Fall 2013 
"Chance favors the prepared mind."  Louis Pasteur 
Instructor: Dr. Alan Hale (SC134,
6106064666 x3510, abhale@cedarcrest.edu); office hours: open door
policy, though official office hours are posted on the fall or spring
weekly schedule, whichever is appropriate 
http://www2.cedarcrest.edu/academic/bio/hale/index.htm (see links
for "Weekly Schedule")
Course Description [BIO 248]: An introduction to
parametric and
nonparametric statistical methods commonly used to analyze biological
data. Students will learn and apply these methods in order to support
their current or future research in ecological, molecular, chemical, or
healthrelated fields.
Course Web Site: In case you are looking at a hard
copy of the
syllabus, it can also be found at
http://www2.cedarcrest.edu/academic/bio/hale/biostat.html. Visit the
site to replace a lost copy or to check out some interesting web
resources that are related to the course material.
Bulletin Board: The bulletin board outside the
MacLab (SC132)
will be used for this course. At times I will post data sets, answer
keys, interesting web sites and news articles; take a break once in a
while to check them out.
Goals: The primary goals of this course relate to
expanding your
horizons in terms of critical thinking and quantitative analyses of
data. Working in the sciences without a functional understanding of
statistics is like trying to race in a regatta without knowing how to
trim the sails. In both cases your chances of success are greatly
diminished.
Student Learning Outcomes (SLO):
In BIO 248 Biostatistics material will be presented such that student understanding will be reinforced with respect to the following areas:
1. Discuss the interaction of science
and society, including the ethical practice of science, within the
local, national, and global community. [DEPT SLO 2]
2. Write about and interpret the methodologies of scientific research. [DEPT SLO 3]
3. Apply concepts and principles of the Biological Sciences beyond those that comprise the foundation. [BIO SLO 1]
4. Apply the foundaton concepts of the Physical Sciences and
Mathematics, including chemistry, physics, and calculus. [BIO SLO
2]
In BIO 248 Biostatistics material will be presented such that student understanding will be mastered with respect to the following areas:
1. Write about and interpret the methodologies of scientific research. [DEPT SLO 3]
2. Apply concepts and principles of the Biological Sciences beyond those that comprise the foundation. [BIO SLO 1]
3. Apply the foundaton concepts of the Physical Sciences and
Mathematics, including chemistry, physics, and calculus. [BIO SLO
2]
Learning Outcomes/Assessment: Upon successfully completing Biostatistics you should:
Companion Web Site: The author of your
textbook has set up a companion web site to provide a diversity of
resources. You'll notice by reading the text that he is quite
the family man. If you would like to match described behavior
with faces, take a look at the companion web site. Photos of
his wife, his children, and himself are provided.
Laptop: All four examinations will involve the use of Excel; having a laptop will be helpful. Approximately ten desktop computers will be available, but they will serve only half the class. If you have a laptop, or you are seriously considering buying one, please plan to use it during your biostatistics exams.
Supplies: A bound (nonlooseleaf)
composition notebook will be
needed for your homework. The color of the cover and the design on the
pages should reflect your personal preferences. A calculator that is
programmed to compute simple statistics (e.g., mean, standard
