Syllabus
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Download hardcopy of 2018 syllabus here
Instructor:
Instructor: Carol Bigelow, PhD
School of Public Health
402 Arnold House
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003
tel: 413/5451319
email: cbigelow@schoolph.umass.edu
There is NO required Text:
Instead, an optional text by Whitlock and Schluter is offered. It is quite good and comes with nice internet resources:
Resources for optional text
The Analysis of Biological Data, Second Edition
(Student resources)
Other Text Resources for Those Wishing Them (again  not required):
(1) Course content
Whitlock MC and Schluter D
The Analysis of Biological Data, Second Edition
Macmillan Learning
2015
ISBN10: 1936221489
(2) A very reader friendly resource, very basic, for those of you dreading this course
Triola MM and Triola MF
Biostatistics for the Biological and Health Sciences
Pearson Addison Wesley
2006
ISBN 0321194365
(3) R for Beginners
Horton NJ, Pruim R, Kaplan DT
A Student’s Guide to R: Project Mosaic
https://cran.rproject.org/doc/contrib/Horton+Pruim+Kaplan_MOSAICStudentGuide.pdf
(4) StatKey, for those of you dreading using the computer
Resources to accompany Lock, Lock, Lock, Lock & Lock: Statistics: Unlocking the Power of Data
http://www.lock5stat.com/StatKey/
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Statistical Software:
First and very important. This is NOT a course in programming in R. Instead, I will provide illustrations of its use. With luck, you can follow along. And, with a bit more luck, you can use these illustrations in future work. But use of any statistical software package will not be needed for any of the exams.
We will be using statistical software in the homeworks and practice problems. You have 3 choices, depending on your interest and comfort zone!
You do NOT need to have obtained R before the class starts. I will provide you with complete instructions in the first weeks.
Course Description
This course is the first of a two semester sequence: BIOSTATS 540  Introductory Biostatistics and BIOSTATS 640  Intermediate Biostatistics. Minimal mathematical background is required. Familiarity with algebra is generally sufficient. The goal of BIOSTATS 540 is basic statistical literacy. It begins with a discussion of the ideas of variability in nature and the tools we use for its description. The distinctions between systematic versus chance variability are detailed. Concepts in simple random sampling and sampling distributions are introduced. Within this framework, you will learn selected methods of data description, estimation and hypothesis testing.
Topics include: graphical and numerical description, random sampling and selected probability models (the Bernoulli, binomial, and normal), sampling distributions, confidence interval estimation, and the basics of statistical hypothesis testing. If time permits, there will also be an introduction to simple linear regression and correlation.
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Course Objectives and Outcome Competencies
Course Objectives: By the end of this course, you should be able to perform, interpret, and communicate the findings of selected simple statistical analyses of biological and health data, including description, confidence interval estimation and hypothesis testing.
Outcome Competencies:
The specific outcome competencies include, but are not limited to the following:
1. Explain why we need biostatistics;
2. Distinguish among the different measurement scales and explain why these distinctions matter;
3. Produce basic, numerical, summaries of data;
4. Produce basic, graphical, summaries of data;
5. Explain basic concepts of randomness and probability;
6. Compute and interpret basic statistics computed from 2x2 tables of epidemiological data;
7. Describe selected probability distributions: Uniform, Bernoulli, Binomial, Normal, StudentT, F, and Chi Square;
8. Computer and interpret confidence intervals and hypothesis tests in selected settings: single sample, single sample paired data, and two indpendent samples;
9. Interpret the results of statistical analyses found in selected, basic, public health studies; and
10. Interpret vital statistics and public health records.
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Office Hours:
This class has two sections: 1) Online using Blackboard Learn; and 2) Facetoface at the UMass/Medical School campus, Worcester MA.
Online section:
We will respond to Blackboard messages within 24 hours every day except Saturday. I encourage you to take the day off on Saturday, too! You are also welcome to email me directly at cbigelow@schoolph.umass.edu. Or telephone me at 4135451319 (Note  I may not answer on Mondays as this is the day that I am at the Worcester campus, so please leave a message)
Worcester, inclass, section: Mondays 4:00  5:00 UMass/Medical School Cafeteria, or by appointment.
This course has 12 units
1, Summarizing Data
2. Data Visualization
3. Probability: Basics
4. Probabilities in Epidemiology
5. Populations and Samples
6. Bernoulli and Binomial Distributions
7. Normal Distribution
8. Statistical Literacy  Introduction to Estimation and Hypothesis Testing
9. One Sample Inference
10. Two Sample Inference
11. Chi Square Tests
12. Simple Linear Regression and Correlation
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Grade Determination:
Your course grade will be determined from completion of 10 sets of homework (pass/fail) together with your scores on 3 tests, as follows.
;

Percent of Grade 
Homeworks
Ten (10) of the course lecture notes will have embedded homework questions. You are to work these as you read along. Note – I will provide instructions for submission. 
25%, subtotal 
Exams (all open book)
Test 1
Test 2
Test 3

