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Introduction to Biostatistics
An ICTS Research Methods Short Course

February 17 and 19, 2015 (two days) 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., 2011 Donald Bren Hall - UC Irvine


Course Description: This course provides an overview of introductory-level statistical methods and their application in biology, medicine, and health-related studies. The course covers some fundamental concepts such as data exploration techniques, summary statistics, commonly used visualization methods, and hypothesis tests. The course covers indispensible statistical tests used in both clinical trials and observational studies, including parametric and nonparametric test for continuous outcome data, tests of independence for categorical data, and tests for comparing survival distributions of study groups. Further, it provides a high level overview of design and analysis of scientific studies. Illustrative examples will be implemented in the statistical software R, but no coding experience is required.

Learning Objectives: Course registrants will have the opportunity to learn and understand:

  • Uses and limitations of statistical methods
  • Issues related to designing and analysis of scientific studies
  • Data exploration techniques
  • Common statistical analysis methods such as t-test, Chi-squared test, log-rank test, and ANOVA.

Topics: A brief overview of design and analysis of scientific studies • Exploring data (descriptive statistics, simple statistics, and data visualization techniques) • Probability • Estimation • Hypothesis testing • t-Test • ANOVA • χ2-test (Chi-squared test) • Fisher exact test • McNemar’s test • Wilcoxon rank sum test • Kaplan-Meier analysis and log-rank test

Prerequisites: Basic math and computer skills. Participants need to bring their laptops with R and R-Commander installed. Instructions for installing these programs will be provided prior to the class.

References Book: Biostatistics with R, An Introduction to Statistics Through Biological Data, Babak Shahbaba, Springer, 2012; available for download (free-of-charge) through the UCI library. Supplementary lecture notes will be provided.

Registration Fee: UCI faculty and staff: $75, UCI student: $50, non-UCI registrant: $150 (fee includes lecture notes)

To register: http://www1.icts.uci.edu/ccgateway/biostat_intro.cfm

Contact: Erika Whitton • (714) 456-2308 • ewhitton@uci.edu


About the Course Instructor: Dr. Babak Shahbaba is an Associate Professor of Statistics and a faculty member of the Biostatistics, Epidemiology & Research Design (BERD) Unit, UC Irvine Institute of Clinical and Translational Science. His current research focus is on statistical methods for high-dimensional problems and has expertise in the application of novel statistical methods to address research questions in genetics, proteomics, and neuroscience. Dr. Shahbaba’s research works are published in leading peer-reviewed journals, including Statistics in Medicine, Neural Computation, Psychometrika, Bayesian Analysis, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, and Journal of Machine Learning Research.