Syllabus
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Download hardcopy of 2015 syllabus here (pdf, 9 pp)
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, we have permission to use two open learning resource sites:
1. University of Florida Health. Biostatistics Open Learning Textbook (http://bolt.mph.ufl.edu)
2. Carnegie Mellon University Open Learning Initiative Course, Statistical Reasoning (Open & Free)
Other Text Resources (NOT required):
(1) This is the text I have used in past years.
Rosner, Bernard
Fundamentals of Biostatistics, Seventh Edition
Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning
2011
ISBN13: 9780538733496
(2) This is a very reader friendly resource. Very basic. Good of you are dreading this course
Triola MM and Triola MF
Biostatistics for the Biological and Health Sciences
Pearson Addison Wesley
2006
ISBN 0321194365
(3) A wonderful introductory book that emphasizes understanding and literacy and with minimal use of equations and mathematical notation
Motulsky H
Intuitive Biostatistics
Oxford University Press
1995
ISBN 0195086074 (Soft cover)
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Statistical Software:
Use of statistical software is not required for this course and will not be required for any of the examinations.
However, I anticipate that many of you will want an introduction to the use of statisitical softwared. Therefore, I will be providing illustrations of the use of Stata version 14. If you are interested in giving this a try (and, again  this is optional!), you may purchase it at discount by following the instructions on the pp 24 of the pdf of this syllabus (click here)
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. Describe the roles biostatistics serves in the discipline of public health.
2. Distinguish among the different measurement scales and the implications for selection of statistical methods to be used based on these distinctions.
3. Apply descriptive techniques commonly used to summarize public health data..
4. Describe basic concepts of probability, random variation and commonly used probability distributions.
5. Apply common statistical methods for inference.
6. Describe preferred methodological alternatives to commonly used statistical methods when assumptions are violated.
7. Select and perform the appropriate descriptive and inferential statistical methods for selected basic study design settings.
8. Interpret the results of statistical analyses found in selected, basic, public health studies; and
9. Apply basic informatics techniques with vital statistics and public health records in the description of public health characteristics.
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Office Hours:
This class has two sections, online and inclass.
Online section: Email your question to cbigelow@schoolph.umass.edu. Or telephone me at 4135451319 (Except Mondays)
Worcester, inclass, section: Mondays 4:00  5:00 UMass/Medical School Cafeteria.
This course has 9 units
1. Summarizing Data
2. Introduction to Probability
3. Populations and Samples
4. The Bernoulli and Binomial Distributions
5. The Normal Distribution
6. Estimation
7. Hypothesis Testing
8. Chi Square Tests
9. Regression and Correlation
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Grading Policy:
HOMEWORKS: 10 of 14 homeworks are required for full credit. I post solutions with the homework questions! Thus, your homework grade is based on a timely submission of your attempt to answer these questions.
EXAMS: All 4 exams are required. Each exam is a one or two week "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.

Percent of Course Grade 
Posting 
Due 
Homeworks (10 of 14) 
20% 
Various. See Below 
Various. See below 
Examination I (Unit 1 Test) 

9212015 
1052015 
Examination II (Units 2 & 3) 

10122015 
10192015 
Examination III (Unit 4 & 5) 

1122015 
1192015 
Examination IV (Units 6 & 7) 

11302015 
12112015 
NOTE:
There is NO TEST of Units 8 or 9.
Policy on Due Dates
I appreciate that we all have busy schedules and that, sometimes, deadlines are difficult to meet. Therefore, I have developed the following policy on late submissions. I will accept late submissions up to one week. Please be aware, however, that in considerationof your classmates, a late submission carries a 20 point penalty. Thus, if you know you cannot meet a due date, your best bet is to use the full week grace time!
On Time 
Full Credit for points scored 
17 Days Late 
Points scored  20 points 
8+ Days Late 
0 points (no credit) 
Policy on Dates of Postings
I am sorry but I do NOT post course materials ahead of schedule.
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Letter Grade Determination:
A 
95 and over 
A  
90  94 
B + 
8789 
B 
8386 
B  
8082 
C + 
7779 
C 
7076 
F 
Below 70 
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For PHP Online Students  Policy on GPA and Course Repeat:
All students must maintain a 3.0 GPA during their time as students in the program. In addition, all 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:
September 711, 2015
First Worcester Section FacetoFace Class: Monday September 14, 2015
• Last Day to Drop with no record  Monday September 21, 2015
• Holiday, Columbus Day  Monday October 12, 2015 (NO CLASS)
• Make up of Columbus Day Class (Worcester Inclass section only)  Tuesday October 13, 2015
• Last Day to Drop with “DR” Tuesday October 19, 2015
• Last Week of Class
December 711, 2015
Last Worcester Section FacetoFace Class: Monday December 7, 2015
• Examination IV (Units 6&7) Due  Friday December 11, 2015
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Schedule of Posting of Course Notes
Week 
Date 
Unit  Lecture 
Posting Date 
 
