The Subtleties of Statistics & Society

University Curriculum: University Lecture Program

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
Statistics & Society
Fall 2023
Taught By: Lai Yi Ohlsen
Section: L

CRN: 15979

Credits: 0

Statistical data and methods are often posed as a rational, non-narrative construct capable of infusing a universally truthful logic into any situation. For this reason, they have been embedded throughout history into the cores of our basic societal structures such as governments, scientific institutions and economic markets. Statistics are presently most considered for their relatively recent explosion into forms made possible by the Internet and cheaper computing (e.g. artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc.) but even in the context of these opaque, complex applications, data (statistical or otherwise) in its most basic form is nothing more than a piece of information that ultimately takes the shape of the narrative that communicates it. What does it mean to “trust” a data source? What techniques do we need to learn and histories do we need to articulate to extricate the underlying premise of the data that our work - be it political, artistic, scientific or other - fundamentally depends on? And how can we instrument statistical knowledge as a tool for power inversion, that is, how can statistics be applied by civil society in the public interest and for the broader social good? Students will graduate the course with a basic understanding of statistics, their impact on society, their pitfalls as well as their potential for power. **Students must register for both the lecture and discussion section of this course.** [This ULEC is in category 2, Introductions to Social Research.]

College: University Curriculum (UL)

Department: University Lecture Program (ULIB)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Lecture (L)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 75

Add/Drop Deadline: September 11, 2023 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 19, 2023 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

* Seats available but reserved for a specific population.

Status: Open*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 7:10pm EDT 5/28/2023

Meeting Info:
Days: Monday
Times: 2:10pm - 3:25pm
Building: Academic Entrance 63 Fifth Ave
Room: L104
Date Range: 8/28/2023 - 12/11/2023