A Better Mirror: Data Analysis and the Political Economy of Evergreen

Fall 2018 and Winter 2019 quarters

Taught by

Peter Dorman
economics, political economy, statistics
  • UG

What do we know about our college, its challenges and resources, and the ways it can develop in the future? This program combines an intensive study of statistics with a close look at Evergreen—its financial position, student recruitment and retention, and its performance across a range of objectives, including diversity and equity—all in the context of the political economy of U.S. society and higher education in particular. No prior background in statistics is required; the program will start with the basics and work over two quarters to advanced methods in multivariate analysis, largely based on the Bayesian approach. In fall quarter this will include descriptive statistics and an introduction to programming in R, which is quickly becoming the most important software platform for data analysis. Building on these skills, in winter quarter we will explore methods in inferential statistics and exploratory data analysis. When possible, our data will come from Evergreen’s own administrative and self-study resources. Program work will include lectures, frequent workshops, research projects, meetings with on- and off-campus groups with a stake in Evergreen's future, and seminars on topics in theories of inquiry and political economy. At the end of winter quarter students will publicly present research findings and proposals to the campus community.

Program Details

Fields of Study

education mathematics political economy

Preparatory For

data analysis, public policy and administration, and empirical social sciences, including Evergreen's graduate programs in public administration and the environment.


Fall Open Winter Signature

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online