September 14, 2015 
Welcome & Introduction 
Tuesday September 1, 2015 
1 
September 711, 2015 
1 – Summarizing Data 
Monday September 7, 2015 
2 
September 1418, 2015 
1 – Summarizing Data 
 
3 
September 2125, 2015 
2 – Introduction to Probability 
Monday September 21, 2015 
4 
September 28 – October 2, 2015 
2 – Introduction to Probability 
 
5 
October 59, 2015 
3 – Populations and Samples 
Monday October 5, 2015 
6 
October 1216, 2015 
4 – Bernoulli and Binomial 
Monday October 12, 2015 
7 
October 1923, 2015 
5 – Normal Distribution 
Monday October 19, 2015 
8 
October 2630, 2015 
5 – Normal Distribution 
 
9 
November 26, 2015 
6 – Estimation 
Monday November 2, 2015 
10 
November 913, 2015 
6 – Estimation 
 
11 
November 1620, 2015 
7 – Hypothesis Testing 
Monday November 16, 2015 
12 
November 2327, 2015 
7 – Hypothesis Testing 
 
13 
November 30 – December 4, 2015 
8 Chi Square Tests 
Monday November 30, 2015 
14 
December 711, 2015 
9 – Regression and Correlation 
Monday December 7, 2015 




Schedule of Assignments and Exams (Again  There is no exam of Units 8 & 9)
Assignment/Test 
Posting Date 
Due Date 
HW#1 (Unit 1 – Summarizing Data) 
Monday September 7, 2015 
Monday September 14, 2015 
HW#2 (Unit 1 – Summarizing Data) 
Monday September 14, 2015 
Monday September 21, 2015 
HW#3 (Unit 2 – Probability) 
Monday September 21, 2015 
Monday September 28, 2015 
Exam I (Unit 1) 
Monday September 21, 2015 
Monday October 5, 2015 
HW#4 (Unit 2 – Probability) 
Monday September 28, 2015 
Monday October 5, 2015 
HW#5 (Unit 3 – Populations & Samples) 
Monday October 5, 2015 
Monday October 12, 2015 
HW#6 (Unit 4 – Bernoulli & Binomial) 
Monday October 12, 2015 
Monday October 19, 2015 
Exam II (Units 2 & 3) 
Monday October 12, 2015 
Monday October 19, 2015 
HW#7 (Unit 5 – Normal Distribution) 
Monday October 19, 2015 
Monday October 26, 2015 
HW#8 (Unit 5 – Normal Distribution) 
Monday October 26, 2015 
Monday November 2, 2015 
Exam III (Units 4 & 5) 
Monday November 2, 2015 
Monday November 9, 2015 
HW#9 (Unit 6 – Estimation) 
Monday November 2, 2015 
Monday November 9, 2015 
HW#10 (Unit 6 – Estimation) 
Monday November 9, 2015 
Monday November 16, 2015 
HW#11 (Unit 7 – Hypothesis Testing) 
Monday November 16, 2015 
Monday November 23, 2015 
HW#12 (Unit 7 – Hypothesis Testing) 
Monday November 23, 2015 
Monday November 30, 2015 
HW#13 (Unit 8 – Chi Square Tests) 
Monday November 30, 2015 
Monday December 7, 2015 
HW#14 (Unit 9 – Regression & Correlation) 
Monday December 7, 2015 
Friday December 11, 2015 
Exam IV (Units 6 & 7) 
Monday November 30, 2015 
Friday December 11, 2015 



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ADA Accommodation Policy
Any student who, because of a disability, may require special arrangements in order to meet course requirements should contact me as soon as possible to make necessary arrangements.
Carol Bigelow, PhD
tel: 413/5451319
fax: 413/5451645
email: cbigelow@schoolph.umass.edu
Policy on Academic Dishonesty:
The University of Massachusetts/Amherst Senate Document 89026 defines
academic dishonesty as including but not limited to:
a) Cheating – intentional
deceit, trickery, or breach of confidence, used to gain some unfair
or dishonest advantage in one’s academic work.
b) Fabrication – intentional falsification or invention of any
information or citation in any academic exercise.
c) Facilitating dishonesty – knowingly helping or attempting to
help someone else commit an act of academic dishonesty.
d) Plagiarism – knowingly representing the words or ideas of another
as one’s own work in any academic exercise.
e) Submitting in whole or in part, without citation, prewritten term
papers of another or the research of another (including but not limited
to such materials sold or distributed commercially).
Visit the University of Massachusetts Website
Policy on Academic Dishonesty.
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