Math Camp

Fall 2016

Welcome to “Math for Political Scientists,” affectionately known as “math camp.” This course is meant as a math refresher for incoming graduate students to the Department of Government. Everything for the course is hosted on github. You may want to take a look at what is assumed knowledge


  Morning Afternoon
Monday N/A Functions & Intro to calculus
Tuesday N/A Calculus
Wednesday Matrix algebra Scientific computing with R
Thursday Set theory & combinatorics Best practices
Friday Probability Scientific computing, continued
Monday Statistics OLS
Tuesday Wrap-up, methods at UT N/A


Homework problems will be uploaded here the day they’re assigned.


Programs you may want to install

The slides for this class are written in rmarkdown, which lets me use R code and Latex math to produce pdf slides. If you want to render them yourself, you’ll need to install R and Latex. Here are instructions on how to do so:


R is the program we’ll use for statistical computing and graphics. The slides for this class are set in rmarkdown, which is a way of integrating R code with a document. Installation of R is very easy:

R editor

R comes with a GUI that is not the greatest. Here’s a short list of other R editors. All of these work in Linux, Mac, and Windows. Try them out and use the one you like most. Rstudio is probably the most popular out of these, at least among our department.


Latex is a program that nicely typesets pdf documents. The slides for this class are written in rmarkdown, which relies on Latex to convert them to pdf documents.

Latex is a rather large download, so make sure you aren’t paying for data before downloading it.

There are different Latex distributions depending on the operating system you use:

Latex editor

There are a ton of different latex editors out there. Here are a few, all of which work on Linux, Mac, and Windows. There’s a great list on StackExchange that lists many more. People can also vote on their favorites.