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Re: st: Upcoming NetCourses

From   Maarten buis <>
Subject   Re: st: Upcoming NetCourses
Date   Thu, 9 Sep 2010 07:54:12 +0000 (GMT)

--- On Thu, 9/9/10, Mark Nichols wrote:
> The ugly truth is that most classes do a poor job of
> preparing a graduate student. But he seems to think
> that a less-than-popular web-based class taught by
> non-researchers will help. <snip> so they can write
> do files that will run in 10 minutes intead of 30 

As I said, I have taken that course, and it helped. The
reason is probably that statistics/econometric/
psychometric/etc. classes are not intended to prepare 
people to do research, they typically assumed the data 
is all ready and all you need to do is type the one 
magic command to get your results. However, research  
consists to a large extend of very boring repetitive 
task of organizing your data to get it ready for the 
one magical command. Moreover, these boring steps 
actually consist of crucial decision of what it is that 
you are actually measuring. So in order for you to be 
able to tell what your analysis is actually telling you, 
you need to be well organized when it comes to your

This is what the net courses are to a large extend 
about. The aim of the netcourses is not to write fast code, 
but to write do files that actually do what you want 
them to do. A large part of the course consists of tips 
and tricks that help you keep an overview of a project 
that is larger than a couple of lines of code, so it 
will be useful for any research project that is worth 

Hope this helps,

Maarten L. Buis
Institut fuer Soziologie
Universitaet Tuebingen
Wilhelmstrasse 36
72074 Tuebingen


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