75%, subtotal
as follows:
Best test – 40%
2^{nd} best – 20%
3^{rd} Best – 15% 
All exams are "take home" exam, open book. You are allowed to used whatever resources you like. But you are NOT allowed to consult with any person except the course instructor.
Policy on Late Submissions
I will accept late submissions upt o one week, with a 20 point penalty. If you know you will be submitting your work late, I encourage you to use the full one weekgrace period, as the point deduction is the same!
On Time 
Full Credit for points scored 
17 Days Late 
Points scored  20 points 
8+ Days Late 
0 points (no credit) 
Letter Grade Determination:
A 
95 and over 
A  
90  94 
B + 
8789 
B 
8386 
B  
8082 
C + 
7779 
C 
7076 
F 
Below 70 
Exam Posting Dates and Due Dates:

Posting Date 
Due Date 
Test 1
Unit 1  Summarizing Data
Unit 2  Data Visualization

Wednesday
September 26, 2018

Wednesday
October 10, 2018
Last Date for Submission
(20 points)
Wednesday
October 17, 2018

Test 2
Unit 4 – Probabilities in Epidemiology
Unit 5 – Populations and Samples
Unit 6 – Bernoulli and Binomial Distributions
Unit 7 – Normal Distribution

Wednesday
October 31, 2018

Wednesday
November 14, 2018
Last Date for Submission
(20 points)
Wednesday
November 21, 2018

Test 3
Unit 8 – Statistical Literacy – Estimation and Hypothesis Testing
Unit 9 – One Sample Estimation and Hypothesis Testing
Unit 10 – Two Sample Estimation and Hypothesis Testing

Wednesday
November 28, 2018

Friday
December 14, 2018
Last Date for Submission
(20 points)
Friday
December 21, 2018

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For PHP Online Students  Policy on GPA and Course Repeat:
If you are an MPH or PHP online student, you must earn a grade of "B MINUS" or better in this course.
All students must maintain a 3.0 GPA during their time as students in the program. In addition, all MPH and PHP studens must receive a final grade of “B –“ or better in each of the following courses:
BIOSTATS 540 – Intrroductory Biostatistics
EHS 565 – Environmental Health Practices
COMHLTH 601 – Applications of Social and Behavioral Theory
HPP 620 – Introduction to the US Health Care System
EPI 630 – Principles of Epidemiology
HPP 624 – Research Methods
If a student fails to receive a B or better in these courses, they will have to repeat the course.
If a student’s overall GPA falls below the 3.0 level, the student will be subject to academic measures pursuant to Section I.4 of the Graduate Student Handbook, including academic probation and/or academic dismissal.
Important Dates to Remember
First Week of Class 
Wednesday  Tuesday September 511, 2018 
First Worcester Section FacetoFace Class 
Monday September 10, 2018 
Last Day to Drop with no Record 
Monday September 17, 2018 
Columbus Day Observance 
Monday October 8, 2018 
Last Day to Drop with “DR” 
Tuesday October 30, 2018 
Fall Semester Break – NO CLASS 
MondayFriday November 1923, 2018 
Last Week of Class 
MondayWednesday December 1012, 2018 
Last Worcester Section FacetoFace Class 
Monday December 10, 2018 
Test 3 (Units 810) Due 
Friday December 14, 2018 
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Course Schedule with Dates of Postings
I am sorry but I do NOT post course materials ahead of schedule.
Week 
Date 
Unit  Lecture 
Latest Posting Date 
1 
Wednesday – Tuesday
September 511, 2018 
1 – Summarizing Data 
Wednesday September 5, 2018 
2 
Wednesday – Tuesday
September 1218, 2018 
Up and Running with R! 
Wednesday September 12, 2018 
3 
Wednesday – Tuesday
September 1925, 2018 
2 – Data Visualization 
Wednesday September 19, 2018 
4 
Wednesday – Tuesday
September 26October 2, 2018 
3 – Basic Probability 
Wednesday September 26, 2018
EXAM 1 Posted Today 
5 
Wednesday – Tuesday
October 39, 2018 
4 – Probabilities in Epidemiology 
Wednesday October 3, 2018 
6 
Wednesday – Tuesday
October 1016, 2018 
5 – Populations & Samples 
Wednesday October 10, 2018 EXAM 1 DUE Today 
7 
Wednesday – Tuesday
October 1723, 2018 
6 – Bernoulli & Binomial 
Wednesday October 17, 2018 
8 
Wednesday – Tuesday
October 2430, 2018 
7 – Normal Distribution 
Wednesday October 24, 2018 
9 
Wednesday – Tuesday
October 31 – November 6, 2018 
8 – Estimation & Testing 
Wednesday October 31, 2018
EXAM 2 Posted Today 
10 
Wednesday – Tuesday
November 713, 2018 
9 – 1 Sample Estimation & Tests 
Wednesday November 7, 2018 
 
November 1923, 2018 
FALL SEMESTER BREAK 
 
11 
Wednesday – Tuesday
November 1427, 2018 
10 – 2 Sample Estimation & Tests 
Wednesday November 14, 2018
EXAM 2 DUE Today 
12 
Wednesday – Tuesday
November 28  December 4, 2018 
11 – Chi Square Tests 
Wednesday November 28, 2018 EXAM 3 Posted Today 
13 
Wednesday – Tuesday
December 511, 2018 
12 – Simple Linear Regression 
Wednesday December 5, 2018 
 
COURSE CLOSEOUT 

Friday December 14, 2018
EXAM 3 DUE Today 




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Policy on Late Submissions (duplicated from above)
On Time 
Full Credit for points scored 
17 Days Late 
Points scored  20 points 
8+ Days Late 
0 points (no credit) 