STATS 403 - Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods
Section: 001
Term: FA 2008
Subject: Statistics (STATS)
Department: LSA Statistics
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
MATH 115, one of STATS 265, 350, 400, 405, 412 or permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course provides an introduction to quantitative methods for research studies. Issues of study design, implementation, data analysis, and interpretation and communication of results are covered. Using examples from biomedicine! social science! public policy, business, and environmental science, students will learn how statistical methods are used by researchers to plan effective studies, and to aid in drawing meaningful conclusions from their data. Major themes of the course will include confounding and causality, heterogeneity! generalization, estimation bias and precision, and power. Students will learn how to evaluate the performance of statistical procedures, and what it means for a statistical procedure to depend on "assumptions." Research papers from various fields will be used to illustrate the methods and principles taught in the course.

Intended audience: Statistics academic minors and students in the new undergraduate Program in Informatics. Also anyone seeking a second course in statistics that focuses on the broad set of issues that arise when using quantitative methods in applied research.

STATS 403 should appeal to a broad range of students who intend to engage in quantitative applied research but are not interested in undertaking a long track of mathematics and more specialized statistics courses. STATS 403 will be a required course for the new interdisciplinary undergraduate Program in Informatics, and is much better aligned to the interests of our minors than the more specialized 400-level courses that students currently take as electives.

This course will play an important role in covering a set of important conceptual and practical issues at an intermediate level. We currently have only two courses that can be considered to be at an intermediate level: STATS 401 is tightly focused around regression; and STATS 412 focuses more on probability and statistical theory. Both routinely are filled to capacity. We also offer a range of more specialized 400-level courses on topics such as survey sampling (STATS 480) and design of experiments (STATS 470). However these courses are significantly more mathematical than the proposed STATS 403, and are not accessible to students with a single calculus course (e. g. MATH 115) and lacking courses in probability and mathematical statistics.

Course Requirements: Regular homework problem sets that include both mathematically-oriented exercises and written exercises. Students will be asked to read descriptions of data analyses, study designs, and critically evaluate them in terms of the issues discussed in class. Midterm and final examinations.

Class Format: There will be three hours of lecture per week and one hour of discussion led by the GSI.

STATS 403 - Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
002 (DIS)
F 2:30PM - 4:00PM
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