Peter J Wilcoxen

PAI 789 Advanced Policy Analysis

Spring 2024

General Information About the Course

General Information, Textbook and Requirements
General information that you may need at the beginning of the semester.
Course Outline
Preliminary lists of topics that will be covered this semester.
Materials from Class Sessions
Where to find PDFs of notes and other materials from each class.

Quick Reference for Google Classroom, Slack and GitHub

Google classroom
Slack workspace pai789s24  
GitHub organization maxwell-pai789  

Key Resources

Course Google Drive Folder
Access to data files that aren't built into the assignment repositories.
Software Packages
Download links for key software packages used throughout the semester.


Apr 22 Repositories are due Monday 5/6 by 11:59 pm. 
Jan 17 Welcome! 

Computational Exercises (GitHub)

Analytical Exercises (Google Classroom)

Listed under the Materials from Class entry for the day they were given.

Other Documentation and Resources

Downloading Data Files from the Class Google Drive
How to avoid data corruption.
How to Stop Safari from Unzipping Files
Turning off unhelpful behavior
About Scores and Feedback on Assignments
Information about assignment scores and feedback.
Guidelines for Using GitHub
A few tips on how to use GitHub in this course.
Best Practices for Documentation in Python
A few tips on how to use GitHub in this course.
Operator Precedence in Python
Table showing the order of precedence from highest to lowest.
Markdown Cheatsheet
A great quick reference guide
Guidelines for Presentations
Please refer to these when preparing your talk at the end of the semester.
Documentation for Geopandas
An extension of Pandas for handling spatial data.
Documentation for Pandas
The official documentation for Pandas.
Google Document Translation Service
Able to translate docx, pdf, pptx, and xlsx files to and from many languages.
How to Avoid DLL Errors on Windows
How to work around some unusual Anaconda configuration issues in Windows
How to Turn Off Automatic Data Conversions in Excel
Recent versions of Excel support this, which is super helpful.
Matplotlib Colormap Documentation
A guide to the colormaps and palettes available.
Notation for Computational Exercises
A brief explanation of some short instructions you may see in the assignments.
Poster Session Schedule for Spring 2021
Presentation titles and GitHub links
Poster Session Schedule for Spring 2022
Presentation titles and GitHub links.
Poster Session Schedule for Spring 2023
Presentation titles and GitHub links.
Poster Session Schedule for Spring 2024
Presentation titles and GitHub links.
Python Documentation at Codeacademy
Quick access to tips on key Python topics.
Python Graph Gallery
An excellent and very broad collection of example graphs, with code.
Seaborn Data Visualization Library
Very powerful Python module for statistical data visualization.
UTM Locator Map
A quick reference map showing which UTM zones correspond to different parts of the world.
xkcd Color Survey
A very large survey of colors and color names. A set of xkcd colors is available in Matplotlib and described here

Data Sources

Census Documentation
Selected information useful in working with Census data
Census Shapefiles
Links to the key download pages a the Census
Census State and Local Government Finance Data
Available annually.
City of Syracuse Open Data Portal
Includes GIS data.
The federal government's open data access portal.
EIA US Energy Atlas
Extensive GIS data on the US energy sector.
International Disaster Database
Federal Election Commission
Data on political contributions.
FEMA Flood Map Service Center
Find flood maps by using the "Search All Products" tool and selecting "NFHL Data-County"
FEMA Open Data
FEMA's open data repository
A long-standing university consortium that provides access to many social science datasets.
International Shapefiles
Links to pages that provide international GIS data.
Intergenerational database of 15 M individuals born in Ohio or North Carolina
Massachusetts Property Tax Parcels
Shapefiles and data on tax parcels in the state.
Microsoft Building Footprint Data
Datasets of building footprints by state.
MIT Election Lab
A wide range of datasets on US Federal elections.
New York State
The NYS open data access portal.
New York State GIS Clearinghouse
An extensive repository of NYS GIS data.
New York State Property Tax Data
Data on all tax parcels in New York. Provided by county for parcel centroids.
World Bank Open Data
Open access development data.
Site Index | Zoom | Admin
Peter J Wilcoxen, The Maxwell School, Syracuse University
Revised 05/07/2024