Class notes‎ > ‎


Course Logistics

This twenty weeks long multi-faculty multi-disciplinary course is designed to foster basic biostatistics, computational biology and computer application skills required for a Biology graduate student. From 2013-14 batch onwards I will be covering only Biostatistics part of this course. However, presentations and other materials from previous years are available at this site.

Lectures will be available on the Video Lectures part of the course website. The lectures build on each other, so you should view them in the order listed. The few lectures listed as "Honors" or "Optional" will not be covered on the quizzes but are provided in case you want to go into more depth.

One particularly exciting feature of our course is the free in-course textbook materials. (Note: signup for dropbox using this link) These textbooks are not required, but it should be helpful to students who want to read more detailed explanations or additional examples or who want to delve more deeply into topics that fascinate them. Please note that access to the textbook is available only for the duration of the course.  


Short ungraded exercises will occasionally be embedded into lectures. Each lecture will be followed by ungraded exercises. Answers to these exercises will be given and explained after you reply to the questions. These exercises do not introduce new material, but they enable you to check your understanding of the lectures. If you miss too many of the exercises after a lecture, then you might want to listen to that lecture again.

Time Commitment

You should expect to spend on about 2 hours per week watching the lectures, another 2 hours per week doing the exercises, and about 1 hour on each quiz. You might want to spend additional time doing the reading and participating in the discussion forums.


Lecture Plan/Schedule of Classes with materials

  1. Introduction and types of studies (1-2 weeks)
    1. Presentation
    2. Related SciAm Article
  2. Levels of measurements (3-4 weeks)
    1. Presentation
    2. Stevens, S. S. (1946). "On the Theory of Scales of Measurement". Science 103 (2684): 677–680. 
    3. Fundamental process of measurement
  3. Systematic organization and display of data (5-7 weeks)
    1. Presentation
    2. Practice File
  4. Descriptive statistics 8-11 weeks)
    1. Descriptive statistics
    2. The Median Isn’t the Message
    3. Descriptive Statistics for Categorical Variables
  5. Inferential Statistics
    1. t-Tests and ANOVA
  6. Permutations, Combinations and Basic Probability (12-14 weeks)
    1. Fundamental Counting Principle, Permutations, and Combinations
    2. Probability, Maximum Likelihood and Bayes Theorem
  7. Probability Distributions (15-18 weeks)

Practical excercises with materials

    1. Advanced Excel Training-1 (Calculations, Sorting, Conditional formatting, Formula, Mixed Reference)    
      1. Worksheet 24/8/2015
    2. Advanced Excel  Training -2
      1. Worksheet 12/10/2015
    3. Descriptive Statistics in Excel
      1. Worksheet 26/10/2015

    Suggested Reading

    Textbooks here Note: signup for dropbox using this link

    1. Biostatistics A Methodology For the Health Sciences - Gerald van Belle, Patrick J. Heagerty, Lloyd D. Fisher, Thomas S. Lumley
    2. Introductory Biostatistics - Chap T. Le
    3. Norman, G. and Streiner, D. (2008). Biostatistics: The Bare Essentials. 3/e (with SPSS). Decker Inc. USA.
    4. Sokal, R.R. and Rohlf,  F.J. (1994). Biometry: The Principles and Practices of Statistics in Biological Research. W.H. Freeman publishers, USA.
    Documentaries/DVDs (Contact me for copies)
    1. MathTutor DVD-Probability and Statistics
    2. Advanced MS Excel Training