Statistical Inference

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Course Date: 01 September 2014 to 29 September 2014 (4 weeks)

Price: free

Course Summary

Learn how to draw conclusions about populations or scientific truths from data. This is the sixth course in the Johns Hopkins Data Science Course Track.


Estimated Workload: 3-5 hours/week

Course Instructors

Brian Caffo

Brian Caffo, PhD is a professor in the Department of Biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He graduated from the Department of Statistics at the University of Florida in 2001. He works in the fields of computational statistics and neuroinformatics and co-created the SMART (www.smart-stats.org) working group. He has been the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist (PECASE) and Engineers and Bloomberg School of Public Health Golden Apple and AMTRA teaching awards.

Jeff Leek

Jeff Leek is an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and co-editor of the Simply Statistics Blog. He received his Ph.D. in Biostatistics from the University of Washington and is recognized for his contributions to genomic data analysis and statistical methods for personalized medicine. His data analyses have helped us understand the molecular mechanisms behind brain development, stem cell self-renewal, and the immune response to major blunt force trauma. His work has appeared in the top scientific and medical journals Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Genome Biology, and PLoS Medicine. He created Data Analysis as a component of the year-long statistical methods core sequence for Biostatistics students at Johns Hopkins. The course has won a teaching excellence award, voted on by the students at Johns Hopkins, every year Dr. Leek has taught the course.

Roger Peng

Roger D. Peng is an Associate Professor of Biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a Co-Editor of the Simply Statistics blog. He received his Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of California, Los Angeles and is a prominent researcher in the areas of air pollution and health risk assessment and statistical methods for environmental data. He created the course Statistical Programming at Johns Hopkins as a way to introduce students to the computational tools for data analysis. Dr. Peng is also a national leader in the area of methods and standards for reproducible research and is the Reproducible Research editor for the journal Biostatistics. His research is highly interdisciplinary and his work has been published in major substantive and statistical journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Dr. Peng is the author of more than a dozen software packages implementing statistical methods for environmental studies, methods for reproducible research, and data distribution tools. He has also given workshops, tutorials, and short courses in statistical computing and data analysis.

Course Description

Statistical inference is the process of drawing conclusions about populations or scientific truths from data. There are many modes of performing inference including statistical modeling, data oriented strategies and explicit use of designs and randomization in analyses. Furthermore, there are broad theories (frequentists, Bayesian, likelihood, design based, …) and numerous complexities (missing data, observed and unobserved confounding, biases) for performing inference. A practitioner can often be left in a debilitating maze of techniques, philosophies and nuance. This course presents the fundamentals of inference in a practical approach for getting things done. After taking this course, students will understand the broad directions of statistical inference and use this information for making informed choices in analyzing data.

FAQ

Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?
Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.

What resources will I need for this class?
Students must have the latest version of R and RStudio installed.

How does this course fit into the Data Science Course Track?

This is the sixth course in the track. Although it isn't a requirement, we recommend that you first take The Data Scientist's Toolbox and R Programming. A full list of course dependencies can be found here https://d396qusza40orc.cloudfront.net/rprog/doc/JHDSS_CourseDependencies.pdf.


Syllabus

In this class students will learn the fundamentals of statistical inference. Students will receive a broad overview of the goals, assumptions and modes of performing statistical inference. Students will be able to perform inferential tasks in highly targeted settings and will be able to use  the skills developed as a roadmap for more complex inferential challenges.

Format

Weekly lecture videos and quizzes and a final peer-assessed project.

Suggested Reading

There's a LeanPub book for the course here: https://leanpub.com/LittleInferenceBook that can be read for free here https://leanpub.com/LittleInferenceBook/read

In addition 

Course Workload

3-5 hours/week

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