This is a collection of the courses I have taught thus far. I have also taught a few workshops and created a number of potentially-helpful tutorials here and there. Click on the thumbnails to see more and check back for updates.
This course serves as an introduction to the political systems in sub-Saharan Africa. Special attention is given to state formation and the role of colonialism in shaping the modern experience. Certain lectures are devoted to specific countries and/or leaders, but the primary focus of the course is thematic. A large emphasis is also placed on current events when relevant (e.g., democratic elections, ebola, and secession of South Sudan).
Having taught this course for over a decade it has evolved substantially. My goals are always to provide the general student with the foundational tools to understand, and interact with, government in the United States. I also try to make sure students get a health dose of modern political science in the process.
This course introduces undergraduates to the basic process of comparing nations in the positivist paradigm. Using a mixture of textbooks and canonical political science articles students will learn the basic strategies of the modern comparative approach to political science. I place no normative preference on the difference between cross-national and sub-national research although I do present the tradeoffs of each approach. I have also prepared a graduate survey course that is much more comprehensive in scope with some additional emphasis placed on research design.
This course introduces students to the political history and modern states in the Middle East and North Africa. Typically I start with the post World War I period and pepper links to watershed events prior to that time (e.g., events on the Arabian peninsula in the 7th century). The course then moves quite rapidly into the post World War 2 and 1979 eras with deeper examinations of proper nouns as needed. Thematic topics such as Islam and authoritarian politics, democracy, political terror, and state formation are also discussed throughout.
This graduate-level course introduces students to the concept of policy and program evaluation. Students learn the process of logic models and ultimately create a proposal for evaluating a program or policy of their own choosing. The focus is on applied theories of logic and program management. The course also draws on my personal experience as a former government contractor.
I teach multiple versions of this course. The first is a basic undergraduate introduction to quantitative social science research. The second is a more advanced version that centers around the linear econometric model and its assumptions. The graduate-level courses range from scalar-based introductions to matrix-based treatments of special problems such as causality, identification, maximum likelihood, and relaxing assumptions about normality, time, and space. In all cases my focus is on giving students the applied and theoretical tools to carry out modern research at their own level of sophistication.
This several-day workshop introduces (typically graduate) students to qualitative research design with a particular focus on complementing quantitative efforts. The workshop is designed for students trained under a positivist paradigm and employs systematic techniques and software to tackle situations in which large-n data are either not available or cost prohibitive. In any case the goal is to get students to understand that depth and can provide useful context that may not be otherwise available to them.
In addition to short workshops, I also teach a graduate-level course on applied problems in spatial econometrics. Unlike spatial statistics, spatial econometrics focuses much more on causality across unit boundaries and co-dependence in an econometric framework. Although I use geographic examples for illustrative purposes, my focus is very much on any type of spatial clustering/heterogeneity—whether geographic or not. Click here to download a zip file of some materials for getting started with spatial work in Stata. All code comes as is with no warranty although I welcome feedback and suggested errata.
Here you can find a variety of slides and templates for my various efforts at LaTeX over the years. Much of this comes from teaching software bootcamps at Texas A&M, although I have added to it extensively. Please let me know if you find issues with any of the examples but they are all provided as is with no warranty.