Syllabus
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Download hardcopy of 2017 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) STATA for Beginners
Institute for Digital Research and Education, UCLA
Resources to Help you Learn and Use Stata
http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/
(5) 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 importan. This is NOT a course in programming. Instead, I will provide illustrations of statistical software 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!
#1. R with RStudio  FREE!
Choose this if you anticipate using R elsewhere (work, graduate school)
#2. Stata version 15  Price varies (Cheapest is $45 for 6month rental)
Choose this if you anticipate using STATA elsewhere (work, graduate school)
#3. StatKey – FREE!
Choose this if you are dreading this course, are dreading using statistical software and if
you do not anticipate doing statistical programming yourself.
You do NOT need to have obtained any statistical software 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 indpendnet 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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Grading Determination and Policy on Late Submissions:
Your course grade will be determined from completion (pass/fail) of participation, homeworks together with your scores on 3 tests, as follows.
Participation  5% 
I will request "participation" from you 5 times (each worth 1% of your grade). Specifically, I will use the Blackboard message utility (not your personal email). You must respond within 3 days to earn participation credit. 
Homeworks  20% 
I will post several homeworks. You do not need to do all of them. However, you msut submit 10 homeworks (each worth 2% of your grade) 
Test 1  25% 
Posting Date: Monday September 25, 2017
Due Date: Tuesday October 10, 2017
Topics Covered:
1  Summarizing Data
2  Data Visualization

Test 2  25% 
Posting Date: Monday October 23, 2017
Due Date: Monday November 6, 2017
Topics Covered:
3  Basic Probability
4  Probabilities in Epidemiology
5  Populations and Samples
6  Bernoulli and Binomial Distributions
7  Normal Distribution 
Test 3  25% 
Posting Date: Monday November 27, 2017
Due Date: Monday December 18, 2017
Topics Covered:
8  Statistical Literacy: Introduction to Estimation and Hypothesis Testing
9  One Sample Estimaation and Hypothesis Testing
10  Two Sample Estimation and Hypothesis Testing 
NOTE  There is NO test of Unit 11 (Chi Square Tests) or Unit 12 (Simple Linear Regression and Correlation).
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 week
grace 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 
Test Schedule:

Posting Date 
DUE Date
(Last date for submission for credit) 
Test #1
Unit 1  Summarizing Data
Unit 2  Data Visualizationa 
September 25, 2017 
Tuesday October 10, 2017
(October 17, 2017) 
Test #2
Unit 3  Basic Probability
Unit 4  Probabilities in Epidemiology
Unit 5  Populations and Samples
Unit 6  Bernoulli and Binomial Distributions
Unit 7  Normal Distribution 
October 23, 2017 
Monday November 6, 2017
(November 13, 2017) 
Test #3
Unit 8  Statistical Literacy
Unit 9  One Sample Inference
Unit 10  Two Sample Inference 
November 27, 2017 
Monday December 18, 2017
(December 20, 2017) 
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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:
Tuesday Friday September 58, 2017
First Worcester Section FacetoFace Class: Monday September 11, 2017
• Last Day to Drop with no record  Monday September 16, 2017
• Holiday, Columbus Day  Monday October 9, 2017
WORCESTER SECTION DOES NOT MEET FACETOFACE
• Both sections will work "online" this week
Last Day to Drop with “DR” Monday October 16, 2017
• Fall Semester Thanksgiving Holiday Week Break: MondayFriday November 2024, 2017 (No Class)
• Both sections will work "online" this week
• Last Week of Class
MondayTuesday December 1112, 2017
Last Worcester Section FacetoFace Class: Monday December 11, 2017
• Test 3 (Units 810) Due  Monday December 18, 2017
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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 
September 58, 2017 
Course Introduction 
Tuesday September 5, 2017 
2 
September 1115, 2017 
1 – Summarizing Data 
Monday September 11, 2017 
3 
September 1822, 2017 
2 – Data Visualization 
Monday September 18, 2017 
4 
September 2529, 2017 
3 – Probability: Basics 
Monday September 25, 2017 
5 
October 26, 2017 
4 – Probabilities in Epidemiology 
Monday October 2, 2017 
6 
Tuesday October 1013, 2017 
5 – Populations and Samples 
Tuesday October 10, 2017 
7 
October 1620, 2017 
6 – Bernoulli and Binomial 
Monday October 16, 2017 
8 
October 2327, 2017 
7 – Normal Distribution 
Monday October 23, 2017 
9 
October 30November 3, 2017 
8 – Statistical Literacty: Estimation and Hypothesis Testing 
Monday October 30, 2017 
10 
November 610, 2017 
9 – One Sample Inference 
Monday November 6, 2017 
11 
November 1317, 2017 
10 – Two Sample Inference 
Monday November 13, 2017 
 
November 2024, 2017 
FALL SEMESTER THANKSGIVING BREAK 
No Class 
12 
November 27  December 1, 2017 
11  Chi Square Tests 
Monday November 27, 2017 
13 
December 48, 2017 
12 Simple Linear Regression and Correlation 
Monday Deember 4, 2017 
14 
December 1112, 2017 
COURSE CLOSEOUT 
Monday Deember 11, 2017 




Test Schedule (duplicated from abov)e:

Posting Date 
DUE Date
(Last date for submission for credit) 
Test #1
Unit 1  Summarizing Data
Unit 2  Data Visualizationa 
September 25, 2017 
Tuesday October 10, 2017
(October 17, 2017) 
Test #2
Unit 3  Basic Probability
Unit 4  Probabilities in Epidemiology
Unit 5  Populations and Samples
Unit 6  Bernoulli and Binomial Distributions
Unit 7  Normal Distribution 
October 23, 2017 
Monday November 6, 2017
(November 13, 2017) 
Test #3
Unit 8  Statistical Literacy
Unit 9  One Sample Inference
Unit 10  Two Sample Inference 
November 27, 2017 
Monday December 18, 2017
(December 20, 2017) 
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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) 