Course 513-607: Principles of Inferential Statistics

EPIB-694   Principles of Inferential Statistics

Construction of a Statistical Exercise
Due: 5pm June 21, 2004

You are asked to construct an exercise along the lines of the homegrown ones which are being used in this course, suitable for testing or demonstrating understanding of basic principles of biostatistics. These principles are to be found in such texts as Colton or Moore and McCabe or as discussed in the lectures.

While you are free to invent the entire exercise, it will probably be easier (and more realistic) to base it on some report in a scientific journal (in your own specialty, or a general one*) or perhaps in the lay press. It should concern some health problem amenable to statistical investigation. Try to make the narrative as clear and as concise as you can. The exercise should comprise 5-7 questions requiring altogether about one hour for completion. You are asked also to produce a separate set of model answers; these should be equally short and to the point.

The questions may cover any part of this course 694) or the preceding one (693). Indeed, in the interests of time, and the June 21st deadline, it would be good to have 1 or 2 of the questions cover material from 693.

Below are tgree examples of such an exercise, prepared by students in one of the past years.

Your exercise and model answers will count for the indicated % of the marks in your final grade for this course. In assessing the quality of your exercise, we shall consider the extent to which the questions test understanding of important biostatistical principles in a clear, concise and unambiguous way. Credit will also be given for choice of subject and ingenuity in use of the available information.

The exercise, model answers and a copy of any published report(s) on which the exercise is based should be handed in by the deadline indicated.

I got the idea of this exercise from Corbett McDonald; he believes, as I do, that just as with surgery, the best way to learn the statistical material is to 'See one, do one, teach one'.

If you absolutely cannot find an article, JH has some you might select from -- but he urges you to find one on your own.


updated May 14, 2004