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Political Research Exchange - PRX

WF100 - Maths Refresher – FREE COURSE

Instructor Details

Instructor Photo

Susumu Shikano

Universität Konstanz

Instructor Bio

Susumu Shikano is Professor of Political Methodology at the University of Konstanz. He is also affiliated with the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research and the Hanse Institute for Advanced Study in Delmenhorst.

His research interests are various topics in electoral politics, coalition formation and methodology.

Susumu has published articles in journals including Public Choice, Political Psychology, Party Politics, West European Politics, and the British Journal of Political Science.


Course Dates and Times

Monday 17 – Friday 21 February, 08:00–08:50
This is a FREE supplementary course. You must register and pay for a one-week or two-week course in order to take it. To book, please check the box when registering.

Prerequisite Knowledge


Basic algebra (secondary school level)

Short Outline

Quick maths refresher focusing on topics essential to better understand analytical tools in modern social scientific research.

Such tools include statistical models (e.g. linear regression, factor analysis), estimation techniques (e.g. least squares, maximum likelihood), measurement, formal modelling, and all kinds of inferences.

The course deals with:

  • logic
  • algebra
  • calculus
  • matrix
  • probability

Logic is essential for sound inferences as well as for theory formation. Algebra, calculus and matrices are essential for formal modelling and for better understanding statistical models and estimation techniques. Probability playes a crucial role in statistical models as well as measurement of theoretical concepts.

We won't be able to discuss individual topics thoroughly in such a short space of time. Instead, I will emphasise the relationship between mathematics and individual aspects of social science research.

After this course, you can extend your knowledge of maths through the recommended readings, depending on your areas of interest.

Day-to-Day Schedule

Day-to-Day Reading List

Software Requirements


Hardware Requirements



Austen-Smith, D.; Banks, J. S. (1999)
Positive Political Theory I: Collective Preference
University of Michigan Press

Austen-Smith, D.; Banks, J. S. (2005)
Positive Political Theory II: Strategy and Structure
University of Michigan Press

Gary King (1989)
Unifying Political Methodology: The Likelihood Theory of Statistical Inference
University of Michigan Press

Additional Information


This course description may be subject to subsequent adaptations (e.g. taking into account new developments in the field, participant demands, group size, etc). Registered participants will be informed in due time.

Note from the Academic Convenors

By registering for this course, you confirm that you possess the knowledge required to follow it. The instructor will not teach these prerequisite items. If in doubt, contact the instructor before registering.

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