General information

Course overview

During this course, students will develop basic skills for obtaining, cleaning, transforming, and visualizing datasets using the statistical programming language R and using RStudio as an integrated development environment. Emphasis is placed on documenting one’s scientific work using RStudio in conjunction with Github to fulfill the principles of reproducible research. During the second half of the course, students will learn how to use statistics and simple models for analyzing and interpreting dataset trends. Statistical topics are approached from a computational point of view using randomization and simulation methods. Hypothesis testing via statistical inference will also be introduced, along with its limitations. The course concludes with a special topic: working with textual data. During the course, connections with the covered topics and current events and technology will be brought up for discussion and reflection. The power and limitations of the scientific method in the context of data-driven modeling and simulations will be emphasized, which demonstrate how scientific literacy and a competency in statistics are indispensable tools to making sense of our modern world.

Meeting times

Section 001 of CDS-101 meets on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:00pm–4:15pm in 1004 Exploratory Hall.


Dr. James K. Glasbrenner

Office hours

  • Mon. 1:00pm–2:00pm
  • Tues. 11:00am–12:00pm

Office hours can also be scheduled by appointment.

Contact policy

All online correspondence must be done via your Mason email address or using accounts linked to that address.

My ground rules regarding online messages (includes email):

  • I check and respond to messages during normal university hours.
  • Allow approximately 24 hours for a response during normal hours.
  • I generally don’t respond to messages over weekends and school holidays.
  • If your message is a list of questions or requires more than a couple of sentences to answer, I will ask you to come to office hours or make an appointment.

Please note: The CDS-102 labs are a separate course from CDS-101. I do not answer questions for the lab. All correspondence regarding labs are to be directed to the lab instructor Joseph Shaheen.