Modern Data Structures

QMSS S 5072 Modern Data Structures

M 12:10pm-2:00pm

Join this summer course from ISERP and Columbia School of Professional Studies (SPS).

The course will run for the 6-week duration of the Columbia Summer Session D, from May 28th through July 5th, 2019.

QMSS S 5072 Modern Data Structures is open to the public but requires registration with SPS prior to course registration. For more information on SPS application and registration, please visit their website and explore your options here. 

Course Goals

This course is intended to provide a detailed tour on how to access, clean, “munge” and organize data, both big and small.  (It should also give students a flavor of what would be expected of them in a typical data science interview.)  Each week will have simple, moderate and complex examples in class, with code to follow.  Students will then practice additional exercises at home.  The end point of each project would be to get the data organized and cleaned enough so that it is in a data-frame, ready for subsequent analysis and graphing.  Therefore, no analysis or visualization (beyond just basic tables and plots to make sure everything was correctly organized) will be taught; and this will free up substantial time for the “nitty-gritty” of all of this data wrangling.


Instructor: Michael D. Parrott

Dr. Parrott is appointed Lecturer-in-Discipline within the Department of Political Science and he teaches GIS and Spatial Analysis, Theory and Methods, Data Analysis for the Social Sciences and Data Visualization with QMSS. Prior to joining the QMSS faculty, he was a 2016-2017 American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow. As an APSA fellow, he designed web-applications to organize, centralize, and automate data collection and everyday tasks for committee and personal office staff. Before that, he was a senior research analyst with a focus on GIS and spatial statistical analysis for the Campaign Finance Institute, a nonpartisan NPO in Washington, DC. He holds a PhD in Political Science with a focus on American politics and research methodology from the University of Maryland, an MA in Political Science from Fordham University, and a BA in Philosophy, Psychology, and Political Science from the University of Texas. His research interests include American governing institutions (especially Congress), interest groups, money and politics, and quantitative methodology. His current work examines how the design of political institutions shapes who wins and who loses in the policymaking process.


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