Sociology | Charts, Graphs, & Tables
S110 | 3750 | Cornell
This course meets the Math Cognition requirement. It can replace
S100 as the required introductory course for Sociology.
CHARTS, GRAPHS AND TABLES
a.k.a. The Joy of Numbers
Social scientists use numbers to make arguments. The development of
the computer over the past 25 years has meant numbers are
increasingly available and increasingly important for making
arguments. The objectives of this course are for you to:
Learn about the history and increasing importance of number
Learn how to evaluate the quality of the numbers you see; and
Learn how to generate pictures of numbers that are both
accurate and visually convincing. Thus this is a course about art
and math as well as about social science. Art and math are scary
topics for a lot of people. I will attempt to make them appealing to
This course covers standard topics in sociology such as population
size, labor force participation, sources of data, inequality, race
and ethnicity, family life, birth rates and death rates, gender,
social approaches to sexuality.
This is a studio-style course. You will spend much of your time in
class presenting and discussing material you have prepared outside of
class. An assignment will be due every week, sometimes 2
times/week. Usually a project will be assigned on Wednesday and will
be due the next Monday. These assignments go into your portfolio,
which will be the major source of evaluation in this course.
Wallgren, Anders et. Al. 1996. Graphing Statistics and Data.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. ISBN 0-7619-0599-5
Tufte, Edward R. 1990. Envisioning Information. Cheshire, CT:
You are expected to complete the projects, read the readings, listen
to the lectures, watch the films, participate in class discussions,
and do the other assignments.
PROJECTS = 60% (3 portfolio projects @ 20%)
TESTS = 30% (3 tests @ 10%)
HANDOUTS, CLASS EXERCISES = 10%