📖Statistical Modelling

Instructor: Guy Abel 📁

This course focuses on the use of building and fitting statistical models using R. Throughout the course we use demographic data sets from a number of countries around the world. In the first part of the course we review popular R packages for presenting exploratory data analyses. The second part of the course covers the Central Limit Theorem in the context of regression analysis. The third part of the course illustrates the Generalized Linear Model (GLM) framework, including standard linear regression, binomial logistic regression and Poisson count regression and their implementation in R. In the final part, multilevel/hierarchical models are discussed and fitted. Upon completion of this course students will be familiar with standard statistical modelling techniques for analysing data as well as displaying and interpreting results effectively. 


📖Data Science for Social Science

Instructor: Guy Abel📁

This course focuses on the use of the R statistical language. Practical hands-on exercises will be emphasized throughout the course to build up participants R experience. No prior knowledge of R is necessary, although participants should be comfortable using computers to handle data sets in statistical software (such as SPSS or Stata) and spreadsheets (such as Excel). Upon completion of this course, students will be familiar with the R environment, its basic functions and some more advanced methods. We focus predominantly on the tidyverse suite of packages for importing data into R, manipulating data frames and different types of visualisations including creating maps and animations.

📖Spatial Analysis for Population Studies

Instructor: Zening Xu📁

This course provides an overview of spatial themes and techniques in demography. Examples will be drawn from many substantive areas of demography (e.g., mortality, fertility, urbanization, migration, poverty). Students will learn about spatial construction of place, basic mapping skills and spatial data creation and geoprocessing as well as statistical methods to explore and model spatially-referenced data to answer demographic questions. In the most advanced topics, students examine the special difficulties that spatial data may create for standard regression approaches and learn models and approaches for undertaking multivariate regression analysis in the presence of spatial heterogeneity and/or spatial dependence. Emphasis in the course is evenly split between learning how to make maps and a variety of spatial analyses.

Topics covered include thematic mapping, spatial autocorrelation, spatial cluster detection, and spatial point pattern analysis. An important aspect of the course is to gain expertise in the use of software for spatial statistical analysis, such as the ArcGIS, GWR4 and GeoDa software.

📖Population Geography

Instructor: Chen Chen📁

What are the effects of family-planning policies? Is an aging population something to worry about? Do migrants compete with locals for jobs? Many of today’s critical social issues are related to population size, structure, or composition, and where these issues occur can make the answers different. Population geographers study how location matters to demographic issues and processes, and this course is an introduction to population geography. The course takes a form of discussion seminar. Major topics in this course include fertility, mortality, and migration, with a focus on how they differ across time and space. With respect to each of these topics, we will learn a set of tools for measuring and describing population processes, data, and population composition.

Required reading:

Newbold, K. Bruce. (2021). Population geography: tools and issues, 4th edition, Rowman & Littlefield

📖Theories of Demography

Instructor: Nayoung Heo📁

This course focuses on exposing students to prominent and innovative demographic theories and concepts and their applications. There are no prerequisites for this course. Expected outcomes upon completion of this course are as follows. 1) Students feel comfortable with key demographic concepts and theories. 2) They understand the interdisciplinary nature of demography. 3) They can explain how study of population is crucial in explaining various social issues that we are facing now, such as low fertility and high old age dependency ratios. The course methods consist of traditional lecture, in-class discussion, writing assignments, student presentations, and development of a research proposal.

Reading Materials:

  • 1. Poston, Jr, Dudley L., and Leon F. Bouvier. 2016. Population and Society: An Introduction to Demography. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

  • 2. Joseph McFalls, Jr., 2007, 5th Edition. “Population: A Lively Introduction.” Population Bulletin, March, 3-29

📖Population, Environment, and Climate Change

Instructor: Leiwen Jiang📁

This course provides a comprehensive  examination of the interrelations between population, environment, and climate  change. It will help students understand the effects of population growth and  compositional changes on the environment, as well as the consequences of  environmental and climate changes on human societies. The course materials  will reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the topic while maintaining a  demographic focus. To achieve the objectives, we will review the main theories  of schools on population, development, and the environment, as a foundation  for critical consideration of human-induced environment and climate changes  and its feedback on human societies, the public debates on environmental and  climate justice, as well as sustainable development movements. Furthermore,  students will learn the basics of the major qualitative and quantitative  methods and tools used in the analysis of population and environment  interactions. Various environmental aspects, such as land, water, air, energy,  and climate systems, will be considered under various processes and components  of population dynamics, such as fertility, mortality and health, migration,  and urbanization.

