**Syllabus**

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**(Download
pdf version of syllabus, 6 pp)**

**Instructor:**

Instructor: Carol Bigelow, PhD

School of Public Health

402 Arnold House

University of Massachusetts

Amherst, MA 01003

tel: 413/545-1319

email: cbigelow@schoolph.umass.edu

**Text:**

Rosner, B . *Fundamentals of Biostatistics,
Sixth Edition*, 2006

Duxbury Press.

ISBN 0-534-418201 (Hardcover)

**Statistical Software:**

None is required and none is needed for completion of the examinations.

**It is strongly recommended that you do NOT purchase any statistical software during the first few weeks of the course.** Later, if you like, you might consider using a free-ware application (such as StatGraphics) or a rental of Minitab or SAS (if it is available at your work place) or STATA (if it is available at your workplace).

**Course Description**

This course is the first in a two semester sequence (PubHlth 540 and PubHlth 640) of introductory biostatistics. The focus in this first course is statistical literacy. The course begins with a review of the concepts of natural variation. From this perspective, the course is an introduction to biostatistical tools for assessing the distinction between systematic and random variability. 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.

**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. The selection and conduct of appropriate statistical analysis –* Upon completion of this course, you will have learned the basics of choosing from among the various statistical methods when you want to summarize data, estimate population parameters, or perform a statistical hypothesis test. Specifically, you will have practice in these techniques in the one and two population settings under the assumption of either a normal or binomial population distribution sampling.

*2. Integrating analysis strategies in biostatistics with principles and issues in epidemiology* – You will have an understanding of the applicability of data description, estimation and hypothesis testing to epidemiology and, specifically, their interpretation with respect to confounding, effect modification, and bias.

*3. Evaluation of basic statistical principles in published public health research –* At the end of this course, you will have had practice in reading published examples of biostatistics. You will be encouraged to earn your 10% participation grade by selecting a published article from your own particular area of interest and writing a brief summary of its content.

*4. Appreciating a conceptual framework that integrates techniques and methods in biostatistics –* In this course, two conceptual frameworks are utilized. The first is the perspective that the principles and methods of epidemiologic research are an extension of the scientific method (and the goal of causal inference) to observational studies (and the challenges to causal inference that arise there!). The second conceptual framework is the idea that a statistical hypothesis test is a comparison of “signal” to “noise”.

**Office Hours**:

4:00-5:00 Mondays, in the hospital cafeteria, or,

by appointment.

**This course has 9 units (navigation bar, left)**

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

**For each unit, the following are provided**

Lecture Notes

Practice Problems with Solutions (Grading is Pass/Fail and is based on timely completion)

Computer Illustration(s)

On-line Threaded Discussion (ONLINE section only)

Additional Resources

A. Readings

B. Other Links of Interest

**Examination Schedule**

**Exam ---- Posting -------------------- Due --------------------Units Covered**

1 ---------- Mon Oct 13, 2008 -------Mon Oct 27, 2008 ---- 1, 2, 3

2 ---------- Mon Nov 10, 2008 ------Mon Nov 24, 2008 --- 4, 5

3 ---------- Fri Dec 5, 2008 ---------- Fri Dec 19, 2008 ------ 6,7,8

**Note - There will be no examination of unit 9 (Regression and Correlation).**

**Grading Policy:**

Your course grade will be based on completion of the practice problems, course participation and three “take home” open book examinations.

**Policy on Late Submissions of Practice Problems and Examinations**

On time submissions ---------------- full credit for points scored

1-7 days late ---------------------------credit = point score - (20 points)

8-14 days late ------------------------- credit = point score - (40 points)

15+ days late --------------------------zero credit

*Note – If you find that you are not able to complete an assignment by the scheduled due*

date, I encourage you to use the full week for its completion since the forfeited points

are calculated per week, not per day.

----------------------------------------------------------------------- **Percent of Course Grade**

1 Submission of practice problems ----------------------------------------- 15%.

2 Examination I ---------------------------------------------------------------- 25%

3 Examination II --------------------------------------------------------------- 25%

4 Examination III -------------------------------------------------------------- 25%

5 Class Participation ---------------------------------------------------------- 10%

Full credit for class participation can be obtained by any one of the following:

(1) submission of SAS or STATA or

SPSS or R illustration; OR

(2) submission of an article and a 1 page

review; OR

(3) 10 corrections to lecture notes, apart

from spelling corrections.

**Make-up and Rescheduling Policies**

• I cannot promise to be able to provide all lecture notes and overheads ahead of schedule; sorry.

• If you miss a class, you can obtain the lecture notes from the course website ( http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~biep540w

• Note to Worcester section: As a policy, unless there are extenuating circumstances, Linda Hollis will not mail out lecture notes and overheads.

**Letter Grade Determination**:

A ------ 95 and over

A- ----- 90 - 94

B+ ---- 87 - 89

B ------ 83 – 86

B- ----- 80 - 82

C+ ---- 77 – 79

C ------ 70 – 76

F ------ Below 70

**Important Dates to Remember**

•** First Class**:

On-line Section: Week of Monday September 1-5, 2008

UMass/Worcester Section: Monday September 7, 2008

• **Last Day to Drop with no record** – Monday September 15, 2008

• **Holiday, Columbus Day** – Monday October 13, 2008

• Monday Worcester Class will be held on Tuesday – Tuesday October 14, 2008

• **Last Day to Drop with “DR”** – Tuesday October 14, 2008

• **Last Class**

On-line Section: Week of Monday December 8-12, 2008

UMass/Worcester Section: Monday December 8, 2008

• **Take Home Final Exam Due** – Friday December 19, 2008

**Schedule of Lectures and Examinations**

**Week** ----**Date** -----------------------**Unit - Lecture** --------------------------------------------------**Examination**

1 ----------Sep 1-5, 2008 -----------Welcome

--------------------------------------------Course Introduction

2 ----------Sep 8-12, 2008--------- 1 – Summarizing Data

3---------- Sep 15-19, 2008 -------1 – Summarizing Data

4 ----------Sep 22-26, 2008 -------2 – Introduction to Probability

5-----------Sep 29-Oct 3, 2008 ---2 – Introduction to Probability

6 ----------Oct 6-10, 2008 ----------3 – Populations and Samples

7 ----------Oct 13-17, 2008 --------4 – Bernoulli and Binomial Distributions -------------**Mon Oct 13 – EXAM I posted**

8 ----------Oct 20-24, 2008 --------5 – Normal Distribution

9 ----------Oct 27 - 31, 2008 ------5 – Normal Distribution ------------------------------------**Mon Oct 27 – EXAM I due**

10 --------Nov 3-7, 2008 ----------6 – Estimation

11 --------Nov 10-14, 2008 ------6 – Estimation -------------------------------------------------**Mon Nov 10 – EXAM II posted**

12 --------Nov 17-21, 2008 ------7 – Hypothesis Testing

13 --------Nov 24-28, 2008 ------7 – Hypothesis Testing -------------------------------------**Mon Nov 24 – EXAM II due**

14 --------Dec 1-5, 2008 ----------8- Chi Square Tests -----------------------------------------**Fri Dec 5 – EXAM III posted**

15 --------Dec 8-12, 2008 --------9 – Regression and Correlation

------------Dec 15-19, 2008 ------Course Closeout ----------------------------------------------**Fri Dec 19 – EXAM III due**