CB 399: Fundamentals of Data Analysis for Experimental Biologists (Fall 2013)

Fundamentals of Data Analysis for Experimental Biologists (OR Statistics for Terrified Biologists)
Nanocourse Director: David Van Vactor
Curriculum Fellow: Abha Ahuja, Abha_Ahuja@hms.harvard.edu

ENROLLMENT FOR THIS COURSE IS LIMITED AND ATTENDANCE AT BOTH SESSIONS IS REQUIRED. PLEASE ENROLL EVEN IF YOU ARE AUDITING (POST-DOCS, FACULTY, STAFF). PRIORITY WILL BE GIVEN TO STUDENTS ALSO ENROLLED IN THE TECHNOLOGIES FOR DATA ANALYSIS NANOCOURSE. 

Biological research is becoming increasingly quantitative. Several user-friendly statistical programs have made it easy to apply advanced analytic methods.However some basic background is needed in order to fully harness the power of these packages. This nanocourse is designed to teach basic statistical concepts and theory in the context of real biological data and results analysis. This course will help students to:

  • Analyze their data
  • Interpret and understand the output from any statistical package or primary literature
  • Communicate their results accurately and effectively
  • Prepare for more advanced courses in statistics

Lectures will be interspersed with in-class exercises. The lecturer will teach each topic using real biological data. Students will explore each topic by conducting simple calculations using a calculator. At the end of each topic students will discuss a thought question or solve a problem in pairs or small groups.

Topics Covered:

  1. Describing your data and summary statistics
  2. Parametric vs. Non-Parametric Methods
  3. Making inferences using confidence intervals
  4. Making inference using statistical tests: t-test, Wilcoxon rank sum, and Correlation and Regression
  5. Use and abuse of p values

Schedule:

First Session: Thursday, October 17, 2013 10 AM - 1 PM
Location: TMEC, 448
 
Second Session: Thursday, October 24, 2013 10 AM - 1 PM
Location: TMEC, 334

Assignment: All students are required to complete a pre- and post- course survey and attend both days. In addition, students will complete two take home assignments, one at the end of each session. They can do these assignments using a calculator, excel or their favorite statistical software. 

 

 

 

DROP DEADLINE: Thursday, October 10, 2013