This course explores different ways to use data to understand social science phenomena. Data science is a quickly growing field, and data analysis skills are oftenessential for those pursuing careers inpolitical and policy-related industries, such as issue advocacy, program evaluation, political reporting, and campaigns. Data science requires a balance of creativity and statistical reasoning. In this course, students will combine both and learn how to explore, analyze, and visualize data to conduct social science research.We will use real datasetsto answer questions, such as: Does increasing the minimum wage affect unemployment? Which candidate is likely to win the election? Do natural resources make a country less democratic?This course introduces students to basic statistical concepts and programming using the free, open-source statistical software R. Students are not expected to have previous programming or statistical knowledge.This course is geared toward students who want to become intelligent consumers of quantitative information and develop the computational skills needed to manipulate and analyze data. Students should expect to devote several hours outside of class each week to work on their programming skills and understanding of statistical concepts.