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This workshop series is not intended as a replacement for a graduate-level course in statistics.  Indeed, many of the topics covered can take a full course to fully present.  Rather, these workshops have the following specific goals:
  • Provide an introduction or overview of specific statistical and progrmethods of interest to biologists, according to level of interest and availability of instructors.
  • Help participants become more comfortable using R and other open-source tools and resources.
  • Provide statistics instruction in a learner-centered, hands-on, informal environment.
  • Provide an opportunity for peer teaching & learning.
  • Cultivate peer support: participants will become teachers and learn to help each other and themselves with performing their analyses in R.
  • Make stats fun and interesting, rather than "the scientific equivalent to a trip to the dentist" (Carpenter 1990).
  Participants will be able to:
  • Interpret and evaluate the use of statistics in journal articles
  • design an appropriate analysis for their data in R
  • know when more help is needed, and where to find it.

Where & When?

Workshops are scheduled approximately every Monday afternoon, from 14h - 16h in the Stewart Biology Computer Room (N4/17), DOWNTOWN CAMPUS.
See the workshop pages for full details regarding scheduling.


2 hours, at least half of which includes activities for participants to practice with (throughout, not all at once).  
Participants will be given time to write a generic template for each method, using their own commands and comments.

Although early topics are often helpful for later topics, you are free to attend only the ones that interest you, or that you have time for.  Check specific workshop topics for expectations and preparation.

Workshops are divided into 2 main types, depending on the focus, and level of experience expected of participants:

Introductory Workshops

Introductory workshops will focus on introducing people to the R environment, or statistical theory and fundamental principles.  These are typically organized in a logical fashion, and participants are expected to be familiar with content from previous workshops.  However, we otherwise expect very little in terms of familiarity with R.  The pace of these workshops tends to be slow, with ample time for questions, problem-solving, and practice.

Special Topics

Most workshops will focus on special topics in statistics and R.  They may be organized in a logical order, but most will stand alone as single topics.  Prerequisites will be listed in the workshop pages, so be sure you are familiar with the expected background before attending.  Participants will generally be expected to be comfortable with R and fundamentals of statistics and probability.  The pace may be a little faster, with an overview of concepts and relevant R code.  Material is often provided for review or further study after the workshops.

What do I Need?

Computers are available in the computer room, although there are more chairs than there are computers.  You are welcome and encouraged to bring your own laptop to work on (you may also be able to check laptops out from the library, or teaching services).  Just make sure that if you bring a laptop, you have R installed and ready to go.  The first workshop will cover installation if you are having problems.
Food is not permitted in the computer room.


Please use the registration form to register.  The room for the workshops has a seating capacity of 40.  

Registration is required for Introductory workshops, but not for Special Topics.  Registration will remain open until the start of the workshop.  We will post an announcement (and make a note on the individual workshop pages) if any workshops are getting full, so register early to avoid disappointment!
If you registered late for a workshop and are on the waiting list, or find out you have time at the last minute, you are still welcome to join us as long as there are seats available at the start of the workshop.  If you registered and are not present at the start of the workshop, you seat becomes available to anyone waiting, so don't be late!

No registration is necessary for Special Topics, but seats will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.  So, come early to avoid disappointment.