📖Demographic Methods and Technique I

Instructor: Samir KC📁

This course aims to introduce the concept of demography and its methods and techniques and to study population issues in the contemporary world by analyzing the past evolution and exploring scenarios for the future. In this hands-on programming course, participants will learn how to use basic and advanced spreadsheet techniques (in Excel and VBA) to present and analyze demographic data. Each topic is aimed to show how to apply conventional and advanced Excel techniques to solve typical tasks of demographic analysis. More specifically, students will embark on a journey to understand the evolution of population in a country of their choosing. We will then define future scenarios and project population into the future along the basic dimensions of age and sex. Once the model is ready, we will explore the policy implications of different assumptions.

There will be a frequent back and forth between the instructor explaining a new concept or method followed by the students implementing this method on their computers. Students will be provided with input data, but will also have to search for their own data on the internet and download it for their calculations. In addition to the regular active participation in class and in group discussions, students will have to deliver reports in which they demonstrate how they could apply the new methods to new data.

After completion of this course, students will be able to

  • apply different demographic techniques using Excel and Visual Basic

  • calculate and interpret life tables

  • perform demographic projections applying cohort-component methodology

  • learn how to work with and transform large demographic data sets

📖Demographic methods and techniques II

Instructor: Guillaume Marois📁

The course aims to provide knowledge and skills on advanced demographic methods for population estimates, analyses and forecasts. The course content focuses on methods for estimating or modeling demographic components from alternative/indirect sources, such as the own-children method for fertility rates, the multiple decrement life tables, the gravity models to estimate migration flow, the Rogers-Castro migration schedule, etc. At the end of each lesson, the professor shows how to implement demographic methods learned into a microsimulation framework, which provide basic skills to perform multidimensional population projection and simulation, while introducing some methods to forecast demographic components (extrapolation/interpolation, cohort development approach, etc.) and for validation/quality assessment. Most exercises are conducted with Statistical Analysis System (SAS OnDemand for Academics – Free edition) and Excel.

Students need to bring their own laptop in class with Excel (or equivalent). SAS OnDemand for Academics can be used online for free after subscription. The course is suitable for graduate students with background in basic demographic and statistical methods.

📖Population, Health, and Health Policy

Instructor: Jinjing Wu📁

(2 taught by Jiaying Zhao)

The purpose of this course is to allow students to engage in population health thinking. This course has epidemiology as its core and is integrated with theories of relevant social sciences. Students will learn about different epidemiological study designs, including ecological, cross-sectional and cohort studies. Students will also learn how to use epidemiological tools to measure population health and quantify the magnitude of an association between exposure and disease. Brief reviews of relevant statistical methods and their applications in epidemiologic research and interpretation of results will be covered. This course also allows students to have a reservoir of theoretical frameworks (e.g., socio-ecological, life course, network perspectives) from which to draw when formulating research questions. This course also addresses the dynamic processes of fertility, mortality and migration and examines how the interaction of these processes is related to population health.

📖Internal Migration and Urbanization

Instructor: Yu Zhu📁

Internal migration and urbanization are two related but different phenomenon. To fully understand them, a multi-disciplinary perspective is required, which includes sociology, economics, demography and geography. The purpose of this course is to provide students with a comprehensive picture of the theories, methods and empirical research with regards to internal migration and urbanization. Combining lectures, student presentations, class discussions and seminars, this course aims to engage actively with the students and train them to do quality research on their own.

Reading Materials:

  • Castles, S., Miller, M. J., & Ammendola, G. (2005). The age of migration: International population movements in the modern world. New York: Guilford Press.

  • Swanson, David A. and Jacob S. Siegel. 2004. The Methods and Materials of Demography. Academic Press. Chapter 19.

📖Academic Writing in English

Instructor: Zhen Li📁

This course is designed for graduate students majoring in demography and sociology who need to write in English. Its aim is to help students become more competent, confident, and critical writers by developing abilities to successfully write academic papers. The course materials cover the basic rules and techniques of academic writing, such as structuring sentences/paragraphs, how to break up long sentences, how to be concise and how to highlight findings. The course also teaches the students of writing academic papers section by section, from title, abstracts, to conclusion and discussion. The course is featured by students’ active participation in extensive class activities and exercises. These activities and exercises are designed to fit the topics of each class and enhance students’ writing skills. Students are also encouraged to form writing groups among themselves, engage in in-class and out-of-class discussions of how to improve writing skills, and help edit each other’s work. At the end of the course, the students are asked to turn in a revised paper they wrote before, the writing of which should reflect techniques covers in the whole course.

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