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 use; 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 you. 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. Textbooks 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: Graphics Press. Grades 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%