Stat 371-003: Introductory applied statistics for the life sciences (Fall, 2008)

[ Syllabus | R ]


10/14   While a recent opinion poll conducted by the New York Times is (whether you concur with the findings or not) quite interesting, I would like to draw your attention to the short article describing "How the poll was conducted". Note the sentence (near the end), "In theory, in 19 cases out of 20, overall results based on such samples will differ by no more than three percentage points in either direction from what would have been obtained by seeking to interview all American adults."

9/30   A highly relevant article that appeared in the New York Times today, well worth reading: Searching for Clarity: A Primer on Medical Studies

Course summary

The course will provide students in the life sciences with an introduction to modern statistical practice. Topics include: exploratory data analysis, probability and random variables, one-sample testing and confidence intervals, role of assumptions, sample size determination, two-sample inference, basic ideas in experimental design, analysis of variance, linear regression, goodness-of-fit, biological applications. Introduces and employs the freely-available statistical software, R, to explore and analyze data.

Students may receive credit for no more than one of the following courses: Stat 201, 224, 301, 324, & 371.


Karl Broman
Offices: 6763 Medical Sciences Center, 1274 Genetics-Biotechnology Center
Email: kbroman at
Phones: 608-262-4633 (MSC), 608-263-0549 (Biotech)
Fax: 608-265-7916
Office hours: Mon 1-2pm, Thu 1-2pm, Thu 3-4pm in 6763 Medical Sciences Center (or by appointment)
            [Directions to 6763 MSC]

Teaching Assistant

Lili Lan
Office: B248-H Medical Sciences Center
Email: lan at
Office hours: Fri 11am-1pm

Free tutoring

See this


MWF 9:55-10:45am (1240 Comp Sci & Stat)


331: Tu 1:20p (6101 Soc Sci)
332: Tu 2:25p (4308 Soc Sci)
333: Tu 3:30p (1289 Comp Sci & Stat)
334: Mo 12:05p (138 Psychology)

Final exam

Sat, 20 Dec, 7:45-9:45am (132 Noland)






ML Samuels, JA Witmer (2002) Statistics for the life sciences, 3rd ed, Prentice Hall [Amazon]


L Gonick, W Smith (1994) Cartoon guide to statistics. HarperCollins. [Amazon]
[On reserve at the College Library]


A scientific calculator (with logarithms, exponents, trigonometric functions, simple memory and recall, and factorial) will be necessary.

Computer software

We will use the freely-available statistical software, R: (See the Getting started with R page.)
UW-Madison computer labs with R

Basis for grading

Midterm 120%
Midterm 220%
Final 35%

[ Syllabus | R ]

Last modified: Fri Jan 2 07:13:05 2009