Courses Details

BIOSTAT842: Seminal Ideas and Controversies in Statistics

  • Graduate level
  • Residential
  • Fall term(s) for residential students;
  • 3 Credit Hour(s) for residential students;
  • Instructor(s): Little, Roderick (Residential);
  • Prerequisites: Ph.D. students in Biostatistics, Statistics or related field (e.g. Survey Methodology)
  • Advisory Prerequisites: None
  • Description: Statistics has developed as a field through seminal papers and fascinating controversies. Seminal ideas and controversies in statistics will be reviewed and discussed. Students will be assigned to present and discuss key papers, with the aid of later commentaries in the literature that help elucidate the issues. The goal is to expand student's knowledge of the statistics literature and encourage a historical perspective. A draft list of papers, arranged below by topic, is provided; in additional to original papers there are some more recent commentaries that provides a modern perspective. Topics are arranged in three groupings: (a) philosophy of statistics; (b) seminal problems in statistical analysis (c) design topics, focusing on the role of randomization. The instructor will also present summaries of the topics covered. Students will be assigned homework with a few basic discussion questions about the assigned paper or papers. Also, one "lead presenter" student or students will prepare and deliver a presentation summarizing each topic and paper(s). For the class to work it is essential that students read the assigned material, participate in class discussions, and express their own opinions on the homework questions - often there is not a "right" answer.
  • Learning Objectives: After completing this class, students are expected to be able to attain the following competencies: (a) Demonstrate effective written, oral and thinking skills Biostatistics Competencies: (1) To learn some key ideas and concepts in statistics concerning philosophy of inference, statistical methods and statistical design, through seminal articles (b) To learn how to read a research paper and understand the key concepts (c) To learn how to develop clear and logical written and oral presentations based on reading seminal articles in statistics (c) To start to develop a personal philosophy for statistical practice
  • Syllabus for BIOSTAT842