Saint-Louis University - Bruxelles

HIST1315 - Quantitative methods for historians

Credits : 4

Lecturer :
Mode of delivery :
Face-to-face , second term, 30 hours of theory.

Timetable :
Second term
Monday from 10:45 to 12:45

Language of instruction :
The course, supports and examination are in French.

Learning outcomes :
This course aims to introduce the students to the use of statistics in historical analysis. It has two main aims: to overcome misperceptions on data analysis and to manage basic tasks on series (diachronic and synchronic).

Prerequisites :

Co-requisites :

Course contents :
The course attempts to provide basic tools, with the use of Excel. It is mainly focused on descriptive statistics. What does a historian understand as a data? Where does a historian can collect data? Putting data in a table and in a graph. Analyzing a table and a graph (e.g. What does a historian learn from these representations? How does it help to document the trend, the context? What are the limits and pitfalls?). Connecting tools to the representation (table & graph): average, median, medial, moving averages, standard deviation, variance, covariance, regression… Analyzing trends: indicators, inflection points, …

Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
The course combines ex cathedra lectures and exercises, as it takes place in a computer room.

Assessment methods and criteria :
The final assessment is a written examination (3 hours) held in the same computer room. The students are asked to solve similar exercises to those presented during the semester. They answer on a questionnaire connected to their Excel file. A formula sheet is provided.

Recommended or required reading :
Frédéric SALY-GIOCANTI. Utiliser les statistiques en histoire. Paris, Armand Colin, 2005.

Other information :