deviation) may be useful, though you may choose to use a laptop and
Microsoft Excel to analyze data. Both calculators and laptops (Excel
only) may be used during examinations.
Statistical Software: "A bird in the hand is worth
two in the
bush." It's late at night, you're sitting in your dorm room, and you
need to run some statistical tests. Which would you rather do: hike
through the snow to get to a computer lab that may or may not be open,
or curl up on your bed with loads of blankets and your laptop? Right!
Consequently, we will be making good use of Microsoft Excel and the
guidance provided by the author of your textbook. Another reason for
learning how to run a great diversity of statistical tests with Excel
is because wherever you go in the future, Excel will follow, whereas
some of the more specialized packages (e.g., Statistica)
may not. Nonetheless, know that Statistica
is installed on all of the PCs in our W.M. Keck Bioinformatics
Laboratory (MB32). It integrates data management, statistical analysis,
graphics, and presentation. Its data sets, charts and graphics can
easily be transferred to Microsoft Word and PowerPoint documents, as is
the case with Excel.
Other (purely optional) Resources: Before I
list the following resources I want to make it clear that one can do
quite well in BIO 248 with out these. I include them on the
syllabus because some students want to push Excel to its limits.
For those of you who find this attractive, you might consider
picking up one or more of the following books to use as handy resources
during times of stress. Keep in mind that you are not likely
to find these in the college bookstore; each is approximately $25
through online book distributors. So here they are: (1)
Statistical Analysis with Excel for Dummies (Joseph Schmuller); (2)
Excel Data Analysis for Dummies (Stephen L. Nelson); (3) Excel Charts
for Dummies (Ken Bluttman). There is one more resource that
you might want to consider in the future if you happen to take a liking
to statistics and Excel. Excel as a component of Microsoft
Office comes with a good set of statistical tests.
Nevertheless, you may get really hooked on Excel and want an
expanded arsenal of statistical tests, including nonparametric tests.. I found myself in this
situation with my own research and while helping others with
their statistics. I tested a number of statistics packages
available on the web and have been quite happy with the one I finally
purchased ($245). XLSTAT Pro can be purchased on the web
[http://www.xlstat.com/], but be sure you get student pricing
if you decide to get a copy.
Student pricing is approximately $50.00, but in the case of this significant
discount, the software license is for only one year. I
recommend that you master what is free on Excel before you jump to
XLSTAT Pro. If you're looking for one particular test that
you need for your research, you might just google it to see if there is
any freeware available. And don't forget, Statistica in the
Bioinformatics Lab is loaded with statistical tests.
Grading: Final course grades will be based on the following examinations and assignments, and will be assigned on a percentage basis. Grades will be posted on the web throughout the semester so you will have the option to check how you did on the recent exam from the comforts of your dorm room. You will be given a password, which you should keep to yourself, to access your grades at the following site:
Online Grade Reports 
By all means, if you see a mistake on your grade summary,
please bring it to my attention.
Activity

