Courses for Fall 2020

Title Instructor Location Time All taxonomy terms Description Section Description Cross Listings Fulfills Registration Notes Syllabus Syllabus URL Course Syllabus URL
CRIM 100-401 Criminology Charles E Loeffler MW 02:00 PM-03:30 PM This introductory course examines the multi-disciplinary science of law-making, law-breaking, and law-enforcing. It reviews theories and data predicting where, when, by whom and against whom crimes happen. It also addresses the prevention of different offense types by different kinds of offenders against different kinds of people. Police, courts, prisons, and other institutions are critically examined as both preventing and causing crime. This course meets the general distribution requirement. SOCI233401 Society sector (all classes) <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
CRIM 240-301 Forensic Analysis Maria Cuellar CANCELED This course discusses the need for stronger scientific foundations in the analysis of forensic evidence from a scientific and a policy perspective. Forensic evidence, such as fingerprints, firearms, and hair, has been analyzed for hundreds of years to inform crime investigations and prosecutions. However, recent advances, especially the use of DNA technology, have revealed that a faulty forensic analyses may have contributed to wrongful convictions. These advances have demonstrated the potential danger of information and testimony derived from imperfect analysis, which can result not just in wrongful convictions but also in errors of impunity. In this course, students learn about the history of forensics, as well as about the recent advances that aim to improve current practices. It is an interdisciplinary course, but it focuses mostly on the statistical and scientific aspects of testing in forensics. Students discuss recent solutions that quantify the uncertainty, limitations, and errors associated with human factors, pattern evidence, and digital evidence. No prior statistical or forensic knowledge is expected. The course will be useful for students who wish to become forensic practitioners, law enforcement officers, lawyers, judges, researchers, or simply informed citizens.
CRIM 250-001 Statistics For the Social Sciences I Aaron J Chalfin CANCELED Statistical techniques and quantitative reasoning are essential tools for properly examing questions in the social sciences. This course introduces students to the concepts of probability, estimation, confidence intervals, and how to use the statistical concepts and methods to answer social science questions. The course will require the use of R, a free, open source statistical analysis program. This course has been approved for the quantitative data analysis requirement (QDA).
CRIM 270-001 Biopsychosocial Crim Adrian Raine Is there a "natural-born killer"? Why don't psychopaths have a conscience? And is it morally wrong for us to punish those who are biologically-wired for a life of crime? This interdisciplinary biosocial course argues that answers to these inscrutable questions can be found in the fledging field of "neurocriminology". This new sub-discipline brings together the social, clinical, and neurosciences to help us better understand, predict, and prevent future crime. We will explore the biosocial bases to crime and violence, analyze controversial neuroethical, legal and philosophical issues surrounding neurocriminology, and take a field trip to prison. This interdisciplinary course presents perspectives from the fields of psychology, neuroscience, criminology, sociology, law, business, public health, psychiatry, anthropology, neuroimaging, neuroendocrinology, forensics, nutrition, and pediatrics. It is suitable for those without a background in biology or criminology. It is particularly relevant for majors in Criminology, Psychology, Nursing, and Biological Basis of Behavior. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
CRIM 280-301 Neighbrhd Dyn. of Crime John M Macdonald MW 03:30 PM-05:00 PM Crime varies in time, space and populations as it reflects ecological structures and the routine social interactions that occur in daily life. Concentrations of crime can be found among locations, with antisocial activities like assaults and theft occurring at higher rates because of the demographic make-up of people (e.g. adolescents) or conflicts (e.g. competing gangs), for reasons examined by ecological criminology. Variation in socio-demographic structures (age, education ratios, and the concentration of poverty) and the physical environment (housing segregation, density of bars, street lighting) predicts variations between neighborhoods in the level of crime and disorder. Both ethnographic and quantitative research methods are used to explore the connections between the social and physical environment of areas and antisocial behavior. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
CRIM 315-001 Am Death Pen. Thry & Pra Thomas W Dolgenos TR 03:00 PM-04:30 PM Over the past forty years, in response to controversy over the American death penalty, the Supreme Court has created a framework of rules designed to make the death penalty conform to current societal standards. In this course, we will identify the critical issues identified by the courts (and the critics) in light of the practical realities of capital litigation, and we will ask whether the efforts to address these issues have been successful. The class will use specific case examples to identify the critical points in a death penalty case- for example, the decision to designate a prosecution as "capital", the performance of defense counsel, the penalty decision, and the method of execution. These critical stages will provide a platform for discussing critical issues like the proper limits of discretion; bias; cruelty; and the decision to disqualify certain groups of people from capital punishment (the mentally disabled, minors). <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
CRIM 402-401 Data Analytics in R Greg Ridgeway TR 01:30 PM-03:00 PM This course covers the tools and techniques to acquire, organize, link and visualize complex data in order to answer questions about crime and the criminal justice system. The course is organized around key questions about police shootings, victimization rates, identifying crime hotspots, calculating the cost of crime, and finding out what happens to crime when it rains. On the way to answer these questions, the course will cover topics including data sources, basic programming techniques, SQL, regular expressions, webscraping, and working with geographic data. The course will use R, an open-source, object oriented scripting language with a large set of available add-on packages. CRIM602401, SOCI605401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
