Teaching

Course syllabi from recent courses offered by Dean Martin appear below.

The Politics of Judging (Undergraduate)

Judges play a crucially important role in American governance because nearly all political issues end up in the courts. The purpose of this course is to look at how politics affect what judges do. Understanding of how judges decide cases is also of fundamental importance for those seeking to explain how law evolves over time and how it is applied in particular instances. This course highlights important normative debates about the appropriate role of judges and surveys the social scientific literature on how judges make decisions.


Judicial Decisionmaking (Undergraduate)

An understanding of how judges decide cases is of fundamental importance for those seeking to explain how law evolves over time and how it is applied in particular instances. The purpose of this course is to highlight important normative debates about the appropriate role of judges and to survey the social scientific literature on how judges make decisions. Topics include: theories of decisionmaking; judicial selection; constraints under which judges operate; the agenda and litigation process; collegial courts; intercourt relations; the separation of powers; and, the public.


Quantitative Political Methodology (Undergraduate)

This is an introduction to research methodology and quantitative analysis for social scientists. Students will be introduced to the logic of social scientific inquiry, and to the basic statistical tools used to study politics. Students will learn and apply the following to answer substantive questions: measurement, descriptive analysis, correlation, graphical analysis, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, analysis of variance, and regression analysis. Major components of the course include learning how to collect, manage, and analyze data using computer software, and how to effectively communicate to others results from statistical analyses. Students will work collaboratively on research projects where they pose their own questions, design a study, collect and analyze the data, and present their findings in a research paper.


Statistical Modeling (Graduate)

This course is an introduction to quantitative political methodology, focusing on probability theory and elementary statistical inference. Particular attention will be paid to distribution theory, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, and Bayesian methods.


Judicial Decisionmaking Seminar (Graduate and Law)

To understand what the law actually is in practice, and to understand how it evolves over time, it is necessary to understand how judges decide cases. The purpose of this seminar is to survey the social scientific literature on how judges make decisions. Topics include: theories of decisionmaking; judicial selection; constraints under which judges operate; the agenda and litigation process; collegial courts; intercourt relations; the separation of powers; and, the public. Course materials will be drawn from original published studies. The seminar will meet weekly to discuss the assigned readings. Students are expected to participate actively in the seminar discussion. Each student will be required to write a 1-2 page reaction memorandum three times during the semester. Throughout the semester students will research and write a paper, approximately 15 pages in length, on a topic agreed on with the instructor. Students are expected to turn in an outline, rough draft, and final version of the paper. Seminar attendance and preparation are required.