Code, which cites the definition of academic misconduct in the WAC 478-121. According to this section of the WAC, academic misconduct includes: "Cheating"-such as "unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes", "Falsification" "which is the intentional use or submission of falsified data, records, or other information including, but not limited to, records of internship or practicum experiences or attendance at any required event(s), or scholarly research"; and "Plagiarism" which includes "[t]he use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment."
The UW Libraries have a useful guide for students here.
Accommodation: Your experience in this class is important to me. If you have already established accommodations with Disability Resources for Students (DRS), please communicate your approved accommodations to me at your earliest convenience so we can discuss your needs in this course. The website for the DRS provides other resources for students and faculty for making accommodations.
Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW's policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy . Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form .
Inclusion: Among the core values of the university are inclusivity and diversity, regardless of race, gender, income, ability, beliefs, and other ways that people distinguish themselves and others. If any assignments and activities are not accessible to you, please contact me so we can make arrangements to include you by making an alternative assignment available.
Learning often involves the exchange of ideas. To include everyone in the learning process, I expect you will demonstrate respect, politeness, reasonableness, and willingness to listen to others at all times-even when passions run high. Behaviors must support learning, understanding, and scholarship.
Preventing violence is a shared responsibility in which everyone at the UW plays apart. If you experience harassment during your studies, please report it to the SafeCampus website (anonymous reports are possible, washington.edu/safecampus/). SafeCampus provides information on counseling and safety resources, University policies, and violence reporting requirements help us maintain a safe personal, work and learning environme
- PHG Ch 2
- PHG Ch 3
- Gehan (1969)
- Overheads (Jan 19)
- Overheads (Jan 21)
- HMOHIV data set (lecture example)
- Life table program for HMOHIV data set (lecxture example)
- Problem set 1 due (Tuesday)
- Problem set 2 distributed (Thursday)
- PHG Ch 4
- PHG Ch 5
- Zeman et al. (2018)
- Overheads (Feb 2)
- Overheads (Feb 4)
- Problem set 3 due (Thursday).
- PHG Ch 6
- PHG Ch 7, 8
- PHG Ch 10
- Vaupel and Yashin (1985).
- PHG Ch 11
- Jurdak et al. (2015)