CRIM 410-301 Research Seminar in Experiments in Crime and Justice Charles E Loeffler MW 03:30 PM-05:00 PM This seminar focuses on examining data from experiments in criminology including: randomized controlled trials of criminal justice policies, "natural" experiments in crime, and other quasi-experimental studies. A series of experiments conducted by Penn scholars and elsewhere will be examined. This seminar also guides criminology majors in writing a research proposal for their thesis. Students will learn about how to formulate a research question, develop a review of the literature, and how to apply necessary empirical methods. The final paper for this course will be a research proposal that can serve as the basis for the student's senior thesis and to satisfy the senior capstone requirement. Readings will come from the disciplines of criminology, sociology, psychology, economics, and urban planning. Prerequisite: Any statistics or research methods course leading to familiarity with Excel, SPSS, R, Stata, SAS, Matlab, or NumPy. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
CRIM 474-401 Modern Regression Richard A Berk CANCELED Function estimation and data exploration using extensions of regression analysis: smoothers, semiparametric and nonparametric regression, and supervised machine learning. Conceptual foundations are addressed as well as hands-on use for data analysis. This course may be taken concurrently with the prerequisite with instructor permission. STAT974401, STAT474401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
CRIM 474-402 Modern Regression Richard A Berk CANCELED Function estimation and data exploration using extensions of regression analysis: smoothers, semiparametric and nonparametric regression, and supervised machine learning. Conceptual foundations are addressed as well as hands-on use for data analysis. This course may be taken concurrently with the prerequisite with instructor permission. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
CRIM 536-401 Quantitative Methods I Hans-Peter Kohler TR 12:00 PM-01:30 PM This course is an introduction to the practice of statistics in social and behavioral sciences. It is open to beginning graduate students and--with the permission of the instructor--advanced undergraduates. Topics covered include the description of social science data, in graphical and non-graphical form; correlation and other forms of association, including cross-tabulation; bivariate regression; an introduction to probability theory; the logic of sampling; the logic of statistical inference and significance tests. There is a lecture twice weekly and a mandatory "lab." DEMG535401, SOCI535401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Registration also required for Recitation (see below)</span>
CRIM 600-301 Pro-Sem in Criminology John M Macdonald M 09:00 AM-12:00 PM This course provides an overview of the leading criminological theories of crime. The central focus is on the major theories of crime developed over the past century from the disciplines of economics, psychology, and sociology. The course will focus on the application of social science research as a way to evaluate theories of crime. Special attention is devoted to the issues of measurement of crime and what is known from the available empirical data. In addition, the course will focus on how these theoretical perspectives relate to public policy responses to crime. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Undergraduates Need Permission</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
CRIM 604-301 Criminology in Practice Greg Ridgeway T 04:00 PM-06:00 PM In this capstone course, students will meet weekly with guests who work on or close to the front line of the criminal justice system. Past guests have included police chiefs, forensic scientists, lobbyists for gun rights and lobbyist for gun control, formerly incarcerated individuals, crime analysts, directors of sentencing commissions, prosecutors and defenders, politicians, and researchers at research organizations working closely with criminal justice agencies. Guests share their career paths, the roles of their organizations in the justice system, and key justice system challenges. Students interact with all guest speakers. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Undergraduates Need Permission</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Non-Majors Need Permission From Department</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Majors Only</span>
CRIM 634-001 Evidence-Based Crim Prev Aurelie Ouss W 09:00 AM-12:00 PM This course considers the use of evidence to identify effective crime prevention policies. The course will teach students to think critically about what constitutes convincing evidence, use benefit-cost analysis in comparing policy alternatives, and write effective policy memos that can translate research into practice. We will develop these skills by studying the effects of different policy approaches to crime prevention including incarceration, policing, gun control, drug regulation, and place-based interventions, as well as education, social programs, and labor market policies. Emphasis will be on the methodological challenges to identifying "what works" and the empirical methods to overcome those challenges. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
CRIM 662-401 Panel Data Analysis Xi Song R 03:00 PM-06:00 PM This course focuses on the ability to use, analyze, and understand panel data. Panel data contain repeated measurements of the dependent variable for the same individuals, and possibly repeated measurements of the predictor variables as well. Panel data offer important opportunities for controlling unobserved variables and for answering questions about causal ordering. SOCI662401, DEMG662401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
CRIM 702-001 Math Stat For Crim Greg Ridgeway MCNB 150 W 01:00 PM-03:00 PM This is a Ph.D. level course intended to introduce students to advance mathematical statistics methods for development of models and parameter estimation. The main goal is to introduce students to the process of developing likelihood-based models of criminological processes. Examples will draw from racial profiling, police shootings, traffic fatalities. Prerequisites: Single-variable calculus, basic linear algebra, R programming, introductory statistics. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Majors Only</span>