Overview: Innovations in statistical learning have created many engineering breakthroughs. From real time voice recognition to automatic categorization (and in some cases production) of news stories, machine learning is transforming the way we live our lives. These techniques are, at their heart, novel ways to work with data, and therefore they should have implications for social science. This course explores the intersection of statistical learning (or machine learning) and social science and aims to answer two primary questions about these new techniques:
(i) How does statistical learning work and what kinds of statistical guarantees can be made about the performance of statistical-learning algorithms?
(ii) How can statistical learning be used to answer questions that interest social science researchers, such as testing theories or improving social policy?
Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 12:40 - 2:00 p.m. in 122 Berkey Hall