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Lauren Gaydosh

Faculty ScholarPh.D., Princeton University

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology
Lauren Gaydosh



Health Disparities, Biosociology/Biodemography, Inequality/Stratification, Family, Life Course


Dr. Lauren Gaydosh is an Assistant Professor of Sociology, Research Associate at the Population Research Center, and Research Affiliate at the Center on Aging and Population Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. Her primary research focuses on better understanding the role of early life environments in shaping health across the life course. This work integrates social, contextual, and biological data from population-based longitudinal studies to examine how inequalities in the social environment get under the skin to create health disparities. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the US Fulbright Program.

Dr. Gaydosh was a Ruth L. Kirschstein Individual Postdoctoral Fellow supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a PhD in Sociology, Social Policy, and Demography from Princeton University. Her work has been published in Demography, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Journal of Health and Social BehaviorAmerican Journal of Public Health, and Social Forces.


SOC 317L • Intro To Social Statistics-Wb

44655 • Spring 2021
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM
Internet; Synchronous


This course presents a general overview of the statistical methods used in the social sciences. While it’s important that you gain an understanding of the mathematical concepts behind the statistical analyses, it is of even greater importance that you leave this course with a conceptual and rational understanding of today’s most commonly used (and useful) statistical methods.

Truth claims made with statistics are abundant and often have the quality of facts in U.S. social and political life. Unfortunately, because many people do not understand the statistics undergirding these claims, they receive less scrutiny than they deserve. It is my primary goal to ensure that students learn the basic statistical literacy they need to be smart consumers of information. Our increasing reliance on statistics to understand the social world means that statistical and analytic skills are marketable skills. In fact statistics is one of very few classes that sociology majors take that provides them with concretely marketable skills. I believe that giving undergraduates a solid understanding of statistics is a way of democratizing knowledge and its production. In teaching statistics my goals are:

  •   To demystify statistics so that every student can be a smart consumer of quantitative information.

  •  To teach students to think sociologically with and about quantitative information.

  • To provide students with a solid foundation of quantitative and computing skills that could serve

    as assets in subsequent employment and academic settings.

  •   To demonstrate to students that learning statistics has practical applications outside of the       classroom in everyday life.


Salkind, Neil J.. 2012. Statistics for People Who (Think They) Hate Statistics: Excel 2010 Edition. 3rd Edition. SAGE Publications. 

Grading and Reqirement:

I will use a non-competitive grading scale. In other words, the grade you receive will not depend on how well others have performed in class. You can earn a maximum of 115 points in this class. Your grade will be based on your mastery of each of the required tasks in the class. The grading scale for the final course grade is as follows: 115-94=A; 90-93=A-; 87-89=B+; 83-86=B; 80-82-B-; 77-79=C+; 73-76=C; 70-72=C-; 67- 69=D+; 63-66=D; 60-62=D-; 59 & below=F.

I do not give incomplete and will not change the final grade for whatever reason. You have plenty of opportunities to do well in this class. Use them.

If you receive a final grade of B+ or higher, I will write a personal recommendation for you in the future, stating that you have significant quantitative and computing skills.CLASS & LAB ATTENDANCE 10 PTS

As will be addressed later in detail, you have two free absences you can choose. However, I’d recommend you to use them only for emergencies. More than two absences will affect your class attendance grades negatively.

Curriculum Vitae

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    University of Texas at Austin
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