Undergraduate Program News

  • Louis Cid ’14 has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue a Master’s degree political science in Paris, France. 
  • Congratulations to Andrew Blinkinsop ’13 and Madeline Magnuson ’13, who have been awarded Fulbright Fellowships for 2013-14. Andrew is living in Volgograd, Russia, on an English Teaching...

Announcements

Government Dept. Senior Thesis Writers’ Workshop Calendar

*Feb 27 (Thurs) Thesis Orientation Workshop, CGIS K-262, 7-9 pm
(George Soroka)
Have you ever wondered what writing a thesis in Government entails, and whether the process would be worth it for you? This is your chance to hear a presentation about what the Department expects of writers and to ask any questions you may have. This workshop is designed for juniors.

*,**Feb 28 (Fri) Quantitative Methods Workshop, CGIS K-031, 11:30am-1:30 pm
(Andy Hall)
Quantitative research requires bringing data to bear on a question of interest.  How do you gather data?  How do you organize it?  How do you analyze it?  Come to this workshop to see an overview of how to tackle these goals. Andy Hall, an experienced graduate student and member of Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, will lead a workshop designed to acquaint Harvard undergraduates with the basics of quantitative research in the social sciences. Current and prospective thesis writers are welcome to attend. Please note that the point of this event is not to teach statistics to students, but to help those with some background determine when and how to apply statistical methods to their research question.

*March 4 (Tues) Survey Methods Workshop, 7-9 pm, CGIS K-262
(Chase Harrison)
Survey research is a popular method many students use to collect data for honors theses.  This workshop, sponsored by the Harvard Program on Survey Research, is targeted toward undergraduates considering designing an original survey as part of their thesis research, and may also be useful for any student planning on collecting field data.  The workshop provides an overview of the survey process, with a focus on practical applications that can be implemented in thesis research.  Topics include selecting an appropriate mode for data collection, designing and selecting a sample, and designing a survey questionnaire. Chase Harrison (charrison@gov.harvard.edu), Preceptor in Survey Research, is also available by individual appointment for students with special questions about survey design.  The workshop is geared towards juniors in the process of developing a senior thesis project.

*March 10 (Mon) From Question to Research Design, CGIS K-262, 7-9 pm
(Leslie Finger)
This workshop is designed to help students planning to write a thesis move effectively from the stage of having a general (and perhaps vague) interest in a topic to formulating an implementable research design. You may not leave the workshop with all your questions answered, but you will leave with a better understanding of what social science research is (and isn’t). This workshop is designed for juniors contemplating a senior thesis.

*March 24 (Mon) “Mixed” Methods: When Are They Appropriate? CGIS K-262, 7-9 pm
(Chris Rhodes)
Many Government undergraduates are savvy enough to know that “mixed methods” are often utilized in the political science literature they read, but what does employing “mixed methods” entail? And how can such approaches aid in potentially producing a strong senior thesis? This workshop, designed for juniors contemplating a thesis, will help answer these questions for you.


*March 26 (Wed) Different Ways of Structuring Qualitative Research, CGIS K262, 7-9 pm
(Ruxandra Paul)
Qualitative methods come with their own specific set of rewards and challenges. Designed for juniors, this workshop will acquaint you with the most common qualitative approaches used by social scientists and help you determine which are best suited towards answering the research question you have in mind.

March 28 (Fri) Quantitative Methods Workshop, CGIS K-031, 11:30 am-1:30 pm
(Andy Hall)
Quantitative research requires bringing data to bear on a question of interest.  How do you gather data?  How do you organize it?  How do you analyze it?  Come to this workshop to see an overview of how to tackle these goals. Andy Hall, an experienced graduate student and member of Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, will lead a workshop designed to acquaint Harvard undergraduates with the basics of quantitative research in the social sciences, with a focus on standard regression models. All prospective thesis writers are welcome to attend. Please note that the point of this event is not to teach statistics to students, but to help those with some background determine when and how to apply statistical methods to their research question.

*March 28 (Fri) Combining Normative and Empirical Research in the Senior Thesis, CGIS K-450, 4:30-6pm
(Don Tontiplaphol)
In the Department’s experience, prospective thesis writers frequently wonder whether they can combine aspects of normative theory with empirical research. This is the workshop to attend if you have questions about how (and when) to blend the two; if you’re not sure about whether you are writing a straight political theory thesis or “something in between,” you’ll want to attend this session.  

*April 1 (Tues) What is Causal Inference? CGIS K-262, 7-9 pm
(Michael Gill)
Political scientists talk a great deal about causal inference. But what exactly does making a causal argument entail? What sorts of evidence (and accompanying methods) are required to make claims concerning such processes and logics? Run by a member of Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science, this is a great workshop for prospective senior thesis writers to take, especially if they anticipate using quantitative methods.



KEY:
* = primarily for juniors
**=primarily for current senior thesis writers
 
 

COURSE SUMMARY FOR SPRING 2014 GOV CLASSES