professor
Daniel Corstange

May 2021

I could not recommend Professor Corstange more! He is friendly and approachable (regularly includes jokes and fun quotes on his slides, brings great energy to class), but also so genuinely invested in student wellbeing. I took the class during COVID-19, and Professor Corstange was incredibly understanding, extending class deadlines on assignments several times given the unusual semester. He makes class fun and breaks down complex concepts so that they are understandable with no background knowledge. He regularly checks in with the class to make sure we understand and will slow down or explain things again if necessary. At the same time, we break down real research in the field and perform our own analyses with R on World Bank data, so the work still feels meaningful. The class is much more about understanding the flaws in experimental design and the obstacles to collecting data within a political science context, rather than the technicalities of statistical calculation. At the same time, I definitely came away from the experience feeling much better equipped to read and analyze political science research (i.e. the diagrams you typically skip over in journal articles) and to perform basic statistical analyses with R. If you're a political science major (with zero statistical background) looking for a fun, low-stress class where you'll genuinely learn a lot about statistical analysis, take Scope and Methods with Professor Corstange! Grading is very generous, and the assignments often involve designing your own experiment, which is actually quite fun.

May 2021

TAKE THIS CLASS! I learned so much about how to conduct a research study, and how to think about solving problems view lab experiments, field experiments, comparative case studies, surveys, etc. I also learned how to code in R. This class is a great way to foray into any kind of research work and I highly recommend it, especially if you have little to no background in statistics you'll need for social science classes. Professor Corstange is a really wonderful professor to take this course with. Besides being very, very knowledgeable about the field (he's actually conducted several innovative research in the Middle East)— he manages to make material that would otherwise be very, very boring extremely interesting. He is super funny and he actually makes his slides super funny and interesting too. He's also amazing at turning what could be a very lecture-heavy class into a very discussion-based class. Even the stats textbook that he makes us read is super not-boring and has lots of cartoons and stuff. Overall, you learn a lot of material without it being completely draining on your soul.