Points

Session/Info

Examination #1 [Key] 
100

Session 8 75 minute written examination; calculator, textbook, and laptop (Excel only) allowed 
Examination #2 [Key] 
100

Session 15 75 minute written examination; calculator, textbook, and laptop (Excel only) allowed 
Examination #3 [Key] 
100

Session 22 75 minute written examination; calculator, textbook, and laptop (Excel only) allowed 
Homework Notebook 
40

Session 26 
Assignments [group or individual, your choice]  10 per assignment  Assigned sporadically during semester. Deadline is typically in one week.. Expect approximately 35 assignments. 
How to Lie with Statistics Presentation (Group Project)  30  Group presentations are given during Session 27. Prepare all semester. 
Final Examination 
150

Final Exam Period 3 hour written examination; calculator, textbook, and laptop (Excel and course website) allowed 
Attendance  2 pts./absence 
Think of your
understanding
of statistics as a tree. If the tree is missing a section of its trunk, it's not difficult to be toppled. Do you want to fall flat on your face when presenting your research to 300 scientists at a national conference? 
Examinations 1, 2 and 3: These will be inclass,
written
examinations. The amount of time available to complete the examinations
will not exceed 75 minutes. The better you understand the
material prior to your arrival, the less time you'll need to complete
it. Do not plan to learn material during the exam because you
will run out of time; your textbook is there for quick reference, not
for extensive guidance. You may use a calculator, laptop, and
the
primary textbook (Donnelly) to complete each examination. If you do not
have a laptop computer, you will have access to either the classroom
computer or computers in a computer lab (e.g.,
MB20 and 22)
if you
choose to
use one. Use of a laptop (or desktop computer) must be restricted to
the statistical tools available through Excel, though for the final
exam you will have the option to access the course website for useful
links (e.g., Scheffe Test, important tables).. The internet (including
email), text files, and nonExcel programs (except for what was noted
above) must not be used during
examinations; an exam grade of zero will be given to individuals who
violate this rule. Although the focus of an exam will be on material
covered since the previous exam, keep in mind that in statistics new
material builds upon concepts learned previously, and therefore
consider each exam as being comprehensive.
Homework: We live in a society where people expect
things to be
easy: get rich quick strategies; the ultimate diet pill; learn a
language faster than ever before; perfect abs in nothing flat. Maybe
someday there will be options similar to those in Matrix, but currently
if you want to find success, the name of the game is hard work.
Developing an intuitive grasp of statistics requires a good bit of your
time and thought. Some of this time and thought should be devoted to
explaining concepts and solving statistical problems, two important
components of this homework assignment. At the end of each chapter in
the Donnelly text there are "Your Turn" questions/problems (Q/P). Each
student should complete within a bound composition notebook every Q/P
in the textbook. Use the first page for a table of contents, which will
allow quick access to different chapters. If Excel or another
program that performs statistical
analyses is used to do some of the analyses, the important parts of the
output should be taped neatly into the respective Q/P section of your
notebook. Do not tape folded paper into your notebook, instead cut from
the output that which is important and which fits on the page of your
notebook. Tape all edges. After completing the Q/P of a given chapter,
you should sign and date the last page used for the chapter's
Q/P answers. It is recommended that students complete each Q/P before
looking at the correct answer at the back of the textbook. Corrections
to the original answers should be noted, this is a sign of learning.
Answers in the composition book should be in one's own words, not as
written in the textbook.
Assignments: Class time is typically used for lecture, however at times we use it for data collection and analyses. To carry the latter to completion, group or individual assignments are commonly due within one week. Each assignment is submitted via email as a single Word file with charts and data incorporated into the same file. Student names should be placed at the top of each assignment; do not use headers or footers for this purpose because Dr. Hale will be combining all assignments into one file, adding comments, and emailing the composite file to all students enrolled in the course. Students and groups are encouraged to follow the prescribed format of the assignment.
How
to Lie with Statistics
Presentation: The book, How to Lie with Statistics,
was written in 1954. Although cell phones, laptops and iPods
did
not exist back then, it will become obvious as you read this book that
human behavior has changed very little since then. People
continue to stretch the truth to convey their intended message.
Begin to read this book at the beginning of the semester and
watch for contemporary examples that illustrate how you can lie with
statistics. At some point, groups of approximately four
students
will be formed and each group will select two chapters to focus on.
First come, first served. Near the end of the semester each
group
will present (1012 minutes) their two chapters to the class.
Presentations should include an overview of the primary
message
within each chapter and several
examples found in the media these days. The latter
will
involve watching a lot of TV, listening to the radio, surfing the web,
catching the latest show on your iPhone or iPad, or reading your favorite
newpaper or magazine. Be sure your examples closely match the
chapter content. A word for the wise: procrastination does not
mesh well with this project. Begin early in the semester.
Final Examination: The final exam will be given
during the final
exam period and will cover all aspects of the biostatistics course,
including readings, lectures, and oral presentations. As with Exams 1,
2 and 3, a calculator, laptop, and primary textbook are allowed.
Unlike Exams 1, 2 and 3, you will have access to the course
website during the final exam; you will need important tables and
online programs.
Research Seminars: Students are encouraged to attend
research
seminars within the department, or beyond. During the talks, focus on
how the speaker has used statistics to form conclusions. Do not
hesitate to ask the speaker questions about his/her statistical
analyses.
Grading Scale
Students with percent averages in the categories shown below will
receive the respective letter grades.
Final Grade Total Percent 
A 92.50100% 
A 89.592.49% 
B+ 86.589.49% 
B 82.586.49% 
B 79.582.49% 
C+ 76.579.49% 
C 72.576.49% 
C 69.572.49% 
D+ 66.569.49% 
D 59.566.49% 
F less than 59.5% 
Computer Use Policy and Honor Code: The
Biology Department supports the CCC Computer Use Policy and the Honor
Code as described in the Student Handbook.
Snow Alert  Excel Tips 