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The Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences

The Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences started in 1999, with funding from the University Initiatives Fund. It was the first center in the nation devoted to this interface, with the triple mission of galvanizing collaborative research between social scientists and statisticians, developing a menu of new graduate courses for social science students, and putting together an innovative case-based undergraduate statistics sequence for the social sciences.

Research collaboration is fostered in a variety of ways, through seminars, seed grants, the consulting program, the working papers series, and the collaborative work of our core faculty. Our dynamic Seminar series meets on Wednesdays at 12:30pm in Savery 409 and is run by CSSS Seminar Director Jeff Arnold. This features a great deal of interaction and discussion, and is highly interdisciplinary in terms of both speakers and audience.

Seed grants have been awarded to jump start over 20 outstanding, mostly interdisciplinary projects featuring teams of investigators from Biostatistics, Demography, Economics, Linguistics, Political Science, Sociology, Statistics, and Microsoft Research. Several of these have already led to funded research grants from federal agencies.

The Statistical Consulting Service for the Social Sciences has been helping clients from across the social sciences on campus and beyond, including the State's HEC Board and United Way. It is run by CSSS Consulting Director Elena Erosheva ; please take advantage of this opportunity. Eighty-nine working papers have now been published, and further submissions are invited.

CSSS offers a rich menu of graduate courses in quantitative methods for social science students. These include loglinear modeling and logistic regression, applied regression, event history analysis, social network analysis, sample survey methods, Bayesian statistics for the social sciences, causal modeling, game theory and visualization of data, as well as a review of mathematics for social scientists. Ten Ph.D. specializations are available based on CSSS courses, in Anthropology, CSSS, Geography, Political Science, Public Affairs, Nursing, Social Work, Sociology, Statistics, and Urban Design & Planning. We also offer a Math Camp for social science graduate students every year in September.

At the undergraduate level, CSSS offers an undergraduate course on statistical methods for the social sciences (CS&SS 321). This is taught in a case-based way, a radical departure from the traditional first statistics course. Starting in 2009-10, we will also participate in offering a new course, STAT/CS&SS/SOC 221, Basic Statistics for the Social Sciences, which will provide statistical training for up to 540 undergraduate social science students.