Methods TA

This page has useful resources for students in the polisci graduate methods sequence at UIUC. This is not a comprehensive guide, but maybe a better starting point than googling stuff out of thin air.

If you want to set up a meeting check my office hours in your syllabus or send me an e-mail.

Learning R

  • There are many guides out there to learn from scratch. Use what you find more helpful given your learning style. I like the RStudio Cloud Primers because they resemble my own workflow
  • The tidyverse collection of R packages is becoming more and more common, consider incorporating them early on. The R for Data Science book is a good resource to get started

(Re)Learning Math

  • There is no replacement for taking courses. I deeply regret not paying more attention in high school and college. A decent alternative is to selectively watch YouTube videos of what you need to learn or remember as you go. These are some good channels for algebra, calculus, and statistics and game theory
  • Check the PSGSA Mathcamp repository for the materials of current and previous editions

Data Analysis and Visualization

  • Consider the estimatr package if you do a lot of design-based linear regression (the workhorse of our methods sequence). It includes built-in fixed effects and robust standard errors
  • For practical coverage on a variety of model-based methods, check the PSGSA methods cheatsheets (password protected)
  • If you find ggplot2 daunting, check out Gina Reynolds’ slow ggplot approach


PS 525: Formal Theory I

PS 532: Quantitative Political Analysis III

Spatial Econometrics

  • We will learn to visualize and analyze spatial data using a range of software tools. For the sake of reproducibility, in the future you may want to import your spatial econometrics workflow into R. This tutorial will help you get started with the techniques discussed in the course