Introduction to Statistics and Research Design

Winter 2005



Where is the class?

Where is the Lab?

Sean Todd

Lecture Hall, Tues, Fri 11.10&endash;12.35 pm

S2, Tues 1.15&endash;3.55pm, labs A and B


Where/How to find Sean Todd....



Turrets Annex (3rd floor)

Office Hours:

Wednesdays 9.30&endash;11.00am, 2.30&endash;400pm, or by appointment


ext. 265



Course web-page: This site includes lecture outlines, syllabi, and useful web links, as well as other important class information. Make sure you visit it!

Teaching Assistant:

Christie Mahaffey, hours: Mon, Fri, 1-3 in S2, or by appointment

Course Description:

This course introduces the basics of statistical analysis that can be used in either a scientific or a social science frame of reference. While this course teaches you to perform both nonparametric and simple parametric analysis both by hand and computer, an emphasis will be placed on understanding the principles and assumptions of each test, rather than mathematical ability per se. We will also learn how to report statistical results in journal format, and there will be plenty of lab time to sharpen skills. Evaluation is based on lab participation, three quizzes, and a team project. Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisite: A college mathematics course, or permission of the instructor. *QR*




Laboratory assignments


2 Quizzes

15 each

Take home assignment (final)


Team Project



(available online at, or from Sherman's locally)

J. H. Zar (1999). Biostatistical Analysis. (4th Edition) Prentice Hall.

…a number of other readings will also be placed on reserve

Laboratory fee: $40.00


Notes about the Course

This course is designed to build on knowledge learned from previous weeks, so non-attendance may seriously hinder your learning. All classes and lab periods are therefore mandatory, and I take attendance very seriously. Let me know if absence from class is unavoidable. Come to class awake and ready to digest. Poor sleep patterns and statistics classes do not mix.

A good calculator (one with statistical functions) will be helpful to you. The Texas TI83 is one of the current good choices, but you need not buy one quite this advanced if you feel you are not destined to crunch numbers later in life! Labs will be run from the Macintosh multimedia lab (S2). You are welcome to use the computers in the lab at other times assuming there isn't a class booked for the same time (in fact, you'll probably have to). During the lab we will be using the computer programs Datadesk, and Microsoft's Excel. If you wish, a limited demo copy of Datadesk (PC or Macintosh) is available from the web (, which you can use on your own computer. Versions of these programs will also be installed on other computers around campus (specifically in the lab at the back of the library, and the computer lab next to the student mailboxes). To use a computer in S2 you will need a username and password specific to that lab (different to your Groupwise a/c), as well as the classroom access code, which will set up on the first day of class. To avoid abuse of the computers, we ask that you not to share your account information, or the classroom combination, with anyone outside of the class.

Depending on class size, we may have to operate in shifts during the lab. Note that labs start at 1.15 to allow time for digestion of lunch! Plan to spend at least 90 minutes per week within the assigned lab period actually in the lab when assistance will be available. However, it will probably be necessary to come into the lab on your own outside of regular class hours to complete an assignment. This class has a Teaching Assistant to assist you during these hours. The teaching assistant will also be primarily responsible for in lab instruction and feedback for lab assignments.

Most weeks the laboratory will introduce an assignment. This must be completed and handed in at the beginning of your next scheduled lab. In the past I have been somewhat flexible in deadline management—however this year any assignments handed in late, without a substantive excuse, will receive no grade and will be marked only if time permits. Therefore, as the lab assignments constitute a major portion of your grade, be sure to hand them in promptly! You are welcome, unless told otherwise, to work in pairs or groups; however, you are responsible for submitting your own work, and ensuring that you personally receive the training and computer time you need to familiarize yourself with software.

Part of your assessment involves a team project, which you should begin as soon as possible, at the latest by week 3-4. For this you will be required to split up into teams of 2-3 people. Each team will perform a mini-experiment, formulating a hypothesis, methodology to test that hypothesis, collect data, analyze that data statistically, and write up the results in scientific format. The write-up and presentation of this experiment is due the last day of classes. Team members can choose to submit individual or team reports.

This course is designed to compliment the textbook. However, the textbook contains far more information than you will ever need at the undergraduate level, and has been chosen in part to act as a companion for other classes that you might take that would require statistical analysis protocols. Consult the attached syllabus and ensure you review the necessary readings in time for class, BUT, bottom line, make sure you understand the material to the level that I cover it in class (this is why class attendance is so important). Recommended questions are provided for the end of each reading. While these are not compulsory, we highly recommend you try them, especially for subject areas in which you are unclear.