In Class News

April 2, 2021 at 12:21 pm

Fall 2021 | Course Offers Big Data Fluency for the 21st Century

April Cunningham, Undergraduate Admissions, University College, voices of OHIO

The Economics Department is offering a new series of 11 courses aimed at the heart of current events, both social and economic.

All of these courses are at the 2000 level, and there are no prerequisites. These 3-credit courses are open to all Ohio University students.

ECON 2200: Analyzing Real-World Scenarios with an Easy Tool

“The idea to develop a new course in data analysis came back in November 2018 when I read a Wall Street Journal article ‘UC Berkeley’s Fastest-Growing Class Is Data Science 101.’ The article described the highly popular data science class that aimed to make every student proficient not only in reading, writing and arithmetic – but data – the rapidly growing amount of information (Amazon’s customer reviews, Facebook’s likes and posts, Tweets, etc.) that companies collect and analyze (e.g. make inferences and predictions) to make business decisions,” says Dr. Olga Standrityuk. assistant professor of economics.

“Today, almost every click we make online is a data point. The data analysis draws on modeling skills from statistics, which economics professors typically teach, and some basic programming skills, which students typically lack – unless they are computer science majors.

Dr. Olga Standrityuk, portrait in her office

Dr. Olga Standrityuk

“Since the demand for these types of skills by companies grows rapidly, I thought that we need to teach our students basic programming skills to become proficient in data and ready for career opportunities in data analysis.”

In ECON 2200, students first learn the basics of Python programming language, then analyze lots of different datasets, such as studying the diversity of names given to U.S. babies starting from the 1900s, predicting the house market price based on its characteristics, or crime rates across different communities, among others.

“Students who took ECON 2200 in Fall 2020 found it beneficial and thought that Python was a great – and easy – tool to learn,” she adds.

Offered in Fall 2021

ECON 2130: Current Economic ProblemsDr. Harold Winter will cover crime and punishment, racial discrimination, smoking and addiction, and health insurance, and other important social and economic problems that face society today.

ECON 2200: Introduction to Data Analysis using PythonDr. Olga Standrityuk introduces the Python programming language as a way to apply economic analysis and prediction techniques to real-world scenarios—as students develop policy recommendations based on real-world data sets. 

ECON 2400: International Trade Relations and ApplicationsDr. Shamila Jayasuriya will look at world trade patterns and trade policies of both developed and developing nations—including tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers, industrial policies, and regional trade agreements.

ECON 2510: Global and Local Food EconomiesDr. Julia Paxton will take a look at the global and local food economy, including global food production and demand in the developing regions of the world, environmental degradation, food security, and local food distribution networks.

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