Mathematical Modeling in Political Science


This course is designed to provide mathematical tools useful for the rest of the statistical methods sequence, as well as for other courses in formal theory or mathematical modeling. Throughout the course, the mathematical tools are motivated by applications to the general problem of how politics can be modeled for purposes of statistical analysis, deductive reasoning, or conceptual theorizing. This motivation is accomplished by means of a consistent focus on such processes as individual decision making, the representation of issues, statistical phenomena, and phenomena of change over time. The course assumes a sufficient background in elementary algebra, logic, functions, and graphs; remedial work in these areas will be offered through a review course during the last week or two of summer. Mathematical topics covered include: sets and relations; probability; differential calculus and optimization; difference equations; and linear algebra.
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