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BIOL 300: Biostatistics Statistical quotations There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics. Benjamin Disraeli / Mark Twain Statistical quotations There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics. Benjamin Disraeli / Mark Twain

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statistical quotations
Statistical quotations
  • There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.
    • Benjamin Disraeli / Mark Twain
statistical quotations4
Statistical quotations
  • There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.
    • Benjamin Disraeli / Mark Twain
  • It is easy to lie with statistics, but easier to lie without them.
    • Frederick Mosteller

Professor:Dr. Luke HarmonDepartment of Zoology Office: 1370 BiosciencesOffice Hours: 2 - 4 pm Mondays(or after class)e-mail:

course website
Course website

  • Lecture notes
  • Textbook and Lab Manual
  • Assignments and answers
  • Contact information
  • Whitlock and Schluter, The analysis of biological data
  • Available in two installments at CopieSmart, UBC Village
  • Also available online
  • Optional statistical software
  • Used in labs
  • Available in bookstore
  • 60-day trial version on web:

Final 50%

Mid-term 30%

Assignments (homework) 10%

Lab exam (final week of term) 10%

  • Midterm: Thursday October 19 in class
  • Final exam: TBA
  • Old exams will be posted on the website
  • Available on course web-page, announced in class
  • Due on Fridays at noon, at your TA’s office

(eight days after they are assigned)

  • Bonus points for in-class quizzes and activities
  • Begins third week of term

(September 18- 22)

  • Biol. Sci. room 2434
  • Lab exam during final week of classes
  • Book available at Copiesmart in the village and online
class forum
Class Forum
  • There will be a forum for discussion on the web
  • Discussion of lectures, labs, and homework
  • More details available next week
statistics pairings
  • Credit given for only one of BIOL 300, FRST 231, STAT 200, PSYC 218 or 366.
  • These are paired with BIOL 300, but do not countas requirements for Biology majors and pre-reqs
introduction to statistics
Introduction to statistics

Statistics - technology used to describe and measure aspects of nature from samples

Statistics lets us quantify the uncertainty of these measures


sir francis galton
Sir Francis Galton

Inventor of fingerprints,

study of heredity of quantitative traits

Regression & correlation

Also: efficacy of prayer,

attractiveness as function of

distance from London

karl pearson
Karl Pearson


Studied genetics

Correlation coefficient

c2 test

Standard deviation

sir ronald fisher
Sir Ronald Fisher

The Genetical Theory of

Natural Selection

Founder of population genetics

Analysis of variance



randomized experiments

multiple regression

etc., etc., etc.

goals of statistics
Goals of statistics
  • Estimation
    • Infer an unknown quantity of a population using sample data
  • Hypothesis testing
    • Differences among groups
    • Relationships among variables
introductory puzzle
Introductory Puzzle
  • How to protect bombers flying over enemy territory?
  • British Air Ministry - WWII
  • Looked at distribution of bullet holes in airplanes returning from bombing runs

  • Where should more armor be added to the airplanes?
  • Explain your conclusion
  • A variable is a characteristic measured on individuals drawn from a population under study.
  • Data are measurements of one or more variables made on a collection of individuals.
explanatory and response variables
Explanatory and response variables

We try to predict or explain a response variable from an explanatory variable.

properties of a good sample
Properties of a good sample
  • Independent selection of individuals
  • Random selection of individuals
  • Sufficiently large

In a random sample, each member of a population has an equal and independent chance of being selected.

sampling error
Sampling error
  • The difference between the estimate and average value of the estimate

Population parameters are constants whereas estimates are random variables, changing from one random sample to the next from the same population.